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Recruiters say they look beyond students’ majors

By : Rachel Coker

Daren Marrom, a sophomore economics and finance major from Queens, right, speaks with alumnus Teddy Chen ’99, a vice president of asset management-operations at Goldman Sachs about an internship during the spring Job and Internship Fair organized by the C

Thousands of students sporting their spiffiest clothes lined up to meet with dozens of employers during last week’s Job and Internship Fair organized by the Career Development Center.

As they did, several themes emerged:
• Employers count on Binghamton to produce well-rounded students who have a passion for their disciplines.
• Students need to think creatively about which employers to target in their job searches.
• Opportunities abound, even for those with less career-oriented majors.

The job fair drew 93 employers, up from 81 last spring, including a dozen nonprofits and 10 government agencies. Roughly 2,500 students participated, said Eileen Bauer-Hagerbaumer, employer relations manager for the CDC.

Jason Rosenberg, director of planning for Bed, Bath & Beyond, was among the recruiters open to applicants from just about any major.

“We want an energetic person. That’s it,” he said. “Someone with communication skills, organizational skills, can get the job done.”

Rosenberg noted that the fast-growing, Long Island-based company has expanded its efforts at Binghamton. The Feb. 14 event was Bed, Bath & Beyond’s second time on campus, he said, adding the company is looking for new employees in buying and planning.

Jaime Sebel, a campus recruiter with Goldman Sachs and 1998 School of Management graduate, led a team of seven Binghamton alumni on hand to provide details about the firm and collect résumés from students.

“There’s a misconception we’re only interested in students from the School of Management,” Sebel said. “One of the main things students have to have is a passion for our industry. We are open to students of all backgrounds.”

Susan Kuller ’84, a vice president in Information Technology with Goldman Sachs, noted that the company’s technology division alone employs more than 5,000 people. Since the firm mostly creates its own applications, there are great opportunities for computer programmers.

“We do technology to support a business,” Kuller said. “It’s real-life problem solving.”
She and Gisha Babby ’00, who’s also a vice president in Information Technology, noted they look for people who can work quickly and efficiently. Candidates should have teamwork, leadership and analytical skills as well as a strong technical background and an interest in finance.

Jeff Hahn, a human resources representative for Frito-Lay, and Ron McKan, an operations resource manager who earned his master’s from Binghamton, both said they were impressed with the international presence at the job fair as well as the variety of majors represented.

“We want to hire you if you want to work hard,” Hahn said. “I don’t care about your major. If you want to learn the business and work hard, we want you. We deal so much with people. We’ll teach you the rest.”

Bill McCarthy, associate director of the Career Development Center, noted the fair drew a mix of upstate and downstate employers in a wide variety of fields, from Lockheed Martin to Albany Medical Center and from Deutsche Bank to the Peace Corps. Still, he said, students need to remember there are numerous avenues to explore when looking for their first job.

“This is only one tool in the job-search process,” he said. “It’s like advertising. You don’t just put out one commercial.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08