The Graduate Center for Career Development is located in Olin Hall, Suite 320.
Meet the Team
Director, Graduate Center for Career Development
Cheri comes to Babson with extensive career management expertise spanning twenty years with Keystone Associates, a premier outplacement consulting firm that specializes in coaching executive clients during their job search transition. As the Senior Vice President and Director of Operations at Keystone, Cheri was responsible for building a high performing and best in class team of career consultants, providing strategic leadership and partnering with business development to enhance key corporate relationships. She personally coached numerous executive clients with diverse backgrounds and industries frequently receiving top survey ratings. Cheri has also launched multiple Keystone alumni offerings including LinkedIn groups, portals and job search events.
Prior to Keystone Associates, Cheri was the District Manager and Executive Recruiter for a Boston-based search firm. In addition to managing the operation, Cheri specialized in placing accounting and financial clients in multiple industries. She is a frequent presenter on career management topics for Associations and academic institutions in classroom and by video. She has also been featured in the media on job search subject matters. Cheri received her Masters in Counseling Psychology from Boston College and a Psychology undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Operations Manager and Business Analyst
Ryan joins Babson’s Graduate Center for Career Development as the Operations Manager and Business Analyst, responsible for the hub of technology and data to drive successful operations for students, staff and company partners. Prior to Babson, Ryan worked as an Analyst for the Commercial Development Team at the Atlantic Power Corporation. In this role, he collaborated with a wide range of departments during a period of dynamic change within the company. Navigating complex problems in the energy industry, providing market and financial data and supporting operational processes all allowed him to develop keen insight into project management.
Ryan graduated from Bates College in 2009. He studied in Denmark through the Danish Institute for Study Abroad as a Junior, and has enjoyed opportunities throughout his life to travel in more than ten countries. Ryan brings a unique perspective and skillset to the team, and deeply enjoys leveraging his operational strengths for the Graduate Center for Career Development, Babson students, and company partners.
Associate Director, International MBA Career Education
Lily supports our international students and provides corporate outreach to multinational firms. Prior to Babson, Lily worked for five years at Northeastern University, first as an Assistant Director for International Study Programs and subsequently as a Senior International Co-op Counselor for International Cooperative Education. Under these capacities, she led international recruitment efforts; developed and oversaw various global opportunities for students; managed international employer relations; and provided crisis management and solutions during emergency situations. In her spare time, Lily does international and domestic volunteer work around arts and culture, and civil and human rights. She is a member of the Association of International Educators (NAFSA). Lily earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & International Affairs from Northeastern University, and a Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.
Associate Director, MBA Relationship Manager, Consumer Products and Retail (job share partner with Kim Niemi)
Wendy Friend joins Babson as a Career Development specialist with an HR partnership background and a passionate commitment to higher education and corporate environments. She brings over 20 years experience coaching students, entrepreneurs and senior executives from a broad range of industries and cultivating relationships with employers to provide real-time career advice and capitalize on employment opportunities.
For the last 8 years Wendy has worked for Keystone Associates as a senior consultant advising clients in transition on all aspects of career management. Prior to Keystone, Wendy held director level positions for local private colleges and international staffing firms where she partnered closely with hiring managers in a variety of industries to develop effective recruitment and talent acquisition strategies. With keen insight, she has a particular strength in guiding clients through solid self-assessments, identifying and researching career options, and establishing highly strategic and well-executed marketing plans for best-fit placement. Wendy holds a Master of Education in Counseling from Northeastern University and a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of Vermont.
Associate Director, MBA Relationship Manager, Financial Services
Margaret Jones brings an especially broad range of staffing and career management experience to Babson, specifically in the corporate accounting and financial services industries. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, she left her native Chicago roots to work as an auditor in the Boston office of Grant Thornton, a top public accounting firm. She later gained recruitment experience at Positions Inc., a boutique staffing firm and subsequently returned to public accounting as Director of Recruiting for Management Consulting at Ernst & Young.
As the Director of the Graduate School of Professional Accounting at Northeastern University, Margaret leveraged her combination of accounting and recruiting background. In this role, she truly enjoyed her interactions with the graduate students and building relationships with organizations. Most recently, Margaret was a Director at Fenway Search Group, a staffing firm specializing in the recruitment and placement of Accounting and Finance professionals.
