Alumni Mocktail Panel: A Reunion To Remember

By Khalid, Khalid, Peer for Career

On a beautiful Thursday evening of March 24th, the STARR Career Development Center welcomed back six of its former Alumni who were part of programs such as Peers for Careers, Rising Starr Sophomore Program (RSSP), and Passport to Partnership (P2P).  This event was possible thanks to the collaboration between awesome SCDC staff counselors and the Alumni Committee. The night was filled with spirited conversation, networking, and chatting with the six panelists who are now successful in their professional careers.

The overall Mocktail Panel was truly inspiring, from hearing the directors speak about the resources of each of the programs to being inspired by the valuable insightful success stories by each of the panelists. Attendees were able to gain and practice networking skills while savoring delicious appetizers and fancy mocktails. As a current Peer for Career, I was personally impressed that a former Alumna like Victoria Rodriguez is still utilizing the very skills she learned as a Peer. Rodriguez explained how Peers for Careers, especially Tier 2, helped her immensely in her professional career as an HR Associate at Johnson & Johnson. Surprisingly, it was not only Rodriguez who has successfully taken advantage of her experiences at STARR; most panelists agreed that participating in STARR’s programs prepared them well for their professional paths.IMG_2011

There are quite a few highlights and takeaways from the event. The one that stood out the most to me was that, no matter what leadership activities or clubs you are participating in, the skills you gain will come in handy sometime in the future. I think this is valuable advice for all students to take greater advantage of the student activities at Baruch and the great resources and programs that the STARR Career Development Center offers.

As the night went on, Alex Ryshina, the moderator, kept the conversation very engaging. Attendees received great insight into how former Alumni reached their professional goals, and what steps and initiatives they took to help them to get there. Afterwards, students had the chance to participate in a Q & A session, where one of the students received valuable tips on how to make the most of her summer internship experience at EY.IMG_2010

The night was indeed wonderful getting to know our successful Baruch Alumni. Before the event transitioned to one-on-one networking, Dr. Ellen Stein give the panelists some beautiful gifts to thank them for their time and their support for aspiring students who want to follow in their footsteps. The event was only two hours, yet full of memories for Alumni and great advice for students.                                                IMG_2009

On Behalf of the Alumni Committee, we would like to thank all the STARR Career Development Center counselors, directors of special programs, staff, and student aides for working tirelessly to put this event together. Also, we would like to extend our thanks to the Baruch Office of Alumni Relations for their support and lovely gifts for our Alumni.

Upcoming Workshops & Events: April 21 – 30, 2015

Please make sure to RSVP on STARR Search to guarantee a seat.


1) CIS Career Panel

April 21, 2015, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

2-125 NVC

What to know which employers are hiring students with a degree in CIS?
Come and network with representatives from:
• BlackRock
• Uncubed
• Credit Suisse
• Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.


2) Researching Companies

April 21, 2015, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

2-190 NVC

Research can mean the difference between knowing enough to apply and knowing enough to actually lock down a job. Come to this workshop and learn about how to improve your research skills.


3) Job Search Boot Camp

April 22, 2015, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

2-190 NVC

Week 3 of a 6 week series:

Seniors and recent alumni (1-3 years postgrad) who are seeking employment may join this weekly group to learn about the most effective job search methods, ask questions, and engage in activities to enhance their skills. Each week covers different aspects of the job search process, so participants are encouraged to attend all or as many sessions as possible.


4) Government and Non Profit Career Panel

April 22, 2015, 4:30 pm – 6:00pm

2-125 NVC

Thinking about a career in government and nonprofit? Great! Learn how you can build a rewarding and financially successful career working in the public sector from professionals who are doing so.


5) Mastering the Job Interview: Basic

April 23, 2015, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

2-190 NVC

How do you prepare a personal pitch? How do you respond to challenging interview questions? What questions should you ask and avoid asking? How do you close the interview? Attend this workshop and learn the steps to follow before, during and after the interview to increase your chances of landing the job you want.


6) Making the Most of Your Internship

April 23, 2015, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

14-230 NVC

In this seminar students will learn important tips on how to make the most of an internship. Many internship opportunities afford the possibility of leading to a full-time position. This of course depends on the company’s needs and most importantly is based on the intern’s performance. Find out about ways to stand out positively in an internship; learn the steps involved in establishing a good rapport with your supervisor; discover what NOT to do when interning; and more!

**Please note this workshop does not help you obtain an internship, it is going to provide tips to help you make the most of an internship once you land one!**
7) Using LinkedIn for Your Job Search

April 27, 2015, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

2-190 NVC

LinkedIn is a powerful tool when you’re job hunting. With 95% of companies using LinkedIn to identify intern and full time candidates, it is essential that you know how to successfully navigate this social media platform. Come to this workshop and learn how to use LinkedIn to identify job and internship postings. We will also share useful tips on how to connect with recruiters, hiring managers, Baruch alumni and industry professionals through LinkedIn.

At the end of the workshop, you have the opportunity to take a professional headshot.


8) Financial Literacy

April 28, 2015, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

2-190 NVC

How financially savvy are you? Do your spending habits allow you to save money and enjoy your college life? This workshopis for students who want to begin creating a stable and successful financial future now. Students will perform exercises to begin constructing a spending plan and choose the best credit card deal. This workshop will teach you the basics of budgeting, utilizing credit wisely, and protecting your identity.


