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In the Field

Paths to Success

Alumni find career satisfaction in diverse places.

Peter C. K. Fong ’80

Aloha: As a partner in the Honolulu firm of Fong & Fong, he “assists others by both preventing problems and resolving ones that do occur.” Giving Back: He’s president and chair of the Palolo Chinese Home, a senior care facility, and board chair of the Maryknoll School, where he’s busy fundraising for a performing arts program and facility. On the Bench: He has served as a per diem judge in the Hawaii Family Court since 1989. “It permits me to still have an active legal practice and provides a great avenue for me to help others resolve their problems.” Advice: “You will receive huge rewards when focusing on using your legal abilities to help others, rather than just focusing on making money.”

Maribeth Petrizzi ’90

Consumers Come First: She joined the FTC in 1990, has served in the Antitrust Division, and is now assistant director of the Compliance Division for the Bureau of Competition. “While I’ve had cases that are front-page news, many more have a discrete impact. In every case, our goal is to protect consumers.” Find Your Voice: “One of the greatest lessons I have learned is don’t worry about sounding like someone else or doing something exactly how someone else does it. As a manager, I encourage colleagues to share their perspectives however it works best for them. People feel respected and more confident when they are heard, especially when they are given the opportunity to be true to themselves and can present in their own voice.”

Bryan Nickels ’01

Can You Hear Me Now?: He was recently appointed chief administrative hearing officer for the newly created State Office of Administrative Hearings in Boise, Idaho. Up and Running: The agency’s goal is to centralize and standardize contested court hearings, mediations, and arbitrations involving state agencies. “My biggest challenge is rapidly communicating the mission of our agency to the public and state agencies to make this transition as smooth as possible.” Answering the Call: He savored his years as a partner and founding member of Scanlan, Griffiths, Aldridge & Nickels, but the time was right for a change. “I started out as a public defender, and after twenty years in private practice, the call to service pulled me to this opportunity.”

Nicole Karlebach ’09

Doing the Rights Thing: As global head of business and human rights at Verizon, her challenge is translating human rights concepts into actionable steps for employees. “To do this work, I need to understand both human rights law and policy, as well as the business, including products, services, operations, and strategy. I have to speak both languages and translate in both directions.” Ripple Effect: There is exponential growth in the number of human rights jobs in corporations across the globe, but she says opportunities to make a difference are everywhere. “Even if you don’t have human rights in your title, there are ways to partner with teams and individuals focused on this work and to make it part of your daily practice.”