Alumni help students explore careers, employers in D.C. Metro
By Steve Seepersaud
Make the most of your midterm break. It's a slightly different messaging point from the University speaking to the success of programs that bring students together with alumni for career development.
Each year, the University goes to New York for a week during winter recess in January to offer employer visits, Metro Connections Night and winter session courses. Because this set of programs – known collectively as Binghamton in the City – has been such a hit, the Alumni Association and Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development have taken the concept to the Washington, D.C. region.
On March 6, five alumni hosted students at their workplaces. At each of these visits, students went on tours, learned about companies and industries, and asked questions. That evening, about 20 students and 40 alumni attended a networking reception at MWWPR in Washington, hosted by Amy Dacey '93 (employer visit at the company pictured above). Alumni represented a range of fields, which gave students a chance to explore different careers all under the same roof.
"As a proud alumna of Binghamton University, I'm looking for ways to get involved with the University, connect with alumni in my area and help to mentor students as they enter the job market," said Dacey, MWWPR executive vice president and head of the company's Washington office. "This was an excellent opportunity to get involved! Students entering the job market have unique challenges and I want to be a resource as someone who has had a long career in politics, advocacy and government work. I truly enjoyed meeting the students and alumni, and welcomed an opportunity to connect with the institution I am so grateful for – Binghamton University!"
"The first employer visits through the Fleishman Center here in D.C. were last spring," said Christina Ritter '99, D.C. Metro Chapter leader. "They were such a success that more visits were scheduled this year and we added the networking reception. It was a wonderful way for students to connect with alumni who have established their careers and homes in the D.C. area. Many of the students asked me about about my journey to D.C., my career path and what it's like to live here."
In the short run, the alumni hope the students came away from these events armed with information to help them stand out in the job market. The future alumni can return home after graduation and know there is a network they can reach out to. Over the long run, programs like this can strengthen the Binghamton network in D.C. Metro, which is home to about 3,200 alumni.
Mark Szymanski '00, director of public relations for Student Veterans of America, also enjoyed that the event enabled him to give a hand up to the next generation.
"Whether you're seeking an internship or starting your career, building your professional network is essential, particularly in a city like D.C., which operates on personal relationships," Szymanski said. "Our student-alumni event was a terrific opportunity for Binghamton students to tap into our networks. Helping position current students into high-quality roles not only benefits them, it strengthens the reputation of the University and those alumni who helped pave the way here in D.C."