Opening Doors

Zhewei Sebastian Zheng '15 and Marie Gray '14 were among the current students attending the New York event.

Zhewei Sebastian Zheng '15 and Marie Gray '14 were among the current students attending the New York event.

Students and alumni gather in New York for first Dickinson Career Connections event

by Katie Henwood ’15

Dickinsonians past and present gathered in New York City this winter break to discuss career paths, job opportunities and more at the first ever Career Connections event. Despite the whipping winds and chilling cold, 55 students aiming to expand their professional network attended the event, which was coordinated by the Career Center and the Office of Alumni & Parent Engagement.

“This event allowed me to see that my liberal-arts career really does open up lots of opportunities for the creative fields I have been looking into,” said Annabelle Gould ’14, a women’s & gender studies major who hopes to use her new connections to start her journey toward a career in New York City.

Playing off the successes of past networking events, Career Connections included many professional fields, ranging from nonprofit organizations to financial companies. The variety enabled students of all majors to benefit from the unique and eclectic group of alumni who attended.

Experiencing the city

The event began in the afternoon and offered 10 site visits for students to choose from, including Google, Hearst Magazines, Deutsche Bank, Archer Gray Productions and the New York Peace Institute. Alumni at each site engaged students in conversations, led tours of offices and held question-and-answer sessions.

“My biggest piece of advice for the students was to be persistent,” said Laura Ives Wilson '11, integrated marketing manager for Town & Country magazine. “Reach out to everyone and anyone to connect, converse and build your own personal network—and find that one person, a strong mentor, who can act as your sounding board throughout your career search.”

Later that evening, more than 100 alumni met the students at the Yale Club to connect over drinks and appetizers.

“I was delighted with the success of the whole day and immensely grateful to the alumni who made it possible,” said Phil Jones, dean of career development and assistant vice president for student development. “The feedback was so positive from both sides. Alumni told me how impressed they were with the professionalism of the students, their thoughtful questions and their sheer energy; and students told me how valuable it was to meet alumni, learn about different career paths and develop more self-confidence as a result of these conversations.”

Earning a spot 

Students went through a highly selective process to earn a spot on the trip, and applicants were asked to express their interest in the program through a well-articulated essay. Once accepted, students took full advantage of everything the event had to offer.

“I thought this event was fantastic, where we had a rare opportunity to connect with alumni who are working in a variety of fields,” said biology major Connor Dierk ’14.

Giving back 

The alumni at the event were eager to share their experience and knowledge with the next round of Dickinson graduates, and the Yale Club buzzed with conversation as business cards fluttered throughout the room.

“As a total proponent of Career Connections, I was thrilled to host Dickinson students to learn about publishing and marketing,” said Wilson. “I was beyond impressed by the students who participated in the evening reception, and I hope to see this signature Dickinson program continue to grow. These events are imperative to the continued growth of Dickinson’s network."

CCNY event

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Published Jan. 29, 2014