Volunteer spotlight: Metro Career Night
By Steve Seepersaud
While the alumni speakers at Metro Career Night had different backgrounds and experiences, they easily agreed on one point. To the group of more than 300 students in attendance, they said an individual's passion should guide his or her career choice.
(Pictured: Marcel Bucsescu '03, governance center manager for The Conference Board, at right, speaks with a student)
At the event held Jan. 16, at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, students received career advice and insights from alumni working in a variety of fields. Following a panel discussion on career success tips, more than 80 alumni volunteers were available for one-on-one conversations.
Lynda Markoe '88, an executive vice president for J. Crew Group Inc., told students that curiosity is an important trait and praised liberal arts for its emphasis on exploration and critical thinking.
"You don't want to be the person who punches out, goes home and doesn't think about anything," Markoe said during the panel discussion. "It's important to come back and say 'I wonder what's going on today,' and to be that person who is really committed to what the goals of the organization are."
Tracy Caliendo '97, managing director for Goldman Sachs, was a philosophy, politics and law major and took several courses in the School of Management. She was hired at Goldman Sachs straight out of Binghamton and said the recruiters were impressed that she was interested in financial markets and showed the dedication to pursue two different areas of study. Caliendo told the students that academics has to be job one.
"The first thing we look at is GPA," Caliendo said. "Some students allow themselves a year to get adjusted and that can really hurt in the long run. Employment has become very competitive, and you need to be focused."
Even in a smaller region such as Binghamton, opportunities exist for students to gain experience, said Andrew Goldstein '85, producer for NBC's Today show. He interned at a television station in Binghamton, editing video for nightly newscasts, and was hired for NBC's page program after graduation.
"I got to work in different departments in NBC, and one of the things I wound up doing was working with production managers at the Today show as a production assistant — and I did some writing. In short, that's how I wound up where I am now."
James Wahlin '94 started his career in the defense industry and found that he didn't love what he was doing. He made some job changes and eventually landed at Bloomberg, where he spent eight years before leaving for an opportunity that, he said, would enable him to learn and grow more. Today, he's lead technical services architect at software firm 10gen. He suggested that students get involved in activities, as it will make them well rounded and help with developing soft skills.
"I was heavily involved with crew, and what I got from it was discipline and drive," Wahlin said. "That really helped me in terms of my career and helped me with my studies."
Metro Career Night is co-sponsored by the Alumni Association and Career Development Center.
BE ENGAGED - MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Learn more about how you can make an impact as an alumni volunteer. We have a number of ways you can be involved; we are certain you will find at least one that matches your talents and interests.