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Matt Sullivan: Want to get ahead? Simplest way is ask 'What can I do?'


Matt Sullivan has some simple advice for 20-somethings embarking on their careers and anxious to hit the fast track.

"When you are a new hire, without a world of responsibility, the simplest way to get some is to ask," he said. "I went to executives in other departments and said, 'What can I do?' Sometimes I found myself with more opportunity than I could handle, but it's a great way to stand out. You have to want it, work for it, fight for it. It will reap benefits some day."

The strategy certainly worked for him. At 33, he is the director of business development for Bridgeline Digital in Burlington, Mass., a well-established company focused on website management and e-commerce solutions.

He is currently focused on one of the company's biggest clients, UPS, and the development of a branded website that can be adapted by UPS franchises across the country.

Born in Nashua and raised in Amherst, he's embraced Manchester. He could have moved to the Seacoast when he worked in Portsmouth as senior marketing manager at Direct Capital, and he now works near Boston, both places considered more desirable among young professionals.

"I just love Manchester," he said. "I love how it's growing. There just seems to be this subculture of people who want to make it amazing, whether it's through the Manchester Young Professional Network, some of the startup stuff through Dyn or the abi Innovation Hub, or the growth of the art institute, Manchester is much more of a destination than it was."

Sullivan's nominator for 40 Under Forty honors wrote, "He is a roll-up-your-sleeves and get-the-job-done kind of guy." That's not only apparent in the workplace, but through his volunteer activities as well.

He serves on the Game Day Committee for the High School All-Star Football Game to benefit the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth and as a volunteer at the Manchester Animal Shelter. He loves kids and dogs.

Mentors have been important to Sullivan, and he has already become one himself.

"Bringing all the high school athletes up to tour the facilities at CHaD, giving them a sense of what they were playing for and who they were benefiting, was amazing," he said. "It really hit home, to see the work they do to help children get the medical care they need."

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