“Believe in yourself. There are so many people who did it before you and if they can do it, you can do it.” Carroll Oates ’69, ’82 MBA had these words of advice for the graduates of the class of 2014. Carroll attended Sacred Heart for the first time almost fifty years ago and hopes things are not much different for these recent grads: “We wore suits and ties to class. We tried our best to be professional. My values were formed at Sacred Heart and I hope that Sacred Heart is still teaching values.”
Carroll’s undergraduate education at Sacred Heart University laid the foundation for his future endeavors. “The basics that I learned at SHU have impacted my career. I had to understand the basics to build upon them and progress.” After graduation, Carroll actively served in the military for two and half years. Serving our country is a great source of pride for him and he looks back on this time fondly. “I have traveled to sixty-six countries around the world, many times to many of them. Having military experience gave me a lot of depth and the ability to handle anything that happens.” After returning from overseas, Carroll went into the active reserves, which he served in for over twenty years. “It was all very enlightening and I give a lot of credit to the military.”
Carroll returned to SHU in 1979 to pursue his master’s in business administration. “At the time, I was working at Lycoming Turbine and serving as an active reserve. They offered tuition reimbursement so I enrolled in night classes for three years. My MBA helped me with two things: to advance in my work and to enroll in the Army General Staff College, which I went to on a part time basis.” Carroll believes that gap of time between his two degrees, which he spent overseas and working, was invaluable. “I just talked to a young fellow who was graduating with his bachelor’s degree and immediately going to pursue his master’s. I reflected on this idea and I believe having a break filled with experiences and travel added to me as a person.” Whenever pursued, Caroll stresses the importance of a master’s degree: “It was the right thing for me and it has opened so many doors. It shows people that you are aggressive and motivated.”
Carroll has enjoyed a long, robust career doing program management and machinery sales for Lycoming Turbine, Detroit Diesel Corporation, and Artec Machine Systems: “I’ve done a lot of work with militaries around the world and our own military, as well as some commercial stuff.” Carroll enjoyed the flexibility of working from his home in Florida, while the companies were located in Connecticut. “Your hard work and loyalty is of upmost importance. It shows in the trust people put in you so you don’t have to be sitting there in front of them all of the time. I see my work through.” Following his recent retirement, Carroll and his wife plan to take advantage of their newly found free time. “We are leaving to spend five weeks in Europe and then spend all of July and August on our boat in the Bahamas.” Like the recent Sacred Heart graduates, Carroll is ready for the next chapter of his life.