Employer visit program helps students build networks, learn corporate culture
By Steve Seepersaud
"If a CEO asks you to lunch, go to lunch. It doesn't matter if you're not hungry or you don't like the food. Go anyway."
That was one of the many bits of advice Lynda Markoe '88 passed along to current students when she hosted them at her workplace during the University's winter recess this month. A lunch meeting with Millard "Mickey" Drexler, the CEO of J. Crew, changed the course of Markoe's career. She was about to leave her human resources job with the Gap and take an offer with Johnson & Johnson. Instead, she went to work for Drexler, and she has been the head of human resources at J. Crew for more than 10 years.
Markoe told a group of 20 students about her career path, and answered questions about jobs and internships within her company and J. Crew's corporate culture.
"We want you to be a thinker and we want you to be curious," Markoe said. "We want people who are going to be, from day one, asked for their opinion and not afraid to share it."
The University's Career Development Center, the School of Management's Office of Career Services and the Watson School's Office of Alumni and Career Connections sponsored similar visits at American Express, Bloomberg, Bluewolf, BNP Paribas, Citi, Deloitte, Digitas, EisnerAmper, EY, Garrison, Google, Grant Thornton, Hatstand, HSBC, ISI Group, JP Morgan, KPMG, Marlin & Assoc., Mattel, McGladrey, Morgan Stanley, Protiviti, PwC, Reservoir Capital, Silver Lane, Societe Generale, Toys R Us and Viacom. Some visits were collaborations with the University at Buffalo.
Jared Kirschenbaum '11 and Paul Yang '06 (pictured) hosted students at global consultant Bluewolf. Yang, director for the company, says he easily remembers being in the same position that today's students are in.
"Our company is the most exciting thing in the business world," Yang told the students. "Keep an open mind as to what's out there. There are a lot of start-ups in the tech world. Broaden your horizons and learn as much as you can."
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