Baruch Alumni Communicates with Business Professionals and South African Youth

By: Kamelia Kilawan

He gripped the rock and pushed his body up to reach the high plane on Table Mountain in South Africa. Noticing two students, he introduced himself and learned they were pursuing their Masters of Business Administration at the school he dreamed of attending.

Andy Chu, Baruch Alumni, on a mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.
Andy Chu, Baruch Alumni, on a mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

“What are the odds?” he thought to himself noting that this trip would shed light on all of the possibilities he could accomplish in his career.

Andy Chu graduated from Baruch College last summer in 2012. He visited Cape Town, South Africa for two weeks after completing eight months at Citigroup as a Financial Analyst.

The idea for Chu’s trip to South Africa came from an inspiration at his workplace to do something “bold and different.” For many students networking seems like an awkward, sometimes challenging task. But for Chu, his foundation as a student leader allowed helped him network with officials at his company—a decision that fueled his desire to help youth in Cape Town.

Though the experience in the Cape Town school proved something that he could utilize the skills he acquired as a student leader in Baruch and apply them to being a volunteer for a class of second graders in a volunteer program called UBelong.

It is rewarding to work with younger people because you see they go along way. I see myself in people,” he said.

Chu related to the altruism of a girl in his class in Cape Town who took the seat of another classmate after she saw it was broken. He said it was a humbling experience to know that another student was willing to offer her seat to help a friend.

He noted that his passion to help youth is tied to his transformation from high school to college. “In high school I was more in the backseat, being a member and being active but never really outspoken or led a team,” he said.

He was motivated to step up to be a leader when he noticed that you could influence others to make a positive difference in the world by taking an active role in a college club. “To see where I went from then to now, it is a crazy transformation and I am just trying to help everyone do the same thing,” he said.

Chu received a full-time offer from Citigroup upon graduation and now works as a Financial Analyst in a three-year program where he plans to spend two years in the Corporate Reporting department and will rotate to another department in his last year.

He majored in Finance and double-minored in English and History. He said that while it is a concern for many students to secure a job after graduation it is important to lay the foundation by having internships. Chu had three internships  with just one related to Finance and was also accepted into the Financial Leadership Program—a competitive SCDC program designed for juniors studying Finance.

FLP was helpful in securing an internship more in line what I wanted to achieve—to secure a job after graduation,” he said.

But in addition to receiving a full-time offer upon graduation Chu was determined to also become a part of Citigroup’s company culture and business community called the Citi Diversity program. Of the groups participating in the program, he decided to join the Citi Asian Heritage Network. After speaking to members on the e-board he volunteered to create a brochure featuring four biographies for an upcoming panel event.

Little did he know one of the panelists would be a source of inspiration for building his career not only in the United States but abroad. Chu remembers how the Citigroup official spoke of his career journey from entering into medical school and later realizing his ambition to work in the business sector.

At the conclusion of the event, Chu was able to follow up with the panelist and speak to him. It also came in handy that Chu knew much of the panelists’ work by doing the write-up of their biographies in the event’s brochure.

After sending a thank you note he was able to meet again with the official one week later for coffee. It was then when he received the advice to consider volunteering abroad to build his experience.

Networking is a skill that Chu values because he noted it is useful especially in a budding career. Through networking he was able to gain the advice from an official at Citigroup. But he pointed out he did take the extra initiative to work on his networking skills during his time as an undergraduate.

As a former student leader of Beta Alpha Psi, Delta Sigma Pi, the Global Students Certificate Program, and Peers for Careers at the Starr Career Development Center, Chu has learned that it is rewarding to hear about the experiences of professionals, but you must also do your own research to learn about how someone was able to progress in his or her career.

“It is sort of like an extra class. You have homework. But the more effort you put into it the more you get out of it,” he said.

Chu said students should take advantage of opportunities to meet panelists especially during events held by clubs on campus. And he noted researching and learning about the professionals that will be there is crucial to building a mentor relationship.

Now he is considering applying for an MBA. His experience meeting two students from the university he has dreamed of attending has showed him that networking opportunities never stop, even at the highest peak of a mountain top in South Africa.“It proved to me that I can make friends with anyone anywhere,” he said.

Though still a fresh college graduate that has embarked on both full-time work and travel abroad, Chu feels the need to achieve more.

Rightfully said, careers never end and continue to evolve as one moves through life.

And Chu plans to continue to learn from both the old and young.

Throughout the arc of his career journey thus far he realized that engaging with other people, whether giving or receiving advice, is something he truly enjoys and he will continue to seek in all future opportunities.


Kamelia is a junior at Baruch studying Journalism and Religious Studies. She is currently a Peer for Career at the Starr Career Development Center and the Editor of Starrlights.


Transfer Student Info Sessions

Welcome, transfer students! Adjusting to Baruch’s rich, unique culture can take time, but a plethora of powerful resources are now available to you. The following info sessions will help ease your transition into Baruch College and guide you towards academic and professional success.

Student Academic Counseling Center (SACC)
February 20, 5 PM – 6 PM · NVC 5-215

Having trouble with classes? Feeling stressed out and tired? There’s nothing wrong with asking for help.