Senior Associate Director, MBA Relationship Manager, Consulting and Professional Services
Susan has worked at the MBA Center for Career Development since January 2005. She manages the consulting and professional services vertical working with both students and employers and providing career education. She is a specialist in Career Assessment. Susan also has 30+ years of corporate experience, including marketing and management positions with James River Corporation and American Can Company, and as the Principal in Management Ingenuity—a consulting firm that focused on human resource, marketing and productivity issues for entrepreneurial ventures. Before Babson, Susan worked for Right Management Consultants for 11 years most recently, as a Senior Consultant for Right Management Consultants in their Hartford, CT office providing executive coaching, and leading groups and seminars. Over the years, she has worked with corporate employers in NY, CT and MA and managed nine different Career Transition Centers. She also has her own private practice focusing on career exploration, job search & executive coaching, and psychotherapy. She is qualified in the Strong Interest Inventory, Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the Birkman First Look, holds a BBA in Marketing from Pace University, an MBA with honors from the University of Connecticut and is a licensed Psychoanalyst.
Associate Director, MS Programs
Ken Mattsson comes to Babson with 25 years of experience in training, human resources, and career and professional development in the fields of higher education, high tech, healthcare, and publishing. Prior to Babson, Ken worked for over nine years with creative entrepreneurs at the undergraduate, graduate and alumni levels as the Assistant Director of Alumni & Graduate Student Career Services at Emerson College. There, Ken implemented multi-dimensional programming including virtual delivery for alumni and off-campus populations, as well as specialized trainings for international students.
Previous experiences include developing staff career opportunities at MIT’s Department of Organizational and Employee Development, training and consulting with clinicians and healthcare business managers for an electronic medical records implementation at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and editing over 40 textbooks for Heinle & Heinle Publishers. Additionally, Ken has his own career consultancy, Resonare Consulting, since 1996, working with diverse populations across the country. He has also lived in Germany and Taiwan, and speaks German, Mandarin Chinese and Swedish.
Ken received a Bachelors Degree in Linguistics from Hamilton College and a Masters in Adult and Organizational Learning from Suffolk University.
Senior Associate Director and Career Advisor for Working Professionals (Evening and Blended Learning Students)
Cathy Merlo has over 15 years of human resources experience, mostly as a corporate recruiter from several large financial service companies including the Bank of America and Fidelity Investments where she filled a significant number of jobs from entry through executive level in the management consulting, private wealth management, personal investment, finance, operations, sales, human resources, legal, and new business development areas. Cathy was also a career counselor at Keystone Associates where she supported working professionals who suffered a job loss from a number of different industries. In addition, she worked as a career consultant at several schools of higher education including Harvard University, Bentley University, Boston University, and Suffolk University. In 2009, she was a career counselor for Babson’s undergraduates. Cathy holds a bachelor of arts in music from Dickinson College, a certificate of human resource administration from Bentley University, and a master of public administration from Suffolk University.
Senior Associate Director, MBA Relationship Manager, Consumer Products & Retail (job share partner with Wendy Friend)
Kim has worked at the MBA Center for Career Development since 2008. Prior to Babson, Kim worked at The Boston Beer Company where she played an integral role in the firm’s risk management and internal control assessment over financial reporting. Prior to The Boston Beer Company, Kim worked at Raytheon in the Internal Audit Department and then went on to drive the company’s Internal Control Excellence program at their largest business unit in Tewksbury, MA. While at Raytheon, Kim also completed two years in the Financial Leadership Development Program, which included rotations through budgeting, financial analysis, program control, and corporate governance, as well as an assignment in their Australia offices. Throughout her corporate experience, Kim has been heavily involved in campus recruiting activities and has served as a mentor and source of information for students looking to explore various career paths. Kim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Boston College and an MBA from Babson College.
Associate Director, MBA Relationship Manager, Healthcare and Life Sciences
Jay Robie joins Babson with extensive Relationship Management expertise with a broad range of companies from start-ups to Fortune 500 with multiple industries including Life Sciences/Healthcare and non-profits to name a few. Jay was formerly the VP of Business Development for the Corporate and Education channels of the SmartTrack™ Toolkit online programs and Director of Student Services & Admissions programs for College Planning Strategies. Jay has worked as an Admissions Counselor for Beaver Country Day School, St. Lawrence University, and in the Graduate Admissions office at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. These experiences involved recruiting prospective students, interviewing candidates, building external industry relationships and providing recommendations to the admissions committee.
