Fairfield, CT - Christopher Connolly, a finance major from Fairfield’s Class of 2020, is among 19 fellows accepted to the first-ever cohort of the Connecticut Governor’s Innovation Fellowship (CTGIF). The CTGIF is an initiative that offers ambitious, high achieving, recent college graduates the opportunity to work at some of the top innovative companies in Connecticut, while developing their careers and networking with a community of fellows.
Last February, Governor Ned Lamont announced the state backed initiative to retain Connecticut’s best talent and most promising graduates, as CTNext worked with colleges and universities in and around the state to recruit applicants for its first year of the CTGIF. The Governor’s Innovation Fellowship team received well over 100 applications for the inaugural cohort.
Connolly will receive a $5,000 Fellowship prize and gain access to mentorship, curated professional development, and a community of similarly driven peers in a fun, growing city. This year’s program is based in Stamford, with plans to expand to other Connecticut cities in upcoming years. Despite the challenges generated by the global pandemic, CTGIF was able to place fellows in jobs at Stamford-based companies such as Curacity, Ellington Management Group, Ernst & Young, McKinsey & Company, Henkel, and Tru Optik.
“I was extremely proud and honored to have been selected for such an amazing opportunity,” said Connolly. “I knew this experience would help me become acclimated to my postgraduate life and help me grow my professional network immensely.”
Connolly is launching his career as an advisory consultant at Ernst & Young in Stamford, Conn. Prior to his new role at E&Y, Connolly interned with FactSet Research Systems in its Global Client Solutions program. While at Fairfield, the Dolan School alumnus was founder and chapter president of the nonprofit “Be The Match On Campus Chapter,” dedicated to helping blood disease patients get needed transplants. He was also the co-president for Fairfield’s Relay for Life fundraiser, and served as a resident assistant.
As a fellow, Connolly will be participating in a variety of workshops, seminars, and other professional events with his peers throughout the year, experiencing all that Stamford has to offer both professionally and socially.
“I am so excited to watch these fellows explore their professional talent and make a difference in Connecticut,” said Wes Bemus, executive director of CTGIF. “These graduates are some of the best resources we have for our economy. They are the first generation of young professionals taking jobs that will lead Connecticut out of the pandemic, and help us build more innovative, cutting-edge companies here in the state.”