Profile: Christopher Blodgett

Currently: Customer Service Assistant, Northeast Delta Dental

“Success is the sum of paying attention to detail,” is the quote which hangs behind me and is from Tom Raffio, President and CEO of Northeast Delta Dental. I never would have imagined three years ago I would be working for one of the premier companies, not just in New Hampshire, but in the country. Much of my success can be attributed to the history program and the mentorship of Dr. Cooper.

The program was one of the most rigorous I had been through. While many students might have a book to read in a month or week, students in Dr. Cooper’s program typically would be reading between three and five books a week; often times being asked to compare two seemingly disparate topics in one single-page paper. Many students found this to be too hard or they could not see the value in writing a one page paper. Every other professor was assigning at least two-page papers; Dr. Cooper wanted one page and one page only.

In that one page you had to make sure you had three quotations from the source(s) you had read and how it related to the topic. My first “one pager” was a challenge as we had to compare the Bible to Homer’s Iliad. I must have spent at least an hour on the paper. I had my three quotes, it was all formatted but most of all it was one page. The introduction took up more than half the page; the body was all of maybe two sentences and the closing paragraph could not even be called a paragraph. I turned in my paper with a sense of accomplishment; after all, I had met all the requirements.

Our very next class we had our papers handed back to us and we were all in for a rude awakening. I can still remember thinking to myself, “I have never seen so much red ink before!” After class I went to Dr. Cooper’s office hours and she explained to me the paper was not about meeting requirements, it was about thinking and expressing your thoughts in a succinct manner. That is how I learned about Dr. Cooper’s business background. Her approach to everything is based on this background; how she models the program to how she handles herself in front of her students, it is all business. I learned a valuable lesson; work is not about the “fluff.” “I don’t have time for ‘fluff’ and neither do you,” she would say, “you have to convince me in the shortest amount of time and in the least amount of space as to why you are right.”

That quote stuck with me and over my time under her teaching I would like to think I improved and “cut out the fluff.” I had not really thought about this thought process until I walked into Northeast Delta Dental for my first interview. I knew this was a respected company and only the best were allowed to work there. When I saw Tom’s quote the meaning of those one-page papers really started to make sense. The details and understanding those details and being able to work them into a complex question, while still keeping a grasp of the big picture, was what it was all about. It didn’t and doesn’t matter if you are into history, when you are a part of Dr. Cooper’s program you learn more about life, how to act and how to be a good person. You learn how to pay attention to the details and be successful.”