Washington, D.C. Employer Site Visits Show Students Unique Opportunities in Nation's Capital
The Fleishman Center proudly engaged in its second year of the Washington, D.C. Employer Site Visit Program during the mid-semester break this past March 4-7, 2018. The program was launched after the success of the New York City Employer Site Visits program, held annually in January. The unique location of Washington, D.C. allowed the 24 student attendees to learn more about local companies and jobs in a variety of industries.
On Monday, March 5, the D.C. Site Visits kicked off with a visit to MWWPR, a public relations firm based in D.C. that specializes in government affairs.
According to Paul Deamer, Senior Assistant Director of Employer and Alumni Outreach, this year's addition of an alumni networking event was a tremendous success, because it allowed students to talk more informally about what it is like to live and work in D.C., and it gave alumni a chance to share why they love it so much.
"This is a great opportunity to learn why D.C. is a great place to live and work, as well as a top destination for graduate school," Deamer said. "Students will be able to connect with a growing base of Binghamton alumni that are all eager to help future alumni."
For Joseph Trapasso, a senior majoring in psychology, the destination of these visits was an important aspect, as he was interested in pursuing a career in the government or international relations — a field that he wouldn't have been able to explore in New York.
"I was most excited about the State Department visit. I thought it was cool to hear about how to begin a career in that exciting field," Trapasso said.
Andrew Vaccaro '15, a Binghamton alumnus who works at the U.S. Department of State, said he was honored to have hosted the visit for the past two years, and wanted to provide information that would have benefited him if he was still in their shoes.
During the visit, Vaccaro offered students an overview of federal government opportunities and the federal hiring process, provided insight into graduate school and continuing their education, and answered their questions about living, working, and succeeding in Washington, D.C.
"The D.C. Site Visits are an opportunity to learn more about yourself and what type of field you might wish to work in," Vaccaro said. "I would highly recommend attending it next year if you can."
Trapasso said he was also glad he went on the D.C. visits because of the lessons he learned from alumni like Vaccaro.
"The best aspect of the experience was hearing the alumni tell stories about how they began their careers after graduating from Binghamton," Trapasso said. "And it was awesome to see that even the most successful ones came from humble beginnings."
Deamer said that students are not as familiar with DC as they are with New York City, so the visits are more of a cultural learning experience on top of the industry and employer experience.
"It's an eye opening experience for the students to see that DC is not just for government and political careers," he said. "They are booming with consulting, marketing, engineering, sports, entertainment, and non-profit opportunities."
Kierra D. Winston, a graduate student in the Master's of Social Work program, said that the D.C. Employer Site Visits were eye-opening for her.
"Before the trip, I honestly lacked knowledge about the job market or culture that exists in Washington D.C. for young professionals," Winston said. "I think this program provides great insight on the different opportunities in non-profit, private, and government sectors that individuals can not only learn about through company websites."