Career Services recently launched Optimal Resume, an online suite with features that allow users to quickly create cover letters, tailor resumes to different jobs, practice interviewing and organize and conduct searches.
Gary Morris ’88, director of the Compass student success center as well as its Career Services unit, said the new software will help SUNY Oswego students and alumni prepare for searching via a multifaceted interface used by more than 600 colleges and universities nationwide. Optimal Resume has a range of job-search tools, from skills assessment to mock interviews.
“Optimal Resume helps users realize their value and what they have to offer,” including credentials they may not have even realized they had, Morris said.
Christina Carnavale ’13, a SUNY Oswego senior majoring in human resource management, agreed.
“The skills assessment portion can help you take any experience, say a job working at Freshens in the Campus Center, and make it highlight the skills you got from that job,” Carnavale said.
Users can tailor resumes to fit the target industry. “The software comes with a range of different resume and cover letter templates that are designed for a certain job,” Carnavale said. “If you are trying to get into a graduate business school, there’s a template for that type of resume.”
Carnavale said she uses the software to prepare resumes for her own job search, as well as to help other students as a Compass Navigator.
“There are so many features to it,” Carnavale said. “Students can really do a lot on their own using this software.”
Other Optimal Resume features include the option of quick feedback anywhere at any time. Online availability makes it easy for students to work on their resumes and submit them for critique.
“Once they’re done with the resume, they can hit the review button and have
it sent to Compass staff for feedback,” Morris said.
The mock-interview toolset enables students and alumni to create a video where they respond to interview questions, as many as 20 per interview. Once the mock interview is complete, students can upload and send the video to Compass staff for feedback.
“With this software, students can do a mock interview anytime, anywhere, and have feedback in a few days,” Morris said. Users also have the option of spoken-only or written interviews.
Alumni benefit from free use
Optimal Resume can help alumni tailor resumes to different jobs, provide interviewing practice, organize and conduct searches and develop a personal brand online.
Morris said the new software will help alumni job-searching via a multifaceted interface used by employers seeking to better screen candidates. Optimal Resume has a range of other job-search tools, among them profile creation, skills assessment and mock interviews.
“It can be accessed for free from anywhere,” Morris said. “SUNY Oswego students and alumni all can have access to our services. If someone had a job interview in Switzerland and wanted some practice with interview questions, they could just upload a video and we could send feedback in 24 to 48 hours.”
Alumni can use the suite to examine the skills they have acquired and identify “what specific skills different jobs require and how they can tailor their resumes to reflect those skills,” Morris said.
Career Services will critique alumni resumes on a time-available basis, he said.
Optimal Resume also offers users the opportunity to create a website with resumes and portfolios of their work.
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.
“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.
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
We call it “serendipity” when dreams come true. Nicole Castro Pursel ’09 says she’s had a brush with that unexplainable good fortune in her career. After completing an internship at Time Warner Sports and earning her degree in journalism, she accepted an administrative assistant position at Wegmans in her hometown of Rochester.
One lucky day, she was asked to help out with the monthly “Wegmans Cooks” segment on Bridge Street, a Syracuse-based morning television show, where Chris Brandolino ’96 is one of the hosts. Pursel says all her experiences and education kicked in once she was suited up and on the set.
“My Oswego experience as an on-air talent for WTOP and my journalism background in gathering and presenting information clearly and accurately really helped.”
Inspired by her experience on Bridge Street, Pursel applied for a transfer from desk to kitchen, and she’s now an administrative cook for the Rochester-based retail grocer, working in the Liverpool store. With the head chef, she oversees food preparation, organizes ordering and helps train food workers.
“I love my job,” she says. “It’s a dream come true.” As for that cooking show of her own. Well, someday, perhaps. But for now, she and her husband, Robert Pursel, a teacher at West Carthage Elementary School, enjoy their Central Square home and reap the benefits of Pursel’s passion for preparing wholesome delicious food.
— Linda Loomis ’90 M ’97
She buys. She sells. She rolls. She rocks. ABC Creative Group account manager/media supervisor by day and Port City Roller Derby’s J-Rock-It by night, Jamie Stack Leszczynski ’04 traces it all back to Oswego, where she fell in love with marketing—and her husband—and now lives in town with her family. Jamie launched her career at Oswego County National Bank, where an internship turned into a job as marketing manager.
“I absolutely loved my time as a student,” she says. “I did everything I could . . .
to build my portfolio from being the sales manager at the Oswegonian to doing as
many internships as possible.”
1) One good marketing tip anyone can use:
Life is like an apple. When you’re green you’re growing. When you’re ripe, you rot. You have to stay fresh all the time!
2) One bad idea everyone should avoid:
Trying to eat Ramen noodles while driving.
3) One good reason to see a roller derby bout:
Women of all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, confronting each other on the rink and having a smile on their faces afterward!
