The semester break wasn’t only a time for rest and relaxation. For a number of students at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, it was an opportunity to explore some exciting career options with a virtual trip to New York City.
Coordinated by the Whitman School’s Career Center, three virtual exploration “trips” to New York City were offered to students over a four-day period in mid-January with 65 students participating. A total of 32 visits showcased 33 companies and offered students the opportunity to interact with 108 professionals, the majority of whom were alumni from the Whitman School and Syracuse University. The aim of the experiences was to allow students to see and hear about multiple opportunities within their majors and/or areas of interest, while also having the chance to engage and network with those working in various aspects of the business world.
Business Exploration Experience
Nineteen students participated in the Business Exploration Experience. After a successful launch of the program in January 2021, the Career Center decided to expand from one company representing a variety of disciplines to 10 companies touching on various areas that align with multiple Whitman majors. Students “visited” Bloomberg, IBM, JLL, Macy’s, NBCUniversal, Nutsola!, RSM, Simmer Group, Synchrony and Zenith Wealth during the Business Exploration Experience, as well as took part in an alumni networking event. This year, the Career Center made a targeted effort to include more young alumni – those who graduated between 2019 and 2021 – due to a high request from current students who are apprehensive about being hired and working in a virtual world.
“It was great for students to hear from companies that focused on different areas open to them, especially for those who are still deciding on a major,” says Emily Shaughnessy, undergraduate career advisor. “It helped open their eyes to industries they weren’t aware of, and it assisted others in solidifying their initial major interests, which is one of the goals of this particular program. We had a wonderful combination of corporate partners and a significant number of alumni who participated and engaged in valuable dialogue within the group.”
Whitman On Wall Street
Established more than 15 years ago, Whitman on Wall Street is the longest running career exploration program at the School. This year’s experience had the greatest number of applicants and the most diverse applicant pool in the history of the program. Twenty-two students visited 11 companies, including Balyasny Asset Management, Bank of America, BlackRock, Citi, Deutsche Bank, EY, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Needham & Co., PIMCO and TF Cornerstone. One of the highlights of the program was a visit to Deutsche Bank, where students observed work being done in real time and walked through an actual trade. In addition, 13 alumni participated in a networking event with students, and there was also a panel discussion with alumni representing The Fortress Group at Morgan Stanley and Capital One.
“Students reached out afterwards to say how informative the sessions were and how accommodating the alumni were to questions, follow-up and guidance,” explains Sara Garvey, associate director of corporate relations. “Despite having to move to a virtual experience, students almost felt like they were there.”
Marketing Exploration Experience
The third program was the Marketing Exploration Experience, which drew 24 students who virtually visited 11 companies, including BBDO, Bloomberg, Deloitte Consulting, IPG Health, GroupM, IPSOS, Macy’s, NBCUniversal, Nutsola!, OXO and the Walt Disney Company.
The Walt Disney Company was a new addition this year after the company hired five members of Whitman’s Class of ’21 into marketing roles. Students were eager to learn about ad sales and operations from one of the top companies in the entertainment industry.
“There are so many jobs that marketing management students are prepared to enter upon graduation, but selecting which one can be challenging,” said Alicin Welsh, assistant director of the Whitman Career Center. “Having experts in the field meet with students during this trip gave them the knowledge they need to take the right first step after Whitman.”
According to Kara Primrose, director of the Career Center, the Whitman School hopes to bring back in-person exploration experiences as soon as COVID restrictions allow, possibly even later this spring. Until then, the Career Center continues to ensure that Whitman students have access to an inside look at some amazing companies, as well the ability to benefit from the vast network of alumni.
For more information on Whitman’s exploration trips, contact Primrose at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Specialized Courses Offered Unique Opportunity Over Semester Break
Whitman students also had an opportunity to pick up some specialized information – and 3-credits – over the semester break by registering for one of three intensive courses offered in mid-January. Originally intended to be held in New York City over a four-day period, the courses were instead led virtually over two weeks due to COVID restrictions.
- Contemporary Topics in Financial and Accounting Advisory (ACC 600) was taught by Whitman’s Professor of Accounting Practice Kofi Appiah Okyere and aimed at preparing students to successfully launch their own advisory careers at leading professional firms or update their skills sets in an existing practice.
- Entrepreneurial Deal Making (EEE 624), taught by Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice John Torrens, was designed for seasoned or aspiring managers who are not yet experienced deal makers. Students learned about the spectrum of deals struck by entrepreneurs over the course of a company’s life and the skills they need to strike such deals on a regular basis.
- Digital Marketing (MAR 600), taught by Adjunct Instructor Gokce Sezgin, focused on business growth and keeping the consumer at the center through a keen understanding of the overall customer journey before, during and after the consumption of a product or service. Students learned about lead generation and nurture, owned/paid/earned media management, social media, search engine optimization and marketing automation.
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