Justin Bourgeois '98 is a life-long Vermonter, originally from Swanton. He graduated with a degree in Business from Champlain and went on to begin his career in banking soon after graduation.
"Champlain College was a springboard into the greater Vermont business community, even in those days," he says. "It has, and had, an instant, recognizable name that continues to be respected in the career marketplace."
Justin's first job in the banking world was at TD Banknorth, where he quickly worked his way up to loan assistant, then to credit analyst, and finally to commercial lender. He now works as a Vice President of Commercial Lending at Community National Bank in Montpelier. Justin says that the most enjoyable parts of his job are working with his customers and being able to respond to local business needs.
As Justin expands his local professional network, he notes how "many of my contemporaries attended Champlain." His wife, Anita and his older brother, Sean Bourgeois, '93, also attended Champlain.
Justin started at Champlain not knowing what his professional goals were. He initially chose to attend Champlain's two -year program and planned to move on to another school after receiving his associate's degree. However, the more time he spent at Champlain, the more he realized how much he enjoyed it. Justin was was inspired within the learning environment at Champlain so he decided to stay at Champlain and complete his Bachelor's degree.
Justin fondly remembers his days of eating ramen noodles with friends in Sanders Hall. He felt that, because the dorm was a bit outside of campus, he was able to form stronger bonds with his dorm-mates and is still in contact with many of them.
Justin is also quick to praise Professor David Mona. He describes Professor Mona as an all-around approachable instructor who made something as cardboard as accounting not only palatable, but also interesting. Justin is happy to report that he still uses the lessons he learned in those accounting classes to this day, in both his work and personal life.
Justin additionally cites Professor David Griffiths as another favorite faculty member. Professor Griffiths, who sadly passed away a few years ago, was an instructor who took the time to know his students as people "and not just students." Justin recalls enrolling in a World Religion class simply because Professor Griffiths was the instructor. "And by the end, I found the material eye opening," he says with a smile.
Justin remains committed to supporting Champlain and is excited to watch the college evolve. He has stepped up to participate in the 2K 4 2M Challenge and says that he remains "impressed with Champlain's evolution and the extensive resources that the school offers to the student population."