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Alumni volunteers offer career guidance to students

By : Steve Seepersaud

Jeffrey Altabef '89 speaks to students during their visit to his employer, Credit Suisse in Manhattan. His colleague Larry Goland '80 sits behind him.
More than 100 students met with alumni at their job sites for career talks and tours during the latest round of the New York City Employer Visit program.

The Office of Alumni and Parent Relations and the Career Development Center coordinated the visits, which took place at Bloomberg, Bridal Guide magazine, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Google, JPMorgan Chase, NBC Universal, Newsday, the New York City Teaching Fellows Program, Protiviti, Showtime and Time Inc.

In addition to discussing their jobs and career paths, graduates advised students to network and get internships.

“This program is all about maximizing successful relationships between students, alumni and employers,” said Bill McCarthy, the CDC’s associate director. “Students need to be proactive. It’s never too early to network. It’s a lifelong process.”

Matthew Kirschner ’01, a vice president of global securities services for Goldman Sachs, said a Binghamton graduate already working at the firm gave him valuable advice about interviewing.

“I want to give Binghamton students the same opportunity,” Kirschner said. “When you’re interviewing, you get an extra level of confidence when people give you an idea of what to truly expect. It was a little tougher than they made it out to be.”

Larry Goland ’80, who serves as a director of real estate finance and securitization for Credit Suisse, said the program offers alumni an opportunity to give back to their alma mater and bring young talent into their organizations.

“We have a really good student body,” Goland said. “A lot of our kids have the same credentials as kids at Ivy League schools.”

Gary Foodim ’92, who works for Time Inc., attended a similar program while a graduate student at Georgetown, and was happy to be on the other side of the desk, helping Binghamton students.

“Everybody’s busy, but I’m a lot more predisposed to answer e-mail from anyone from Binghamton,” he said. “The school is a tremendous resource and students need to leverage this.”

Jeffrey Shiff, a junior in the School of Management, transferred to Binghamton because of career development programs such as the job site visits in New York.

“The most important thing I feel I gained was a better view of each firm’s corporate culture,” Shiff said. “It is one thing to [attend] an on-campus information session. However, this does not parallel the importance of seeing the atmosphere of a firm’s office. It gave me a better opportunity to get a feel of what their current employees were like. I feel that the information I gained has better allowed me to focus my career search and prepare me for upcoming interviews.”

The CDC wants to make more alumni and employers available for students in the future. If you know someone who would like to participate, contact McCarthy at 777-2329 or
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Last Updated: 10/14/08