The Four Year Plan for Career Success

By David Tsui

As an underclassman, determining what you want to major in is difficult enough, let alone choosing your desired career after you graduate. In addition, there are other distractions that pry freshmen away from focusing on their futures, such as getting used to the new environment in college, adjusting to the college workload, making new friends, and participating in social activities. It is great to enjoy the social aspects of college, but students should keep in mind what they might want to do after they graduate. After all, the job market is getting more and more competitive every year, and as a result many students start their career planning as soon as their freshmen year.

In their freshmen year, students should try to obtain any type of work experience, strive for a strong G.P.A., and attend on campus recruiting events hosted by corporations to explore the possible careers they might be interested in. Obtaining a decent G.P.A. and getting work experience should be the student’s primary goal. Without strong grades, opportunities will be limited for the student. Work experience is a great way for young adults to enter the “real world” and apply the skills they learned in school to their jobs. In today’s world, it is crucial to obtain work experience before graduation because of fierce competition.

After their freshmen year, sophomores and juniors should further their career development by joining professional organizations related to their career interests, look for internships relevant to their majors, and attend networking events. The benefits of joining a professional organization are to help students take on leadership positions that will enhance their communication and teamwork skills and to build a network within and outside of the organization. With an internship, students will get the opportunity to see if their major is the right fit for them and if they are willing to continue pursuing that career path. Lastly, attending recruiting events will let peers see the corporate culture and job opportunities a company has to offer. In addition, these events allow students to network and keep in contact with the company’s representatives such as recruiters and other employees; these connections could be crucial leverage for senior year.

When senior year arrives, it’s time to put all that hard work to the test! Even though it seems that all the necessary pieces are in place, there are other equally qualified candidates gunning for the same position as you. This is where one develops a unique and interesting yet genuine story for their interviews to differentiate themselves from the other candidates. The story can be derived from one’s internship experiences, networking events, student life participation, or other relevant experiences. Sometimes people prefer to continue their education, so they might opt for graduate school. Mid-junior year to senior year would be a great time to start prepping for standardized exams or attending target schools’ information sessions.

In the end, it is better to start your career development early than to procrastinate until the last minute. Some students fall into this trap and many end up regretting not being proactive in their professional development earlier. The consequences can range from delaying their graduation date, to changing their majors, to being confused about career interests and goals after college. So don’t delay. Start working on your career development today!


Missed this year’s CPA Fair? No worries, we have all the details for you right here.

By Arisleydi Garcia. Special contributions from Camille Hall, Adia Tucker, and Ruixiang Wu.

Last Fall, 400 students attended the CPA Fair hosted in the Gym. This year the Fair was hosted in the 14th Floor Conference room since the gym was unavailable. The number of student participants increased to 564 students, with 337 representing the undergraduate population here at Baruch. Only 65% of undergraduate students who attended the Fair were majoring in Accounting. In addition, the number of male and female undergraduate students who attended the Fair was relatively close, with 155 females and 173 males.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what exactly took place at the Fair. The simplest answer: networking, networking, networking. A variety of top firms and midsize firms attended the Fair totaling to a representation of 29 companies.

Many firms brought several representatives to the Fair, allowing students the chance to interact with more than one recruiter per company. Students also had a chance to be photographed for their LinkedIn profile picture. When asked to give feedback on the Fair, a few students stated the following:

  •  “I get to know people in the company I’m interested in. I get to connect with them in a personal level.” – Fahmidha Islam
  •  “It’s very helpful. You get very important information from recruiters. They tell you all about their internships, training programs, what year they want you to start – mostly juniors for the internships. But if you’re young and want more networking experience, you should come to this fair.” – Lishan Li

Recruiters provided anonymous tips on how to network. Here is what they had to say:

  •  “Depending on the company there may be certain guidelines on how to follow up. However, a good way to connect would be to reach out via LinkedIn. Following up makes a huge difference after a career fair.”
  •  “Be yourself! Try not to get to nervous. Bring up different things outside of the norm in small talk discussions. For example, share a little bit about a past experience or how you got to Baruch College.”
  • “Have experience and I don’t mean just work experience. Experience includes a varied educational background.”

