Event encourages alumni to Hire Binghamton
By Miranda Langrehr '14
The University's Career Development Center and the Alumni Association's D.C. Metro Chapter held an event recently to inform alumni about how they can aid current students in their career development.
About 20 alumni attended "Hire Binghamton" in Arlington, Va., on Oct. 23, to learn about recruiting, internships, externships and various ways to mentor students.
Bill McCarthy, associate director of the Career Development Center, was the featured speaker and said CDC offers alumni a number of ways to connect with students. Erin Jennings, CDC internship advisor, informed alumni about how they can create internship opportunities for Binghamton students.
"We work to help alumni with their recruitment needs, and our students eventually become alumni, so it's an upward circular process of bringing the community together to strengthen relationships and help each other," McCarthy said.
Rachel Siditsky '04, co-leader of the D.C. Metro Chapter, says events like "Hire Binghamton" are essential to students developing professional careers after college.
"A lot of Harpur students don't end up doing what they majored in," she says. "To have alumni who've found careers and been successful be involved with helping students through the process — I think that's a great opportunity."
Diane Castiglione '82, a longtime career development volunteer, spoke at the event and emphasized the challenges students face in identifying career opportunities, especially those out of the "mainstream" of major accounting firms and retailers. She said it means a great deal to students to know there is someone who understands their background and interests whom they could contact to ask questions and seek advice.
"Participating in the alumni career network has meant so much to me because I can provide something that was not available to me when I was a student," Castiglione says. "I was the student pestering everyone in the CDC for information about government internships and jobs at a time when the focus was largely on the Big 8 accounting firms. I hope that the students with whom I speak get as much out of our conversations as I do! Washington is all about networks so I challenged everyone to make the Binghamton alumni network in the D.C. area just as strong and vibrant as those of other major universities in the area."
McCarthy said the attendees had a lot of good questions and took the opportunity to network with each other during a dessert reception.
Siditsky explained that the event was driven by D.C.-area alumni, who had been eagerly requesting information about how to help students navigate the job market.
The Washington D.C. alumni chapter re-launched in 2012, and holds regular chapter meetings and events. There are more than 3,000 alumni living in the region and Siditsky believes the area is an untapped well for career opportunities.
"There are quite a few of us in D.C., and probably many current political science majors who might want to get involved in D.C. politics," she said.
McCarthy said alumni want to pay it forward, but also know it's to their advantage to recruit from Binghamton.
"Alumni know this University, that it's a good institution and has qualified, motivated, talented students who can help their organization," he says. "It's always a good strategy to hire smart Binghamton students."
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