By Steve Seepersaud
I wish I knew this career field existed before I graduated. Knowing what’s out there could’ve helped me prepare better for life after Binghamton.
This sentiment, in part, is why our alumni volunteer to advise current students on career development. Take Armand Khatri ’09, for example, who recently hosted a group at his workplace − Pinterest New York − as part of Binghamton in the City.
“I'm very thankful for my Binghamton experience and the site visit felt like an opportunity to both give back to the University, and perhaps open the minds of current students to a career path within digital marketing that they may have not considered,” said Khatri, who works in brand partnerships and financial services at Pinterest. He is also co-founder of Tracksuit, which helps emerging media companies partner with established ones.
Khatri was one of about 40 alumni to host students Jan. 7-11, when the Alumni Association and Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development partnered to offer employer visits in the Metro New York region.
Metro Connections Night – held Jan. 8, at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in Manhattan – was the week’s capstone event. More than 400 students turned out to speak with 115 alumni representing a wide variety of career fields.
The week of programming helps showcase some of the vast opportunities available with in the area, and reinforces that a large Binghamton University network can help students find their entry point.
“I remember how hard it was to navigate applying for internships and jobs in journalism, a career that doesn’t have a direct major associated with it at Binghamton,” said Melissa Bykofsky ’11, senior editor at Parents.com, who volunteered at her fourth Metro Connections Night. “I relied on alumni connections I made through Pipe Dream to help me decide what to do after graduation.”
Because the students are heading back to Binghamton for spring semester – instead of going directly into the workforce now – they’re ideally positioned to take advice from alumni and put it into practice.
“I always suggest students create accounts on job boards before they are really looking for a job so they can learn how job listings are written,” Bykofsky said. “If there is a job that sounds interesting and they don't have some of the qualifications the posting asks for, they can go back to Binghamton and learn more. They will know what transferable skills they still need to learn.”
“I hope students came away from the visit with not only a better understanding of the industry, but also a set of questions to ask themselves on what they value and how their values can be integrated into their career,” Khatri said.