Many grads set to join job market

imageMore than 1,100 SUNY Oswego graduates will prepare to take their next steps after Commencement on Saturday, May 14, in Romney Field House.

Around 960 undergraduates and 170 master’s or advanced-studies candidates are eligible to participate. The morning program, for School of Business and School of Education graduates, will begin at 9 a.m. Ceremonies for the College of Arts and Sciences will start at 1:30 p.m.

“This has been, from our vantage point, an active senior class,” said Bob Casper, director of career services at SUNY Oswego. “We’ve heard a good deal from seniors about job offers.”

Matt Romano will enroll in an NBC page program that launched the careers of the likes of Regis Philbin and Steve Allen. Out of 2,000 applicants, only 40 to 50 enter the program, he said.

Not all of it is glamour. He will look after show guests, serve as an usher and give the NBC studio tour, said Romano, a former Oswego admissions tour guide. But while in the program, the broadcasting major can apply for temporary behind-the-scenes positions and, at the end of the year-long training, earn outplacement work at the network.

Romano interned at NBC’s “Last Call with Carson Daly” and worked since his freshman year at WTOP, the last two years as general manager. “I came here because I knew it was one of the best broadcasting programs in the SUNY system,” Romano said. “There aren’t a lot of schools that give you an opportunity as a freshman. The opportunities were here, so I just followed.”

Attending SUNY Oswego as a mother and a realtor, Veronica Zappala of Oswego scored a bulls-eye by earning a job as a human resource manager for Target Corp. A full-time non-traditional business administration major graduating magna cum laude, she hopes her story can inspire mothers and others interested in returning to school.

“When my daughter graduated from high school in 2001, I decided that it was time for me to try and go back,” Zappala said. “Once I got used to learning again and was able to adjust my life to include studying, I found that I actually enjoyed it.”

Trends show employers increasing hiring 4 to 5 percent, Casper said, with education and accounting among the hottest fields.

Russell Korn will take his dual degrees in adolescent education and mathematics to the front of a classroom in fall. He will teach geometry and mathematics at Millbrook High School in Winchester, Va.

While his coursework and student teaching helped secure the job, Korn said his college years yielded many other benefits. “Some of the friendships I made here at Oswego will last for a lifetime,” he said. “All the supporting professors, cooperating teachers, coaches and peers around me have helped me develop into the person I am today.”

Childhood education majors Jackie Morley and Wayne McKenley Jr., who are engaged, both secured teaching positions at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina. Morley said the positive and supportive atmosphere in her experiences prepared her well.

“Teaching is not just a job, it’s a passion, and I learned that from these experiences,” Morley said. “While studying and learning about education, I had the opportunity to work with very open-minded and creative people. Together we came up with new ways to do things and different ideas to bring into the classroom.”

For more information on SUNY Oswego’s 144th Commencement, visit the Commencement information page.

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PHOTO CAPTION: A new page—Matt Romano, ready to earn his broadcasting degree at SUNY Oswego’s May Commencement, pauses one more time in the WTOP television studio in Hewitt Union. After graduation, Romano will join a prestigious NBC page training program that has started the careers of Regis Philbin, Steve Allen and others both in front of and behind the cameras. Romano has worked at WTOP, the college’s television station, since his freshman year, serving as general manager since he was a junior.

(Posted: Apr 29, 2005)