Colin Dunn, class of 2008, is currently pursuing his MBA at The University of Notre Dame. Dunn was a four-time First-Team All-ODAC player at long stick midfielder and was a Third-Team All-American as a junior and senior. His over-time winner in a home victory over Roanoke College in 2008 became an ESPN Top Five Play of the Year, capping an amazing three-goal performance in the game with his long pole. He shares his thoughts on Hampden-Sydney and H-SC Lacrosse and how it helped him succeed in life beyond college.
What are you doing right now in your life?
I am currently in my second semester at The University of Notre Dame pursuing my Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Business Leadership and plan on graduating in May 2014. Prior to my enrollment this past Fall at ND, I was working at the oldest mechanical contracting firm in Washington D.C, Heffron Company, Inc., where I oversaw and managed major construction projects throughout MD, DC, and VA. I split my time between wearing construction boots and dress shoes.
Why did you choose to attend Hampden-Sydney College?
I chose to enroll at H-SC for three reasons:
1) Tradition – you always hear about the various college's tradition and alumni network(s), but I found that the tradition at H-SC is unlike any other College in the United States. I always think of bumper stickers and how best to create/develop your "personal brand." If you see a H-SC bumper sticker, tie, or t-shirt, you have an instant connection with that person and H-SC provides its students various techniques to develop one's brand.
2) Values – H-SC has a value system and has honored their commitment to stand by their beliefs through the Honor System and Brotherhood.
3) Opportunity – H-SC offers a small school feeling with endless opportunities. An H-SC graduate is well grounded and stands out to future employers.
What was your greatest lacrosse memory at H-SC?
Hampden-Sydney Lacrosse offers more than a couple stats in a media guide. It is difficult to answer one specific favorite moment, but it would have to be a toss up between two distinct instances. 1) The summer after my Freshman year I suffered a broken neck and was unable to participate in Fall Ball that year, but my teammates and coaches really pushed me to rebound and we had a great Spring of 2006 going 12-3. 2) My Senior year we were able to knock Roanoke College out of the playoffs with an overtime win. Click here for a YouTube clip of his game-winning goal
What was your greatest memory off the field at H-SC?
My greatest off the field memory was every weekday around 7:00pm when 40 of my closet friends/teammates would gather in the Commons/Hitchin' Post for dinner. Also, we were (and still are!) always welcome to come over to Coach Rostans' house for cookouts. The entire H-SC lacrosse program is one giant family, whether it is a coach, fellow teammate, or some alum that trains for weeks in preparation for the annual Varsity vs. Alumni game.
Did you earn any further degrees after graduating from H-SC?
Currently pursuing MBA at The University of Notre Dame. May 2014 graduation.
What is your current job title and location?
Before returning back to school, I was employed at Heffron Company, Inc where I served as a Project Manager/Business Development and had the opportunity to complete construction projects at places such as The Pentagon, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, NASA, and various schools such as Georgetown University, Catholic University, and Johns Hopkins.
Have H-SC connections helped provide you with opportunities in your career?
Like most sophomore's in college I was looking for a summer internship and had acknowledged that the Hampden-Sydney Lacrosse alumni network was a valuable tool so I decided to pick up the phone and make a call. I had read all about this 4four-time All American and ultimate goal-scoring machine, but had only seen black and white photos of him. I picked up the phone and decided to call John Gibson 82' and (I remember this to the day) said, "Mr. Gibson, this is Colin Dunn and I am…" He saved me my sales pitch and cut me off mid sentence and asked, "When do you want to start?" I worked in Virginia Beach, VA, for the summer directly with John and didn't even have to pay rent as I lived above his garage and stayed with his family.
In today's social media world, I constantly find myself using H-SC to my advantage. I will literally type in "Mechanical construction Washington D.C. Hampden-Sydney" into Google and find the people I have close connections with. No matter what age you are, if someone calls/emails from H-SC you try and find a way to help that person. As fourth generation in a family business, I utilize all of my lessons learned at Hampden-Sydney everyday.
Last week, I walked into the office of the men's lacrosse coach at Notre Dame, Kevin Corrigan, and mentioned I attended Hampden-Sydney College and played for Coach Rostan. After about thirty minutes had passed, I found out he met his wife in Farmville, VA, he knew more about H-SC lacrosse than I did, and introduced me to the entire ND Lacrosse staff and asked me to attend some practices.
How did H-SC lacrosse and academics prepare you for your life and career after college?
H-SC was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. There are literally so many people from the coaches, professors, and teammates that want to see you succeed whether it is on the field, or in the classroom. I believe Hampden-Sydney is the ultimate when it comes to preparation for the real world, as they require you to be a responsible student and overall good guy.
Looking back on my time at H-SC, I learned a lot in the classroom, but the best lesson I took from H-SC is absolutely the relationship building skills and extended family I have surrounded myself with. College is such a great opportunity to build your "personal brand" and Hampden-Sydney was the perfect fit for me. The school/network is constantly growing in such a positive direction and I am proud to be a part of it.