Alumni help students through Career Connections

alumni helpsMore than 100 SUNY Oswego students attended the 2006 New York City Career Connections event held at the Fashion Institute of Technology Jan. 3.

The event hosted 40 Oswego alumni from a variety of professions and included a question-and-answer panel as well as the networking portion.

The event was an opportunity for students awaiting their diplomas in May, as well as recent graduates, to network with professionals, get help with their resumes and find out exactly what their chosen profession was like.

“The networking that goes on in New York is constant,” Louis A. Borrelli Jr. ‘77 told the group of 102 Oswego students. “The worst thing you can do is not ask for help.”

Borrelli, chief executive officer of NEP Broadcasting, told students that they were not alone if they felt confused, anxious or just needed more information about a specific career.

“At some point in a person’s life they realize that they went through the same thing as you,” he said.

Joan Cear ‘80, managing director at G.S. Schwartz & Co., advised students to take a chance.

“If you can find something that you like to do, it’s great,” she said. “It’s great to want to get up in the morning.”

Cear, who moved on a whim to work at a radio station in Kansas just prior to graduating, stressed the importance of networking and even admitted that she wished she had paid more attention to the opportunity while in college.

“People make the world go round. Networking makes the world go round,” Zoraida Diaz-Corporan ‘95, vocational services manager for NADAP, told students attending the event.

Graduating with degrees in public justice and Spanish, Diaz-Corporan encouraged students to take chances, take opportunities and get their foot in the door. She added that teachers could be very influential and it was important to use them both inside and outside of the classroom.

“Who I knew got me in the door, but what I knew kept me there,” she said.

Students listened as Bob Garrett ‘83 recommended that they always maintain a positive attitude and always have the drive to succeed. He also stressed the importance of internships and getting involved in clubs and other leadership positions.

“Oswego State is about building yourself as a professional,” Diaz-Corporan added. “Have fun, but life goes by fast, so do the best that you can while you’re there.”

Anchal Mohan ‘05 agreed with Garrett, repeating: “Don’t be afraid to take an internship.”

Mohan explained that many employers don’t even consider someone for hire unless they have completed an internship. At Citibank, where Mohan is management associate, if there is not an internship on a resume it gets thrown away, regardless of the GPA.

Mohan encouraged students to attend mock interviews to learn how to answer questions and “get the mistakes out of the way.” She recommended studying abroad and adding travel opportunities to a resume.

“Operations are going very global,” she said. “There are facilities all over the place.”

As the panel came to an end, SUNY Oswego’s associate director of career services, Gary Morris, gave students a few helpful hints before they met one-on-one with the alumni.

“Don’t sway when you’re talking, don’t chew gum, make the conversation brief, smile and make eye contact, take a business card to follow up and remember—handshakes are important,” he said.

The crowd of students made their way toward tables of professionals. From accounting to public relations, finance to advertising, they lined the walls of the conference room. With pens in hand, alumni faced the crowd, prepared to be showered with questions as students stood in single-file lines in front of them.

“The world is yours,” Diaz-Corporan told the students. “The only limitations you have are the ones you set on yourself.”

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PHOTO CAPTION: Sharing experience—Michael Cassidy ‘98 helps a student with her resume during the New York City Career Connections event held Jan. 3.

(Posted: Jan 26, 2007)