Program Eases Transition from ‘Backpack to Briefcase’

A program sponsored by the Oswego Alumni Association and Career Services Office helps students make the sometimes intimidating transition from college to career. Recruiters, local experts, and Oswego alumni presented workshops to help more than 100 students forge a pathway to success.

Keynote speaker Kevin Sutherland ’05, a member of the Graduates Of the Last Decade Leadership Council, suggested students take every opportunity to network and get their résumé out to as many people as possible, including alumni.

Renee Abstender Marchak ’94

Renee Abstender Marchak ’94, personnel coordinator for Maxim Healthcare Services, shared interviewing advice with students at the Backpack to Briefcase conference last spring.

“We are family, this is it, Oswego!” Sutherland said. Sutherland is the budget coordinator for Tompkins County, where he has worked for three years.

Interviewing is nothing to sweat about as long as you’re prepared, explained personnel coordinator for Maxim Healthcare Services, Renee Abstender Marchak ’94. Marchak said she has an array of experiences with the interview process and applies the knowledge she gained at Oswego when interviewing future employees. “Oswego did so much for me,” Marchak said.

Tim Barnhart ’02

Tim Barnhart ’02 of Northwestern Mutual shared advice about “Financial Management and Surviving after Graduation” during the Backpack to Briefcase conference.

Students stood wall-to-wall to hear Tim Barnhart ’02, a member of the Oswego Alumni Association Board of Directors, explain with honesty and realism about saving money and understanding financial planning following graduation. “As far as the education that you get, and the work ethic I was taught, I wouldn’t take another school over this school,” Barnhart said of Oswego.

Barnhart explained to students how to begin saving money, manage student loans, and still have a comfortable lifestyle after graduation. While attending Oswego, Barnhart interned with Northwestern Mutual, the company where he is now a managing director. He said that without taking the internship with Northwestern Mutual and exploring his career options in college, he would have never found his dream job.

-Brittany Hoffmann ’14

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