4) One good reason to give back to Oswego:
Many people don’t know this, but when they were students, alumni were donating to the college, and they personally benefited from their donation—whether in the form of lowered tuition, improvements to dorms and classrooms, or updated technology. We all need to pay it forward!
5) Proudest achievement:
I have a ton—my kids, my husband and probably one of my biggest would be my work as co-chair for the Oswego County SAVE chapter (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education). I co-chair a walk on campus every year that draws in more than 500 students and community members. Another thing I was able to cross off my bucket list was establishing a scholarship in my brother’s name.
6) Greatest Oswego moment:
I would have to say the first week of classes and meeting my husband.
7) Toughest Oswego class:
OMG. Psychology 101.
8) Easiest decision:
Staying in Oswego and helping my husband with his business (Dynamic Sound & Security) and raising a
family. We just fell in love with the community.
9) Coolest car accessory:
Sirius radio! Especially with my commute in the morning—oh and a cup holder for my morning Joe!
10) Nicest on-campus place to visit:
Definitely the Campus Center and going to a hockey game!
While in the Peace Corps, Linehan taught eighth and ninth-grade English, established a secure and functioning community preschool and created a Parent-Teacher Association. She also coordinated a pen-pal exchange project with an eighth-grade classroom in Zambia and a school in northern California where students were encouraged to practice their writing skills and exchange cultural perspectives.
She planned and held weekly sessions of Girls Leading Our World (G.L.O.W.) club, an empowerment organization focusing on leadership, confidence and decision making. Linehan wrote and received a grant to fund a weeklong session of Camp G.L.O.W.
Linehan says she found inspiration at Oswego after involving herself with the alternative spring and winter break program through the Office of Service Learning and Community Service.
“I feel like I owe so much of my starting point to these programs at Oswego,” Linehan said.
-Brittany Hoffmann ’14
(100 words) + 10 random questions
A LABORATORY INTERNSHIP WITH CHEMISTRY PROFESSOR KESTAS BENDINSKAS and summer of hands-on experience at W.R. Grace & Co., thanks to the support of W. R. Grace CEO Fred Festa ’81, eventually put Katherine Cook ’06 on the front line of fighting breast cancer.
“The extra attention and opportunities offered at Oswego made me a competitive candidate for graduate school,” said Cook, who pursued her Ph.D. at Wake Forest University.
A postdoctoral research fellow at Georgetown University, Cook aims to make a common form of breast cancer treatment more effective. The disease has touched several members of her family.
“Understanding breast cancer is a personal goal and the reason I went into cancer research.”
1. Hardest part of lab work:
I guess the hardest part of lab work would be staying positive when things don’t work — which in science is quite often. Science can be harsh: Experiments don’t work, manuscripts get rejected and grants don’t get funded.
2. Easiest way to handle it:
Easiest way to handle the negativity is loving what you do. I went into science because I enjoy figuring out problems (and you get to use fun equipment).
3. Least missed part of undergraduate life:
The winters! Safe to say Oswego cured me of my love for snow. I promptly moved south after that!
4. Tiniest particle you’ve ever seen:
I just finished a project where we looked at the effect of chemotherapeutic drugs on mitochondria structure through electron microscopy.
5. Biggest discovery you’ve ever made:
In graduate school I had the opportunity to work on a compound that we were able to translate into clinical trials. It is very rewarding to see your work go on to treat patients!
6. Most impossible science term to spell:
Therapeutic. The E and the U always get switched . . . but that is what spell check is for! And don’t get me started on European journals that use British spelling.
7. Favorite professor?
Dr. Kestas Bendinskas, of course. Jim MacKenzie comes in a close second. I did my internship project working with Kestas and the hands-on lab experience really helped with getting into graduate school. Both professors were very approachable and happy to help you with any problems either lab technical questions or questions with class work. They would have to be the reason I continued on in science.
8. Most memorable Oswego moment:
Bridge Street Run of course! The next day the fountain was always green and filled with soap bubbles!
9. Favorite Oswego nightspot:
Coleman’s. Thursday trivia night and Guinness Burgers were the best!
10. Best place to grab breakfast:
Nothing beats Wade’s for Saturday morning breakfasts!
Matthew Pond ’08 and Kristin Amone ’09 were married in October in Rochester. Alumni in attendance included, from left: Jimmy Lacagnina ’10, Joe Ferrari ’10, Nicole Lafe ’09, Chris Caputo ’09, the bride, the bridegroom, Don Heagle ’09 and Kelley Kowalczyk ’12. Matthew is earning his MBA and currently works for Enterprise Holdings. Kristin recently earned her master’s in school psychology and works as behavioral specialist for Hillside Children’s Center. The couple resides in Rochester.