Lastly, we also spoke to Dr. Patricia Imbimbo, the Director of The Starr Career Development Center, about her perspective on the Fair. Dr. Imbimbo said:

  • “I would like to commend all the Baruch students in attendance at the CPA Fair on Friday September 27th for their good conduct and manners. They behaved in a mature and professional manner when asked to leave at 2pm to make room for other students.The students waiting in line, sometimes for an hour or more, also remained polite and understanding until they were admitted. It was a testament to the civility of Baruch students and we were all impressed with their behavior.”

All in all, the Fall 2013 CPA Fair was a hugely successful event for Baruch students and recruiters alike. Baruch undergraduates will have another opportunity to network with professionals, gain valuable information, and polish their personal pitches at this week’s Career Day, which will be held on Friday, October 4th from noon to 4:00 in the gymnasium. The recruiters at Career Day will represent a variety of career fields and they will be looking for budding professionals from ALL majors, so get your résumés and your formal business attire ready! The Starr Career Development Center looks forward to hosting another successful job fair on Friday and getting your feedback on the event.

Good luck!

Make the Most of Attending the Career Fairs (CPA – 9/27, Fall Career Day – 10/4)

By: Alina Nesterenko


The fall career fairs are around the corner! The CPA fair will take on place September 27th on the fourteenth floor. Career Day will take place October 4th at the VC gymnasium. What’s the best way to stay calm in what can appear to be an overwhelming environment? Be prepared and be confident! Knowing what to do before, during, and after these events will help you succeed.


Employers at the CPA Fair are seeking out accounting majors, while the Fall Career Day is geared towards all professions and majors. Visit StarrSearch and look under the Events tab to find out which employers will be coming to these fairs. With the information at your disposal ahead of time, you can plan which employers with whom you would like to speak. Not only that, but you can demonstrate your enthusiasm, passion, or curiosity about the company to the recruiter if you have done proper research. Some companies have released information about the positions they are looking to fill. Applying online before the fair is a good idea. You can ask thoughtful questions about the position to show your interest. Remember to bring with you a list of the employers and their summaries because you will not be given a packet when you arrive.


Aside from being knowledgeable, you must look presentable. Your appearance is one of the most important steps in preparing for the fairs because it will be the first impression you will give a recruiter. You should not aim to stand out for your unique choice of attire. The dress code is business professional. In short, wear a dark suit. For some, the term “professional” may include removing eye-catching piercings, cutting long nails, and straying away from flashy jewelry. You should bring at least 20 copies of your most up-to-date resume in a nice business portfolio or a neat folder. Plan according what you will bring with you, so you do not leave your stuff unattended.


Now that your company research and appearance are taken care of, think about your behavior. The first thing you will have to do when it is your turn to speak to the recruiter is shake his or her hand. This means you must practice giving a firm handshake. After, you will likely give your personal pitch. A personal pitch is a short (1-2 minute) summary of yourself, which may include your current major, year, school involvement, and your reasons why you are interested in the company. A good pitch is more thoughtful than just a list of facts the recruiters can read on your resume. It is should be a good segue to mention what you are looking for in a company or a job function. More times than not, this personal pitch will spark a brief conversation between you and the recruiter. The recruiter will give you a better feel for the company’s culture and will answer questions you may have.


Be mindful of the recruiter’s time. If the line behind you is long or you are running out of things to say, you can always reiterate your interest in the company, thank the recruiter, and see whether the recruiter is collecting resumes. For more tips, visit SCDC’s website to view media videos such as How To Tie a Tie, Career Fair Tips, and Don’t Fabricate Your Resume.


