Wabash Students Get Taste of N.Y. from Alums

by Josh Owens '07

October 18, 2006

Two hours after a 6:00pm scheduled Wednesday evening departure, 12 students were on their way for a whirlwind 48 hours of networking in New York City. The flight was originally scheduled to arrive at LaGuardia airport, but due to the small plane crash on the upper east side of the city earlier that day they were rescheduled to a different airline and a different airport.  About 10:30pm the students arrived in the city and took vans to the Hotel Pennsylvania, which was located right across the street from Madison Square Garden in the heart of midtown Manhattan.

Schroeder Career Center Director Scott Crawford and his Assistant Director Stephanie Hopkins organized the details of the trip, which included visits with many area alumni to talk about their industries, how they moved into their positions, and general advice for moving forward when looking for jobs or internships in the New York area.  Mike Warren in Alumni Affairs also joined the group to New York to be with them as they met with alumni throughout the city.

The group started early Thursday morning with a visit to Vault; a leading producer of resource guides for graduates looking for various industry information and graduate school rankings.  The group met with Melissa Merida and talked about the development of a small start-up into a 90-person operation that has largely become a web-based resource for young graduates. 

After some coffee and bagels and a tour of the very small office, the students headed uptown to visit with alum Jay Allen ’79. Mr. Allen works in Bank of America Securities. Overlooking the busy streets and beautiful Central Park, the group talked with Mr. Allen and three other members of his team about investment banking, the banking industry in general, and expectations recruiters have when interviewing for potential post-graduate positions. 

As an employer that does not recruit on campus, the men talked about the importance of displaying an understanding of the position you are applying for, as well as showing an interest in that particular job and company. They also talked to the importance of "selling" a liberal arts degree. They emphasized that although Wabash students may not have as much technical training as students recruited from undergraduate business schools, they have the reasoning skills and overall intellect to keep up in the most demanding positions available.

The group then took the subway downtown and grabbed some lunch with alums Hunie Kwon and Harsh Sing, both class of 2001 graduates before taking some time to split off into groups and take in some of the sites of the city. Everyone met back up in Times Square later that evening for a New York alumni reception with about 15 New York Wabash men.

The students Friday visited Goldman Sachs and Tom Halverson ’87 to hear many of the same themes hit upon the day before. Mr. Halverson encouraged students to take advantage of the Career Services team and resources available through the office. He also hit upon the importance of internship experience for interviews and doing your research before interviewing for the position.  A knowledge of the industry and the product are expected before entering the interview and, above all, he encouraged students to look around and start the job search early because happiness comes from a passion.

Friday afternoon the students met with Adrian Adams ’04 at Nielsen Media Research/VNU to discuss opportunities in media information research. Mr. Adams, who is finishing a two-year program this month, talked about the diversity of experiences and travel he has enjoyed with the program and encouraged students to look on websites for great opportunities that can build experience and include travel for post graduate plans.

Less than 48 hours after landing in New York, the group returned to Wabash with a much better view of the demands associated with living and working in New York and valuable contacts and information on what to expect and look for in the job and internship search.  Above all, the students took with them a renewed confidence that the Wabash education is great preparation for all the various options they may be looking at after Wabash and the most important step in the process is to take the first step and begin the preparation as early as possible to be most prepared for the job or internship of your choice.

 


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