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Amanda Perri is one of seven members of her family to attend Binghamton University. She will participate in Macy’s Executive Development Program after graduation.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Commencement 2016 profile: Amanda Perri
May 16, 2016Tweet
Amanda Perri’s Binghamton story started when her father, Daniel ’85, and mother, Mary ’85, met on campus the first day as freshmen.
“I grew up visiting Binghamton. I knew it was a great school, and I wanted to carry on the tradition when I chose to go to college here,” said Perri, who is a senior majoring in business administration in the School of Management.
Perri’s family includes seven Bearcats; her parents, her sister and sister’s fiance, and her brother and his wife all graduated from Binghamton. For Perri, a 21-year-old from Goshen, N.Y., the University has become a second home.
“Binghamton has opened my eyes and exposed me to so many new things. But after four years here, I’m still the same person at the core. If anything, Binghamton has just made me a better person and allowed me to work on my strengths,” Perri said.
Perri chose to major in business because she wanted a versatile degree that would allow her to pursue a career she was passionate about.
“There are so many things you can do with an education in business. I’ve never seen my degree as meaning I have to do one thing,” Perri said. “I’m a huge proponent of the mindset you need do work that you love.”
After graduation Perri, who concentrated in leadership and consulting, will participate in Macy’s Executive Development Program. The program is a combination of hands-on experience, education and mentorship designed to prepare participants for future leadership positions.
“Leadership coaching is really important for Macy’s. But I went into the interview completely prepared for an on-the-spot leadership exercise and I already knew what the intended outcomes were because of what I’ve learned at SOM,” Perri said.
Perri is a member of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Scholars Program, an honors program within the School of Management, which has about 140 students who excel in academics, leadership and professionalism.
As internal vice president for the PwC Scholars, Perri helped focus the group’s internal networking and mentoring opportunities.
“The PwC Scholars is concentrating on ensuring every student gets value out of the program,” Perri said. “The program definitely emphasizes that we have our unique strengths, but ultimately, we want to develop the same leadership abilities in each of us.”
Perri has served on the PwC Scholars executive board for two years, during which she developed new criteria for the mentoring component of Management 111, which is a required course for all undergraduate students in SOM.
“The mentor program aims to acclimate the first-year students and expose them to experiential learning opportunities in the school,” Perri said. “We wanted to make the experience more tailored to the freshmen’s needs, so we made improvements that increased the flexibility of the mentor-mentee relationship while giving the freshmen more useful information.”
As a sophomore, Perri was required to complete 10 hours of community service for an upper-level organizational behavior course. She volunteered at an alternative public school for at-risk youths in Apalachin, N.Y.
After her experience volunteering with a class of 9- and 10-year-old children at the West Learning Center, Perri knew she had to find a way to go back.
“I wanted to find a way to see and work with the kids I had met again; that’s how the idea for the Binghamton University Buddies started,” Perri said.
Perri is co-founder and president of the Binghamton University Buddies, which allows students across the University to volunteer at two Broome-Tioga BOCES alternative education sites. Perri said the program’s main goal is to provide the youth with positive adult role models and help the volunteers develop their service-leadership skills.
The Student Association recognized the program as an official Binghamton University club in April 2016.
“The Binghamton University Buddies is testament of what can happen when individuals, like Amanda, live and breathe the idea of collaboration and leaving an impact on their community,” said Sue Jones, MsEd ’10, a special education teacher and work-based learning coordinator for Broome-Tioga BOCES. “Amanda is compassionate and committed, and went above and beyond to make connections with our students.”
Perri said one of her proudest academic accomplishments was consulting with the YWCA of Binghamton on changes to its management practice for a strategic leadership course.
“The course and project were definitely one of the most challenging things I’ve done. I learned so much from working with my team and I expanded my critical-thinking and creativity skills,” Perri said.
The course, taught by Associate Professor Kim Jaussi, requires students to work in teams to advise local nonprofits on unique strategic change issues.
“Amanda is incredibly hardworking and willing to go above and beyond. Her attitude and communication skills and her ability to see the bigger picture in whatever it is that she’s working on is an asset that will carry her on through life,” Jaussi said. “Students like Amanda remind me why I have the best job in the world.”
Perri emphasizes that when you’ve grown up with a strong support system, it’s your duty to help build networks of support for others: “It’s never occurred to me not to give back. I have been so fortunate that I feel like it’s my obligation to do what I can to help other people.”