It is crucial that you thank the recruiter not only at the conclusion of the dialogue, but also in an email after the event is over. Therefore, do not forget to politely ask for a business card or e-mail and follow up. It will be easier to write the e-mail if you have taken notes throughout the fair on the people with whom you’ve spoke and the things you have discussed. A personalized email, where you refer to something mentioned in a conversation, is always better than a generic thank you.


Whether this is your first or fifth go at the career fair, walk in with an open mind. Visit employers that have shorter lines than some of the bigger names. Not only can you make a new connection and be exposed to a new role, but you can also practice saying personal pitch and thinking on your feet. This can be your warm-up before you speak to your top choices.


The career fairs give students access to new opportunities within many successful firms. It is a chance for them to show recruiters why they are ideal candidates for positions looking to be filled and have meaningful conversations that discuss their future career paths, display interest in the company, and demonstrate their strengths. Be prepared as best as you can be and have fun with it! Be genuine. If you have any questions, the Starr Career Development is here to help. Be sure to check out our workshops such as Job Fair Prep, Resume Rush, and Building Your Brand: The Personal Pitch.


Welcome Back Fellow Students!

By The Starrlights Committee: Jason Ioffe, Yahya Khan, Nadya Semenova, David Tsui, Ruixiang Wu, Camille Hall, Adia Tucker and Ellen Stein

Hello Baruch Students,

Welcome to a new and exciting academic year at Baruch College! We are thrilled that you are continuing your higher education or transitioning to Baruch College for the first time this year. We understand that your primary goal as college students is to establish a strong academic foundation that will lead towards a career.

Peers for Careers, a group of student leaders in the Starr Career Development Center, provides a variety of comprehensive career readiness services. Peers provide resume reviews, cover letter critiques and mock interviews. In addition, Peers write a weekly Career Corner column in the Ticker school newspaper and facilitate a variety of career-related workshops and presentations.

Last fall, we successfully launched our blog, Starrlights: Peers Speak Careers. This blog provides career advice from a student perspective. We are pleased to share that Starrlights won the first-place prize in the 2013 Alva C. Cooper Awards for Best Practices in Career Development from the Metropolitan New York College Career Planning Officers Association.

As Starrlights enters its second year, we are offering an invitation to Baruch students to submit their own stories, interview a fellow student/alum or review a career-related event for our blog. If you are interested in writing a blog post for Starrlights, please contact the Starrlights Blog Team at

To kick off the school year, as a committee, we have listed some tips that you may find helpful in your career endeavors.

  •  Make a positive connection with a professor. He or she can provide you with professional guidance, act as a reference during job and internship searches, and share with you vital information about your careers of interest.
  • Grades matter when it comes to landing internships and jobs. So get off to a good start academically. Practice good study habits and don’t wait until you are really having trouble to seek help. Take initiative to meet with your professor, get tutoring from SAAC (Student Academic Consulting Center), or see consultants in The Writing Center.
  • Talk to your peers. Introduce yourself to the people who sit next to you at classes and make connections. You never know where those relationships might get you. Maybe there is a new Bill Gates or Jamie Dimon among them.
  • As a student this is the perfect time to work on your professional image, public speaking skills and build your support network. Participating in a variety of student life activities will not only enhance your leadership skills; you will also gain a variety of mentors that can help you pursue your future career goals.
  •  Become involved with any of the over 200 clubs and organizations on-campus. These can help strengthen your network and brighten your college experience. Just be careful not to become overwhelmed; extra-curricular activities are great, as long as they do not pull your focus away from academic success and professional development.
  • Choosing a major or a career may be much more overwhelming than you think, especially for First Generation College students. We may be able to get advice from professors, fellow students or a simple Google search. However, there is another way to access our strengths and interests. The Starr Career Development Center specializes in assisting students who need help with choosing a major or career. Come to our Center, talk to our counselors and you get can professional advice. Start early and know yourself better.

The blog committee looks forward to sharing ideas, publicizing events, and inspiring students to reach their full professional and personal potential. Best wishes for a great year!