Oswego students ready to join workforce

student directorMany Oswego students taking part in Saturday’s Commencement ceremonies will trade their caps and gowns for jobs after leaving Golden Romney Fieldhouse.

Surveys say the graduates enter an expanding job market. The National Association of Colleges and Employers found employers expecting to hire 14 percent more new college graduates than last year.

“We have seen an upturn on the level of recruiting on campus and in the number of companies making offers to students,” said Bob Casper, director of career services at SUNY Oswego.

Theatre major Ryan Sprague will take his show on the road, joining the touring troupe of the National Theatre for Arts and Education. The organization provides school performances of classic works that help teach literature, history, science and language.

Sprague received the offer—and three others—when he and some classmates auditioned for theatre companies at a conference in Boston. He credits classes, performances, guest artists and audition workshops at Oswego. “Because of the audition workshops, I know what to look for and how to avoid the pitfalls of auditioning,” he said. “We’ve also had an opportunity to perform for all types of audiences.”

Central New Yorkers will see another graduate, Kevin Torres, on their television screens as a reporter for Syracuse’s WSYR NewsChannel 9. He received his start at campus TV station WTOP, took internship opportunities and later earned a part-time job at WWNY TV7 in Watertown.

“It’s not very often that a student gets hired into such a position while in college, but through hard work I pulled it off,” he said of his WWNY work, for which he won two Associated Press awards and a Syracuse Press Club honor.

Bonnie Beck will explore opportunities behind the cameras with an internship at MTV, where she will work on the MTV Video Music Awards. She hopes her range of responsibilities will lead to a full-time job with the network.

Beck is happy for the flexibility to change to broadcasting when she discovered her passion for it. “The professors, friends, classmates and experiences I have had here have shaped the person I am today and prepared me to take this huge step in my life,” she said.

Even before her graduation this month, Jenna Kain and her husband opened Kain Photography in downtown Oswego. It combines her art major and business minor with what she has learned through experiences like starting the women’s club hockey team.

She said internships helped frame her future work. “I gained valuable skills that cannot be taught in the classroom,” Kain said. “The most important thing I learned was how to be self-sufficient and responsible. I gained the necessary skills to transfer what I learned in college to the business world.”

Lawrence Nadel plans to move to the front of the classroom, teaching either English language arts or theatre for the New York City Department of Education. The adolescence education and English major will also teach theatre courses in a professional drama studio part time.

“As an Oswego student, I was given many leadership opportunities,” Nadel said. “There were many members on the faculty and staff who also served as mentors, allowing my willingness to grow as an individual.”

Finance major Matthew Collins was ranked fifth out of Northwestern Financial Insurance Co.‘s more than 1,200 interns. He will look to continue this success as he trains to begin a full-time career with Northwestern immediately after graduation.

“SUNY Oswego is a great business school, but I feel that nothing can prepare someone for the real world like that of a high-quality internship,” Collins said. “Anyone can do a basic back office internship, but how many people can develop their own business while in school?”

Jeffrey Storch will take his combined bachelor’s and MBA in accounting to PricewaterhoureCoopers in Syracuse. He’ll start working in the tax department and training with the firm this summer. He also hopes to take his certified public accountant exam.

Storch credited the “outstanding faculty” and networking opportunities of the college, as well as his honors classes. “The Honors Program helped me learn to discuss topics,” Storch said. “That was very helpful in all the interviews with people.”

The morning ceremony in Golden Romney Field House, for graduates of SUNY Oswego’s School of Business and School of Education, will begin at 9 a.m. and feature prominent lawyer Errol B. Taylor as guest speaker. Christian Mensah, a legal officer with the United Nations, will address the afternoon College of Arts and Sciences ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Both speakers are SUNY Oswego graduates who will receive honorary degrees.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Next stage—Senior theatre major Ryan Sprague (center) is one of many SUNY Oswego May graduates with a job lined up after Commencement on May 20. Sprague will join the touring troupe for the National Theatre for Arts and Education, performing at schools across the country. He is shown directing Jennifer Caruana and Ryan Powers in “Some Do It Naturally,” a one-act play he wrote that recently appeared in Tyler Hall’s lab theatre.

(Posted: May 03, 2006)