Record alumni turnout for Binghamton in the City week
By Carolyn Bernardo
It was a busy week in the Big Apple for Binghamton students and alumni as they came together for ‘Binghamton in the City,’ a week that offered opportunities for students to connect with alumni working in the Metro New York area. From Jan. 10 through Jan. 13, the Binghamton University Alumni Association provided various opportunities to strengthen and grow new connections through distinct events, with the intention that students and alumni would help one another improve and succeed professionally and personally.
“Binghamton in the City week is an opportunity for alumni, current and admitted students, and their families to paint Metro New York green,” said Courtney Huff, MS ’11, assistant director of alumni engagement.
The week kicked off as the Bearcats bus brought students, alumni, faculty, and staff into the city, allowing even more participants to attend than in previous years. The first networking event was a sold-out night in Manhattan’s Bryant Park. The Binghamton team put up banners and painted the park green, welcoming students, parents, and alumni, providing them with an opportunity to connect and go ice skating.
Students and alumni stayed busy throughout the week, attending site visits – during which students meet with Binghamton alumni working in New York at companies within industries the students are considering for their careers. These visits gave students a feel for each industry, and allowed them to experience a day in the life of someone who was once in their shoes.
Binghamton alumni shared their best advice: keep networking. “Be very curious and think outside the box when it comes to networking and making career connections,” said Matt Lugo ’12. “When students ask me how I got into social media marketing, I tell them I tweeted at the owner of the agency where I wanted to work, and I got the job. After that, I wanted to work at a startup company, so I cold emailed the CEO and after six months of back and forth, I got that job.”
“The greatest piece of advice that I can give students is to network, talk to people, ask questions, and utilize the great resources that Binghamton University has built, because you never really know who you’re going to meet if you aren’t willing to put yourself out there,” said Melissa Frascella ’11.
Binghamton in the City also offered two new affinity events, the Tau Epsilon Phi Happy Hour and a Pipe Dream Mixer, both with substantial turnouts. These gatherings allowed current members to meet and connect with alumni from their respective organizations, giving students and alumni another chance to bond personally and professionally.
The week concluded with Metro Connections Night at the Marriott New York East Side Hotel. Binghamton hosted a parents' reception, parent panel, alumni panel for students and alumni-student reception. This year’s event exceeded previous years, with over 100 alumni in attendance.
As students arrived, they were directed to the Career Secrets Panel, where four Binghamton alumni were ready to share their professional advice. Rose Barre '06, MA '08; Ray Mateo '04; Marla Jo Brickman '87; and Gil A Dickoff '83, MBA '84, motivated and encouraged the attendees.
Brickman told students, “Learn as much as you can from every job you are in. Even if it’s a job you hate, there is always something to learn.”
Dickoff encouraged students to be compassionate. “When I’m interviewing, I’m always looking for an individual who will treat other individuals with trust and respect. We’re looking for people who stand out among their peers,” said Dickoff.
Following the panel, alumni and students connected in person. Students were encouraged to introduce themselves to alumni and ask questions about their industries. When asked, students overwhelmingly agreed that they are more enthusiastic about graduating now and less anxious about what lies ahead.
Sending the Bearcats bus into Manhattan allowed for more faculty and staff involvement in this year’s event. Incorporating new group events gave students and alumni additional opportunities to network and bond. Furthermore, this year’s Metro Connections Night exceeded expected alumni attendance.
“It’s the 600 students, 150 alumni, and 30 faculty and staff members that make Binghamton in the City week a success,” Huff said.
B-CONNECTED with other graduates! B-connected is a secure virtual community only for Binghamton University alumni. Update your personal profile, search for alumni, and submit and read Class Notes.
SHARE YOUR EXPERTISE WITH US! The Alumni Relations Office is asked to recommend alumni who are expert speakers. If you are well-versed in subjects including national security, politics, technology, career networking, environmental studies or etiquette, contact Melinda Holicky, associate director for alumni volunteer engagement. Include your name, class year and a brief biography. Supporting material could include a CV or link to your website.
SHOW YOUR PRIDE! The Binghamton University Bookstore is your one-stop shop for apparel, accessories and home decor goods.