Virtual Career Experiential Learning Trips Lead to Networking and Career Connections
Syracuse University's Martin J. Whitman School of Management Career Center's annual January experiential learning trip to New York City looked very different this year. Instead of cabs and conference rooms, the students used laptops and Zoom to experience NYC Career Week 2021, held virtually over four days. This year's program gave 76 students interested in marketing, finance and retail the chance to interact with alumni and corporate partners at leading brands and financial institutions. A group of Whitman's MBA and M.S. students also attended an Alumni Networking Event and Panel.
New to the itinerary this year was a Business Exploration Experience hosted by Syracuse University alumni at Unilever. Though the networking night — a favorite part of the trip every year — was virtual, the students enjoyed an evening spent in chat rooms making career connections with 40 alumni representing the three majors.
A group of 20 sophomores and juniors interested in marketing management participated in Whitman's virtual Marketing Career Exploration Trip to learn about different career opportunities in this dynamic field. The students were hosted by FCB Health, GroupM, Horizon Media, IPSOS, NBCU, Showtime and Warner Media's HBO.
At each company, students had an opportunity to hear from industry experts about the broad career paths that can be pursued with a marketing degree and a day in the life of those roles.
Another 28 students participated in the Whitman on Wall Street Trip, which featured virtual visits with Balyasny Asset Management, Bank of America, BlackRock, Citi, EY, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Needham & Co. and PIMCO.
The trip kicked off with an alumni panel, which provided a deep dive into different finance roles and advice to help students during the upcoming company visits. Throughout the week, many alumni and corporate partners shared their personal internship experiences, current responsibilities and tips for job searches.
During the virtual Retail Exploration Trip, 11 students were able to engage with alumni and corporate partners from Bath & Body Works, Bloomingdale's, Burlington Stores, Coach, Macy's, Michael Kors, PVH (Tommy Hilfiger/Calvin Klein) and Ross Stores.
During the company visits, many alumni and corporate partners shared insight about ways students can stand out during an internship or job interview. A customized resume, strong written and verbal communication skills, a passion for the work and willingness to learn were emphasized by the hosts, as was networking with alumni at the company.
Bringing Networking Virtual
Feedback from the participating students and companies suggests that switching to a virtual exploration learning experience this year was a success. Though the hope is that January 2022 will allow for an in-person NYC Career Week, the value of alumni and corporate partners' shared perspectives with Whitman students cannot be overstated — whether face-to-face or through a screen.
The Whitman Career Center is planning to host more virtual experiential learning programs this semester. Alumni and corporate partners who would like to learn more or express an interest in participating should contact Sara Garvey, associate director of corporate relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kara Primrose, director of career services, at email@example.com.
NYC Career Week