  • Meet the SACC tutors
  • Learn more about tutoring services
  • Get advice and answers

February 21, 3 PM – 4 PM · NVC 5-215

With nearly 200 on-campus organizations, there are countless opportunities to engage your fellow students and make your college career all the more memorable. Learn more about Baruch’s on-campus community from fellow students. Get your questions and concerns answered.

  • Engaging makes the difference
  • Food will be served
  • Meet fellow transfer students

Starr Career Development Center (SCDC)
February 21, 4 PM – 5 PM · NVC 5-215

Learn about how to bridge the gap between coursework and your career. Discover the secrets of landing a good internship.

  • Meet the Starr Advisors
  • Get advice and answers
  • Apply your knowledge

Review of Spring 2013 Internship Fair


By: Kamelia Kilawan

It is 2pm as the onset of blizzard Nemo is closely approaching and Baruch students file into the gymnasium dressed in suits, ties, and skirts—polished with resumes in hand and their personal pitches ready for recruiters.

On Friday, Feb. 8th the Starr Career Development Center held their annual undergraduate internship fair with over 36 companies recruiting in the gymnasium of the Newman Vertical Campus. The event had a turnout of nearly 600 students—more students than last year’s internship fair according to records from the SCDC.  Amidst a pending snowstorm, early dismissals of students from classes, and managers giving their employees the afternoon off—many Baruch students were still lining up for the fair.

“I think the take-away of this event is the unbelievable resilience and determination of your fellow students,” said Deputy Director of the SCDC Dr. Ellen Stein.

Jessica Saavedra, 22, a senior majoring in Computer Information Systems said she was still looking for an internship and decided that she had to come to the fair even though she needed to commute back during the snowstorm to work in a pizzeria in Astoria, Queens.

Unfortunately two of the companies she was hoping to reach did not make it to the fair, she suspected because of the blizzard. But Saavedra said the event was still quite beneficial for her.

“I think that when you talk to them you can actually get the feel for the company,” she said mentioning that at the fair you are able to take notes of the company culture through their recruiters.

In the bustling gymnasium dozens of tables were set up for recruiting managers of companies while groups of students approached them dressed in black and navy suits. But outside the fair was just as busy with staff members from the SCDC giving feedback forms to students on touchscreen iPods while other members of the Center were helping to select business attire for students who came without suit jackets and proper attire.

Franklin Eze, 19, borrowed a suit jacket and tie from the center’s selection of donated business clothes. He said he was not only appreciative to have the “suit-up” service but that it served as a wake-up call for how he should dress if he wants a career in business.

“I can’t go there looking like this,” Eze a transfer student hoping to major in Accounting or Finance said on Friday pointing to his jeans and polo shirt. He noted that it was his first time at a Baruch internship fair and that the dress code of internship fairs at his former community college was much more casual.

Some recruiters noticed how prepared Baruch students were for the fair. Jacqui Howard a recruiting manager for the Municipal Credit Union said she was happy to be a part of Friday’s internship fair because of the preparation and quality of the students’ questions as well as the great turnout.

“They were determined and weren’t going to let anything stop them. I was really surprised because I didn’t expect to see this turnout,” Howard said adding “It was a good day.”

Kathy Demasi, a recruiting manager for Citi and Baruch alumni who majored in Statistics in the 1980s said this internship fair was unlike the ones she remembered as part of her Baruch college experience.

“We used to put our resumes in boxes,” she said explaining that when she attended Baruch nearly thirty years ago recruiters selected the resumes based on students’ listed experiences and usually came to school to meet face-to-face for interviews.

But now she says the internship fair has an advantage for both parties because recruiters get to show enthusiasm for their companies and students get time to speak to the company’s recruiters.

As for the turnout of students at the fair, Demasi said Citi received hundreds of resumes from students who lined up in front of their table. “They know they have to get out there and get a job,” she said adding that she was pleased that the students were “eager to sell themselves and see what is out there.”

Philip Adikimenakis, a junior at Baruch and a volunteer from the Baruch Accounting Society said that he had been printing fliers for the event and arrived at Baruch at 9am to help recruiters set up their tables for the fair.

Adikimenakis said that the bustling fair made sense because the purpose of Baruch is to find a job and be successful.

“I think it truly shows how determined they are despite the blizzard,” he said of his fellow students adding “they saw the opportunity cost and saw this was greater.”

If you missed this one, it is not too late. Mark your calendar for April 12th, for the Spring Career Day. We will keep you updated with more information to come.


Kamelia is a junior at Baruch studying Journalism and Religious Studies. She is currently a Peer for Career at the Starr Career Development Center and the Editor of Starrlights.

Create Your Own Major – Arts & Sciences Ad Hoc

Create Your Own Major

Arts & Sciences AD HOC

Guest Speakers:
Former Ad Hoc Majors

  • Create a major with courses from various disciplines
  • Combine Liberal Arts with Business classes to make yourself not only marketable, but well-rounded
  • Have creative control and name your own major
  • Show employers you have initiative and drive

You must attend one of the following

“How To” Workshops

February 21st, Thursday, 12:45-2:00

April 9th, Tuesday, 5:00-6:15

May 6th, Monday 3:00-4:15

Held in Room 2-190 VC

Dr. Wendy Heyman, Arts and Science Coordinator


Any questions contact: Dr. Wendy Heyman at (646) 312-4681

BARUCHSCDC Businesswomen at Table