Success Story: Piriz Lands Job with Liberty Mutual
Rodrigo Piriz won’t soon forget his spring break. The Keene State College senior occupational safety major from Manchester, New Hampshire, was in Chicago – where he accepted a job with the Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. “It was one of the greatest feelings I ever had,” he said. “All that hard work the past four years paid off.”
Piriz knows all about hardship. Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Piriz and his family came to the United States in search of better medical treatment after his four-and-a-half-year-old sister passed away from a heart condition in their homeland. Heart problems run through the family, and fortunately Piriz and another younger sister survived after both had open-heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. Piriz was determined to honor his sister’s life by making something of his own life.
A four-sport athlete and a decorated member of the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. (NJROTC) at Manchester-West High School, Piriz learned about Keene State from his golf coach, Don Van Uden, a 1970 KSC grad who taught social studies and coached at MWHS for 37 years. “I told him to go to Keene State and be a safety major, and when you graduate you’ll be able to get a job,” he said.
It turned out to be good advice. After a tough first year, Piriz, a first-generation college student, began to excel not only in his occupational safety classes, but also in his Spanish minor. “Rodrigo had a passion for learning and loved the Spanish language and the culture,” said Dr. Stephen Hawes, an associate professor of modern language at Keene State. “He sees the value of having a second language in the workplace.”
Piriz, who serves as secretary for Rho Sigma Kappa, the Safety and Occupational Health Applied Sciences program’s honor society, learned about the job opportunity with Liberty Mutual at the College’s professional development conference. “I was speaking to the regional manager of risk control,” recalls Piriz. “We hit it off. He was interested in me, and I was interested in the company.”
“I think the occupational safety program at Keene State speaks for itself,” said Piriz “I’m sure the people at Liberty Mutual were very impressed with my background.”
“During my interview, the manager said he saw a lot of potential in me and wanted me to know that this wasn’t just a job, but a career. Which was exactly what I was looking for,” said Piriz, who will move out to Illinois and begin work as a risk consultant in June. “I can’t wait to get started.”