Shawn O’Brien ’86

Hometown: Fremont, NH
Degrees: BS Exercise Science, PSC 1986.  Master’s Degree Strategic Studies, Army War College (Carlisle PA) 2010
Class Year: 1986

Current or previous employer and a brief professional summary:

I have worked in Professional Sales for over 20 years, with the past 16 years in the Pharmaceutical Sales Industry.  My second career/profession is serving as an officer in the NH Army National Guard.  I started this career when I enrolled in ROTC in my second year at Plymouth and was commissioned  a 2nd Lieutenant when I graduated from PSC in May 1986.

 Why did you choose Plymouth State?

The student to teacher ratio was a significant reason. The facilities and campus were a large part of my decision based on the degree I pursued at Plymouth.

How did your Plymouth State education prepare you for your career?

The professors and staff that I worked with had a large influence on the decisions I made upon entered the work force and starting my career in the military.

Please describe your community service or hobbies. How do you spend your “free” time?

I am very active in the NH National Guard based on my position and responsibility.  My wife and I also serve at our local church.  My free time is spent playing on several men’s ice hockey leagues in NH and MA.  My wife and I along with our two teenage daughters spend time at our weekend home near Province Lake.

What inspired you to serve on the PSUAA Board of Directors?

In the military I spend a significant amount of time mentoring junior officers on their career.  The experience and vision from both careers in the sales area and military service have been a benefit to me and my family.  I feel I can help some of the students that are looking at what they may want to do post-graduation from PSU.

What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the PSUAA Board of Directors?

I am very interested in the area of helping students find opportunity to work and build careers.  I am excited at the development of career services program that is now offered at PSU.  I feel my time would be well spent helping the administration grow this exciting program.

Why is it important for alumni to stay connected with Plymouth State?

PSU has done a great job at looking at the future and has developed strategic plans for the future.  The benefits to networking and meeting other PSU Alumni is critical to advancing your own career but also provides the positive feeling of giving back to the institution so others can benefit in the future development of PSU.

Favorite book, movie, or TV Show?

I enjoy reading books on military leaders and leadership principles. One example would be Primal Leadership “Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence”. The Pursuit of Happyness, with Will Smith tops my movie list, and Shark Tank is must-see TV for me.