First Jobs Today

First Jobs Today

June 2014  |  Spring/Summer 2014

calendarYour earliest professional stories vividly demonstrate the importance of the College’s continuing mission: to provide hardworking students of modest means with an education that enables them to achieve their professional dreams. 

Securing that job or finding a path to it is difficult these days, according to Dr. Patricia Imbimbo, director of the College’s award-winning Starr Career Development Center. Imbimbo sees a changed employment landscape, including fewer opportunities for young professionals to rise through organizational ranks: “That ladder has disappeared. Therefore, the first job out of college is more important than ever,” according to the Starr Center director.

Meet Two 2014 Graduates

Julia Sung (’14) and Jeffrey McClellan (’14) accomplished what’s becoming rarer and rarer: securing an ideal post-graduation job.

_DSC7796_CMYKJulia Sung (left) wondered how she’d ever get her dream job when she graduated from college. Just two years ago, her only work experience had been as a lifeguard and swimming instructor. She hadn’t counted on the serendipity that brought Adjunct Professor Roy Johnson and an internship at NBCUniversal her way.

The then–Baruch College junior had just finished a presentation on damage mitigation/reputation recovery for a class in Communication Studies, her minor. Afterward the professor spoke with Sung about the Olympics and about her intercollegiate competitive swimming career (she’s the winningest female swimmer in Baruch athletics history). Later, when Johnson heard about internships at NBCUniversal (the official broadcaster of the Olympics), he contacted Sung and personally shepherded her resume through the right channels.

The international marketing major impressed the recruiters, accepted an internship, and proceeded to wow the corporation further. NBCUniversal made her an offer knowing she hadn’t completed her degree. Brokenhearted, Sung turned it down, determined to finish her schooling. When NBCUniversal asked a second time—before the start of her final semester—she negotiated to both work and study full time. Sung, a content distribution research assistant, says, “I still feel like this is all too good to be true. I had the chance to do everything I love in college and begin my career in a company I love.”

jeffreyJeffrey McClellan (right) will start as a human capital management (HCM) full-time analyst at Goldman Sachs in July. McClellan realized early—in his freshman year—that he was interested in the financial services industry. With the help of the College’s SEEK Office, the sophomore interviewed with Goldman Sachs and was made an offer to become a 2012 HCM summer analyst. “The feeling was indescribable,” says McClellan, on hearing the news. Post-summer 2012, he was extended an offer to return in 2013.

McClellan cites task management, problem solving, and relationship building as the most indispensable skills he honed during his internships. But he also sees the seeds of professionalism in his first job, at the age of 14, at the Brooklyn Public Library. “I knew very little about job demands,” he recalls. “Let’s just say that I learned quickly.” With expanding responsibilities, he worked part time at the library for more than two years.

“My first job as well as subsequent jobs and experiences helped facilitate my transition from a student to a professional,” says McClellan with a smile. “Now, here I am, ready and eager to write a new chapter, post-graduation, in the journal entitled ‘College Graduate.’”

—Diane Harrigan with photos by Elena Olivo

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