Alumni Connect - January 2018

Binghamton in the City bolsters students' career development, University's visibility in NYC region

By Steve Seepersaud 

Binghamton in the City

Employer visit at Publicis Media. Photo by Kristin Ulanday

"It's tricky to apply for jobs and internship opportunities that may sound good on paper without knowing about the company or work culture," said Ashley Lau '17. "I think the best way to learn about career opportunities that may sound interesting is by speaking to people who have gone through those experiences. This is where alumni can be a great resource."

Lau knows this from seeing it play out in her own life. As a senior, she attended an employer visit at Morgan Stanley that reaffirmed her interest in working for the company. She was subsequently hired full-time after completing the operations summer analyst program. Lau shared her experience with current Binghamton University students during their visit to Morgan Stanley earlier this month.

This is just one example of the value of Binghamton's alumni network. During the University's winter recess, hundreds of students participated in career development programs in and around New York City.

At each event, students met with successful Binghamton alumni who were eager to answer questions and share their insights about employers and career fields. The investment of time by alumni in employer visits and Metro Connections Night will help students navigate a tough job market and emerge successfully.

Cara Treidel '16, an accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, volunteered to talk with students at Metro Connections Night. She said it was a great way to connect with alumni peers and hear about their experiences post-Binghamton, and it provided a platform to share her journey from Binghamton to PwC.

"I hope the students saw the different paths that they can take with their Binghamton degrees and that all paths are successful in their own ways," Treidel said. "I think it's so important that alumni volunteer at these types of events to excite the students and show what a large network they have gained from attending Binghamton."

Michael Schnall '97, vice president of community engagement initiatives for New York Road Runners, volunteered at Metro Connections Night and hosted an employer visit.

"I [wanted to] demonstrate to students that you can use the skills and abilities you develop as an undergraduate, and continue to develop those skills as you follow your career path, to do amazing things that can change the world," Schnall said. "At New York Road Runners, every day we work to inspire people of all ages and abilities to Run for Life, showcasing how the transformative power of running can change people's lives for the better."

Chris LoGalbo '09, senior vice president at Wolfe Research, co-hosted an employer visit and said he wished he had taken advantage of this program before he graduated. LoGalbo attended law school and secured a job as a commercial litigator, but quickly learned his skills made him better suited for a career in business and finance. Had he taken time as a student to network with alumni, he thinks his transition from law to Wall Street would have been much easier.

"I also fear there are a lot of students out there like me – hard-working with a strong GPA, but underestimating the importance of relationships and networking while in college," LoGalbo said. "Competition is fierce, but the connection between Binghamton students and graduates is undeniable, so it can make a huge difference out here in the field. That said, one thing I've noticed is that employers would rather have the smart, hungry go-getter from a place like Binghamton than someone with an Ivy League education and a chip on their shoulder."

The week of Binghamton in the City activities began with ice skating and an alumni reception at Bryant Park in Manhattan. This event, introduced in 2016, is the week's most popular offering and attracted more than 500 students, alumni, parents and family members. The Harpur College pre-law course "Current Issues in Legal Practice" was, once again, part of Binghamton in the City. Binghamton alumni who are accomplished attorneys serve as the instructors for this class.

Can you help? Learn about the many volunteer opportunities available with your alma mater and get involved starting today.  

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