Deborah Richards ’04 and Leonard Tilton were married Aug. 17 at Fallbrook in Oswego. Alumni in attendance included, from left: Krista Schneider ’09, Heather Merchant ’09, Susan McWilliams Friedrich ’04, Rhonda Searle Payne ’98, Eric Payne ’96, Elaine Trudell ’76, Mark Gastin ’01, Jackie Miller ’03, Jill Maskulinski Darling ’03, Samantha Acevedo ’03, Matthew Finster ’00, ’02; George Young ’03, Jennifer Finster, Leann Donnelly Young ’05 and Chantel Martin Moran ’99. The couple resides in Brewerton, where Deborah works as a graphic designer for CGS. Leonard is sales manager for the consumer electronics division of WYNIT Distribution in Syracuse.
Dan King ’07 and Meghan Ryan ’07 were married Sept. 8 in Wappingers Falls. Alumni in attendance included Erika Squillace Gauthier ’05, Mike Gauthier ’05, Andrew Coates ’07, Sean Michel ’07, Craig Celeste ’07, Jason Comack ’07, Patrick Gariepy ’07, Jamie Lyn Brown ’07, Nicole Truax ’07, Michael Kelly ’08, Addie Velez Lasagna ’07, Brian Kelleher ’07, Justin Finch ’07, Kimberly Hough ’07, Ryan Monahan ’07, Lindsay Nash ’07, Kayla Ryan ’12, Sean Lappin and Andrew Miner ’08. Dan is a resource manager and Meghan is a media buying manager. The couple resides in Hoboken, N.J.
Derek Goodroe ’05 and Danielle Richie ’06 were married June 9 at The Beeches in Rome, N.Y. Alumni in attendance included, first row, from left: Steve Baker ’12, Walter McAteer (Sigma Chi), Lindsey (Gualtieri) Kain ’05, Heather Garcia ’07, Ryan Cady ’05 (Sigma Chi), Bob Little (Sigma Chi), Diana Parise ’06 (Maid of Honor), the bridegroom, the bride, Lisa Cooper-Sykut ’05, Jamie Sykut ’04, Kristen Lovullo ’05 (Alpha Epsilon Phi), Ashley (Babbitt) Cady ’06 (Phi Lambda Phi), Kristi Goodroe Jost ’02, Richard Jost ’02 (Sigma Chi) and Debbie Hochberg. Pictured second row, from left, are: Melissa Trinchini ’05, Robert Scott ’12, Thomas Heavey ’05 (Sigma Chi), Adam Marinelli ’04, Nick Gratch ’07, Shannon Higgins Gratch ’06, Crystal Boomhower Grau ’08, Scott Grau ’05, Stephanie Izzo , Chrissy Cooper ’05, Adam Hoop , Nikki Newidomy ’09, Melissa Vozga Stercho ’05 (Sigma Delta Tau), Debbie Lanzi ’81 and Kelli Griffin ’04 (Phi Sigma Sigma). Pictured third row, from left, are: Martin Beckwith, Dan Harvell (Sigma Chi), Chris Janus ’03 (Sigma Chi), Kristina Lavery ’10, Michael Goodman ’07 (Sigma Chi), Nate Guinn ’04 (Sigma Chi), Adam Simon ’93 and Michael Robinson ’94. Stephanie Buck Molloy ’06 also attended, but is not pictured. Derek is marketing coordinator for Ashley McGraw Architects in Syracuse and Danielle is assistant director of graduate recruitment at Syracuse University. The couple resides in Brewerton.
Jessica Tremblay ’07 and Mat Burridge ’07 were married Aug. 26, 2011. Alumni in attendance included, back row, from left: former Laker men’s basketball coach Kevin Broderick M ’92, Ryan Schupp ’08, Kase Kinney ’08, David Gardner ’08, Jake Constance ’06, Chad Burridge ’12, the bridegroom, Dominick White ’08, Amanda McClaughlin ’05 and Todd Franze ’08. Pictured front row, from left, are: Kelly Mraz ’07, Alaina Hannahs ’08, Lyndsey Marquit ’07, the bride, Nick Perioli ’07, Sally Shuster ’05, Kristin Sterling Myatt ’05, Samantha Driscoll ’08 and former Laker women’s basketball coach Michelle Collins. Jessica teaches fifth grade in the Oswego City School District and Mat teaches sixth grade in the Hannibal School District, where he also serves as varsity basketball coach. The couple resides in Oswego.
Swayzee Grodin ’05 and Brian Young ’07 were married on Dec. 1, 2012, at the Grand Cascades Lodge in Hamburg, N.J. Alumni in attendance included Jedidiah Gardner ’07, Scott Healy ’07 and Yvette Bohman ’04. Swayzee is a senior account executive at an advertising agency and Brian is an IT and network manager for an application development company. The couple recently bought their first house and are living in Jamesburg, N.J.
As BrieAnne Wilson ’10, M ’12 trudged upward, wind and cold gnawed at her face. It was only November, but the weather had surprised her and her friends with snow and temperatures that dipped below freezing.