8/22/2014 7:35:28 PM
Economics Students Make Connections
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
By Mike Clemens '15
One of the best things about Siena College is its strong sense of community. The Economics department is putting that community to work as a means of increasing student success after graduation.
The department held its second annual Student-Alumni Networking Dinner to help current economics majors understand the many options that are open to them, all while gaining valuable connections to help them succeed in their future careers.
“It’s very important to be able to build a sense of togetherness,” said Economics Students Association President Caroline Bertholf ’15. “It’s great for us to be able to meet people who have traveled on the same path and to learn from them.”
The event included a number of components designed to increase this sense of togetherness. Students and alumni began the evening by conversing in small groups. Then several guest speakers made presentations. Among them was keynote speaker Robin Prunty ’85. She is Standard & Poor’s lead analytical manager for U.S. education and not-for-profit health care.
“I think that it is really important for current students to meet alumni,” said Ashley Provencher Ph.D., assistant professor of economics. “Students are here for four years and as faculty, (we) get to participate in those experiences but I will never understand what it is like to be a Siena student. The unique relationship that exists between a student and an alumnus is powerful.”
“It is great to be able to interact with people who are of a similar mindset,” said Dylan Keyer ’15. “These are the kind of people who you can truly learn a lot from.”
The evening concluded with an informal networking session that allowed the groups to get to know one another better and expand that important community.
“For me it is wonderful to be back and to see how the department has grown,” said Tom Andriola ’93, director of policy and implementation for the New York State Office of the Deputy Secretary of Public Safety. “This is an excellent opportunity for me to meet some talented Siena students and to try and help them however I can.”
“Networking is th most effective way to find a job,” said Siena College Career Center Director Debra Del Belso. “This is such an important night for these students because it can help them to make that essential connection that could get them out there.”
For Siena students on the verge of graduation, a little encouragement from someone who has walked in their shoes can make a big difference.
“I hope that the current students understand the power that they currently hold,” said AmeriCorps VISTA Fellow Jimmy Bulmer ’12. “Right now they have the ability to go wherever they choose to go and to do anything.”
Now that they’re tapped into a network of supportive Siena College graduates, getting there might be easier than they thought.
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