Students may think you go straight up the mountain, but sometimes you go around the mountain, or you have to travel backwards in order to move upwards. That has always rung true for me.
With online betting now legal in most states, it’s important to make sure the proper rules and regulations are followed. That’s something Jennifer Aguiar, ’94, knows well.
The Bridgewater State alumna was recently appointed chief compliance officer at DraftKings, a popular online sports betting company.
Her job is to make sure the organization follows all U.S. and international licensing requirements related to daily fantasy sports, sports betting and iGaming.
“It’s an exciting and challenging environment, the speed at which we do things is constantly evolving and changing,” Aguiar said.
Working in risk management wasn’t on her radar when she graduated from Bridgewater State two decades ago. After collecting her degree in management science (with a focus on marketing as well as a math minor) Aguiar started her career in financial services.
She worked her way up to a project manager role, but quickly realized it wasn’t the right match.
“I’m good working on projects, but not project management,” she said.
Soon after the Patriot Act was introduced in 2001, the company she was working at needed someone to join its compliance and risk team. Aguiar signed up and found her calling.
“It’s not really what I planned to do, I just fell into it, but it’s been my passion ever since,” she said.
As a member of the executive and advisory boards of the Ricciardi College of Business, Aguiar shares her career experiences with BSU students, and relates the importance of putting yourself out there and trying new things.
“Sometimes you have to fail or take a step back,” she said. “Students may think you go straight up the mountain, but sometimes you go around the mountain, or you have to travel backwards in order to move upwards. That has always rung true for me.”
Through her engagement with Bridgewater, she makes sure DraftKings participates in the annual BSU to Boston Program, which is cosponsored by Career Services, the Ricciardi College of Business, and University Advancement. Students sign up for a day of networking, where they visit with alumni working in a variety of fields at organizations in the city.
Over the years, Aguiar has met many students through the trip. Through those connections the company has even hired BSU graduates to join its team.
“We’ve actually hired several (students) as a direct result,” she said.
While COVID-19 has temporarily put the annual trip on hold, Aguiar is still setting aside time to reach out and mentor BSU students, helping them find their own career path, using her experiences as a guide.
“Get to know people and don’t burn bridges,” she said. “Take advantage of trainings and opportunities where you can learn, especially if you think you might have an interest in it.”
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