Volunteer spotlight: Metro NY alumni help students with career development
By Steve Seepersaud
Think back to when you were a college student, getting ready to make the transition from campus to the workplace. Navigating the waters of the job market wasn't easy then, but imagine the difficulty faced by the students of today.
Recent student-alumni career events in metro New York were intended to help Binghamton University students with their searches for jobs and internships. About 20 alumni hosted students at their workplaces during winter recess as part of the Career Development Center's (CDC) and School of Management's employer visit programs. Harpur College alumni hosted students at their workplaces as part of the Liberal Arts to Careers Externship. And, on Jan. 11, the Alumni Association and CDC co-sponsored Metro Career Night at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, an opportunity for nearly 300 students to have informational interviews with about 80 alumni and parent volunteers representing a wide variety of career fields.
(Arthur Laichtman '91, managing director at UBS, at right of photo, talks to a student at Metro Career Night.)
CDC visits took place at Advanced Acoustic Concepts, Crestron Electronics, Ernst & Young, Fox News Channel, Lord & Taylor, NBC Universal and the New York Mets. Alumni hosted SOM students at BlackRock, Deloitte, HSBC, JP Morgan, Marlin & Associates, McGladrey, Morgan Stanley, Madison Square Garden, Nomura, Onex, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Reservoir and Stifel Nicholaus Weisel.
Robert Goldstein '94, managing director at BlackRock, encouraged the visiting group of about 20 students to differentiate themselves by having a stronger work ethic than their peers. He also challenged them, when they eventually enter the workforce, to think about how their job fits into the big picture, instead of focusing simply on getting the work done. Frequently featured in publications such as Fortune magazine, Goldstein is one of the busiest people in the financial services industry, but was more than happy to make time to meet with students.
"This [meeting] is one of the most important things I'll do all day," says Goldstein. "[Today's students] are the future."
Perren Wong '93, managing director for Morgan Stanley, told students the only constant in his industry is change. He would certainly know first-hand, having moved up the company's ladder by changing roles every few years.
"I'm heavily involved on the recruiting side of things," says Wong. "There's not one major we're looking for. The major is not a key indicator of success or even interest in this business. We teach [new graduates] what they need to know to do their jobs."
Danielle Sessa Parillo '97, director of communications for the New York Mets, told students visiting her at Citi Field that a true passion for sports, not just a liking for its sense of being cool, was critical for success. She also says
students should think hard about what they're good at and about how to parlay that into the right opportunity. A long-time baseball fan, she worked her way into a baseball reporting gig at Bloomberg prior to joining the Mets.
"I encourage [students] to talk to people, network, ask questions like 'who else can I speak to?'" Parillo says (at right of photo with Jon Kars '03, Mets marketing manager). "And to always think 'what would this job lead to?'"
Metro Career Night panelists were: Dan Black '94, director, Americas Campus Recruiting, Ernst & Young LLP; Yang Chen '87, executive director, Asian American Bar Association of New York; Vanessa Greaves '04, program manager, SEO Career Program, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity; and Brian Segel '85, partner, New York Life Insurance Company. They advised students to focus on a career path that closely aligns with what they love doing.
"I'm passionate about travel, helping people, giving people their first job," says Black, who started with Ernst & Young as an auditor. "I found my passion after a little bit of the spell of being practical. I think you can manage both. It's a bit of a seesaw."
You don't have to live or work in Metro New York to become involved as a volunteer. From wherever you call home, you can get involved. Visit our website to learn about our many alumni volunteer opportunities.