Additionally, Jay spent four years placing students into paid internships as the Director of the Corporate Internship Program at Notre Dame High School—a member of the Cristo Rey Network. He helped to develop the curriculum for the summer training program to better prepare students for their job assignments and recruited companies throughout the Merrimack Valley region to become strategic corporate partners. Jay has also consulted for Road to College as an Admissions Consultant, helping college bound families with the admissions process including: essay brainstorming and editing, mock interviewing, and the strategic selection and analysis of colleges for the application process.
Jay is a volunteer coach in soccer, lacrosse and football, and actively participates in various fundraising efforts for all three sports.
Senior Associate Director, MBA Relationship Manager, Technology and Energy
Donna Sosnowski has led and set the strategic direction of Human Resources, as Senior Vice President of HR, in diverse large and small corporate environments. Her career spans more than two decades and includes work with Fortune 500 companies and start-up companies across a broad spectrum of industries. Donna’s extensive experience includes publicly and privately held organizations in consumer products and services, manufacturing, environmental consulting, technology, financial services, hospitality and consulting.
Donna has coached and directed senior management teams in creating dynamic, agile, collaborative, performance oriented cultures. She has successfully facilitated organization redesign, continuous improvement; turn around, as well as due diligence, mergers, acquisitions and company divestitures. Her consulting practice focuses on Human Resources, Career Management and Coaching, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Management Training and Career Transition. Donna is an MBTI certified practitioner and 360 feedback coach. Donna has a unique ensemble of skills as a strategic business partner, coach, teacher, negotiator and catalyst for change.
Donna holds a BS degree and MS degree from the State University of New York, in education and administration, with Human Resources certification from Bryant University. In addition to her corporate and consulting roles, she has served on the faculty of Stonehill College, teaching courses in Human Resources and served as a Career Consultant at Northeastern University and University of Connecticut.
Joan Whalen arrives to Babson with over twenty years of client services experience working in the corporate, retail and wholesale travel industry (planning high-end safaris to Africa). Most recently she joins us from Harvard Business School Executive Education as a program coordinator as well as experience at First Church in Boston and The Dover Church. She has strong administrative, project management and organizational skills as well as extensive international experience, having lived and worked in South Africa, Bangladesh and the U.S.
Joan received a Bachelor of Education from Johannesburg College of Education, a MA in Cultural Relations from Lesley University, and a Master of Philosophy in HIV/AIDS Management in the Workplace from Stellenbosch University.
Executives in Residence
Executive in Residence
George Lee brings over 30 years of experience in technology research and management leadership to the MBA Center for Career Development. He has a strong background in new materials research for the chemicals and electronics industry that has been coupled with extensive experience in new product and business development. In addition to these capabilities, he has led initiatives in intellectual property management, value chain analysis and strategies, and team development activities. He is a working consultant to Boston area firms, providing assistance in the area of commercialization of advanced technology research ideas. George specializes in helping working professionals, particularly those with a science or technology background, develop career transition strategies. George holds a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Williams College and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Colorado.
Executive in Residence
Ron Lemke has over 35 years of experience as a marketing and operating executive in consumer products, packaging and office technology companies. He is currently an Operating Partner and advisor to a Private Equity firm focused on acquiring middle market companies, and a working consultant in various industries. Most recently, he was the CEO of Power Container, Inc., a socially responsible venture funded specialty packaging start-up. His early experience includes senior level operating and marketing roles with Fujitsu Limited and Dixie Consumer Brands. Ron serves as an advisor to students seeking career transition strategies in private equity, start-ups, and consumer and industrial products marketing and operations. Ron has a BBA in management from the University of Wisconsin and a MBA from Pace University.
Executive in Residence
Keith Ryan is the President and Founder of Geneous Advisors, a search firm where he leads the Biomedical and Healthcare practice. Keith’s professional experience encompasses several years of direct research coupled with over fifteen years of recruitment experience in the Life Sciences sector. Prior to founding Geneous, he was President and VP, Life Sciences at a leading national recruitment firm.
Throughout his career as a search executive, he has developed a deep knowledge of key industry dynamics, talent acquisition challenges and a consultative recruitment process that has produced consistent results for his clients.
As a highly respected industry leader, he is regularly sought after to offer perspective and insight to executives in the venture capital, and academic life sciences sectors. Keith currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Lurie Center – LADDERS, a Mass General Hospital-based, interdisciplinary team of physicians that develop and implement treatments for neurological disorders.