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
SUNY Oswego graduate and Emmy award-winning news anchor Kendis Gibson ’94 shared his insight on life after Oswego for the “Voices of Diversity” program April 19. His visit was part of the Alumni-In-Residence, or A.I.R., program sponsored by the Oswego Alumni Association and supported by The Fund for Oswego. Voices of Diversity promotes awareness of minorities in the media industry and encourages diversity in all aspects of the media.
Students gained insight from Oswego alumni during the third annual Future Oswego Leaders Conference March 8 and 9.
This event, organized by Omicron Delta Kappa and co-sponsored by the Oswego Alumni Association, provided students the opportunity to network with alumni professionals.
Matt Weiller ’84 delivered the keynote address in the Campus Center. Weiller, a foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State, has served as a U.S. diplomat since 1991, working both in Washington and embassies around the world.
A German major and Russian minor at SUNY Oswego, Weiller served as a resident assistant in Funnelle Hall.
“Being a resident assistant is surprisingly similar to working in an embassy,” Weiller said. “You work in close quarters with the same people night and day.”
Jackie Maguire ’13, a dual major in adolescent education and mathematics, said of the conference, “I liked how diverse the speakers were — each one came from different backgrounds.”
Following the luncheon, breakout sessions were hosted by Weiller, Saleem Cheeks ’01, management supervisor of public affairs for Eric Mower & Associates, and Sara Wallace M ’10, executive team member for DestinyUSA.
A political science graduate, Cheeks credits his role as president of the Student Association as a factor that landed him his first job with the New York State Governor’s office.
Wallace spoke of hard work and success at a young age. “It’s not just about getting the job,” Wallace said. “It’s about hitting the ground at 100 percent once you have landed it.”
Wallace studied history and political development as a graduate student at Oswego.
Wallace emphasized setting challenging personal goals, “Don’t settle for anything less; tell yourself, ‘Yes I can, and I will do this.’”
—Tyler J. Edic ’13
Whether through an Oswego Alumni Association Alumni-In-Residence presentation, an Alumni Sharing Knowledge mentorship or events like New York City Career Connections, alumni connections mean opportunities for current students.