DeSantis Talks Common Sense
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 21, 2014 03:02
Financial literacy program Common Sense held a conversation Thursday in the Reiss Science Building with Georgetown University Chief Benefits Officer Charles DeSantis, in which he highlighted the importance of considering health, retirement and other benefits when applying for jobs.
DeSantis previously worked in the banking industry before assuming his current position at Georgetown, and has been involved in developing an art immersion program for children living in the Kenyan slum Kibera.
DeSantis called health care a basic benefit.
“The minute you don’t have [health insurance] and something happens, it doesn’t matter how much or how little you make,” he said. He added that it is an epiphany for a lot of people to realize that their insurance co-pay does not actually cover the medical services they require.
DeSantis also discussed the importance of defined contribution retirement plans like 401(k)s or 403(b)s, in which companies match money put in by individuals.
“It’s important to put away. You start doing it once and then you never think about it,” he said of companies that don’t offer retirement plants, “They’re not contributing to your future.”
DeSantis characterized dental insurance as the most non-aggressive and unsupported benefit in the marketplace.
“Really what you’re doing when you’re buying dental care is buying a discount. Discounts are negotiated based on the plan,” he said. He added that benefits like company cars, gym memberships and day care can also make a big different to a person’s financial picture.
DeSantis ended with an emphasis on the importance of considering benefits, not just salary, when evaluating a job offer.
“I hate that we all pursue jobs for money only,” he said. “I really want people to pay attention to what they’re doing.”
Students enjoyed the event.
“He put a very personable spin on benefits that I never really thought of. I will take away from the event that it’s not just all about the pay while you’re at a job; it’s also about the benefits of the job and the accommodations offered to ensure my well-being,” Omorinsola Ajayi (NHS ’16) said.
“I don’t really know much about benefits; like, it’s not a conversation I have much with my parents. I think it’s important that I learn about what I’m entitled to as someone who’s going to be a college graduate,” Queen Adesuyi (COL ’16) said.
Some students were already familiar with the information shared.
“While I knew most of the information that Mr. DeSantis presented, I enjoyed the review because it is all valuable information to keep in mind when in the job search,” Alexandra Buck (COL’14) said. “I also enjoyed his ‘bi-line’ of following your passions, not just the money.”