9) Job Search Boot Camp

April 29, 2015, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

2-190 NVC

Week 4 of a 6 week series:

Seniors and recent alumni (1-3 years postgrad) who are seeking employment may join this weekly group to learn about the most effective job search methods, ask questions, and engage in activities to enhance their skills. Each week covers different aspects of the job search process, so participants are encouraged to attend all or as many sessions as possible.


10) Mastering the Job Interview-Advanced

April 29, 2015, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

2-190 NVC

This workshop is designed primarily for juniors and seniors who have attended the basic interviewing workshops and desire more intensive training. It focuses on the second interview or the site interview, the group interview and strategies for success in behavioral type interviews. (Basic Interviewing is not a pre-requisite)


11) What are YOU Worth? Salary Negotiation

April 29, 2015, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

2-190 NVC

Although discussing salary can be a nerve-wracking experience, it is important to understand the value of your experience so you neither get paid too little for your work nor make yourself too expensive as a candidate. Join us as we will share tips on how to review a job offer, information regarding benefits and strategies to negotiate your salary effectively.


11) Arts and Sciences Career Panel

April 30, 2015, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

14-270 NVC

Wondering what you can do with a degree in Liberal Arts? Then join the discussion and hear from professionals who have used their liberal arts background to work in all sectors including corporate and public.


12) Moody’s Corporation and Harlem RBI-From Classroom to Cubicle: Maximizing Your Work Experience

April 30, 2015, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

2-190 NVC

Join this workshop to come and learn the do’s and don’ts of your internship or job after graduation. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how to prepare for a job, sharpen your networking skills, how to get noticed for all the right reasons and get the most out of the start of your professional experiences. We will discuss tips and tricks on how to maximize every opportunity you get in college and thereafter to help you succeed in your career.

Alumni Interview: Cheng (Kevin) Chen

Kevin Chen (2)

By Jubi Gauchan, Peer for Career

On a chilly December evening, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kevin Chen, an alum of Baruch who graduated in June 2013. He majored in Finance and minored in Natural Sciences. As many stars of Baruch are, all through college life, he was heavily involved in various leadership activities and has interned in many different companies. He was also a former Peer for Careers and is currently working at New York Life Investments. Read on to find out more!

1. What year did you graduate? What was your major and minor?

I graduated in June 2013. My major was Finance and I minored in Natural Sciences.

2. Where do you work and what is your current role?

I work in New York Life Investments, which is the investment arm of New York Life Insurance Company. I am currently an Associate in the Strategic Technology Investments Group, which is essentially the corporate venture capital team at NY Life. My team invests in technology start-up companies as well as venture capital funds. We have a mandate of bringing innovative technology companies into NY Life and we introduce their technology to the firm.

3. Could you tell us a little bit about your experience in Baruch? Did you participate in any clubs or organizations?

I had a great time at Baruch. It is a great bang for the buck!

In freshman year I was still debating on whether to focus on pre-med or go into Finance. Then in my sophomore year, I joined TEAM Baruch and then Peers for Careers. At the same time, I started to explore different clubs. I joined Beta Alpha Psi and became an Assistant Treasurer. I was also in the Bio-Med Society. I also started a non-profit on campus called Baruch Operation Smile. We were a student club arm of the non-profit called Operation Smile, where they provide free procedures for children in developing countries born with cleft lips. I was the President and Co-founder. For my sophomore year, I was recruiting members and building out the operations and then mainly focused on developing it further during my junior and senior year. We originally started with 4 members and then by the time I passed on the baton, we had 40 members. Besides that, I was also the Chief Operating Officer for Financiers without Borders.

4. Please name some steps that helped you to launch your first full time job?

The Peers for Careers program got me started with career development and prepped me with all the skills necessary to get my first internship at JP Morgan in the Baruch Extended Finance Internship Program. I was working there through most of my sophomore year. Then, I moved to Bank of America to explore a wealth management internship. After that, I went back to JP Morgan after finding out about an opportunity from fellow Peers: the Inter-year Operations Program, where I worked as a part-time Analyst for the rest of my college life. In between that, for summer during my junior year, I interned at Société Générale in Emerging Markets Trading. After that, I joined the investment management program at New York Life Investments full-time.
In sum, the Peers program combined with the experiences of club life and starting my own club on-campus built a strong foundation for me that helped me obtain all the internships. Then, all the internships built up the right skills that helped me to market myself as a suitable and competent applicant.

5. What are the qualities that are the most valuable for your current position and your company?

The qualities would be the ability to take initiative, being able to work without being given directions, taking ownership of projects, multi-tasking and developing professional skills such as how to interact with people. All these are important especially at work where I meet with entrepreneurs and have to work with different types of people.

6. Could you tell us about the challenges you faced when you first started your full time job?

It was a new team so there was no procedure to follow. In a lot of big companies, there is always a predecessor before you, who would give you the documentation of what to do and describe your day-to-day job duties. However here, we had to help build the process for it from scratch, which was extremely exciting.

Transitioning into full-time was also different. The transition from Intern to Analyst or Associate where you get more responsibilities and you have to think about where you want your career to go were some things I had to deal with.

Initially, I had wanted to be a trader so all the steps I took in college was to prepare for that role. Thus, getting into the venture capital field was not my original intention. However, when I stumbled upon the job, I found it to be very interesting and enjoyable.

7. If you were to give one advice to Baruch students, what would it be?

Be open to opportunities. Never look down upon an opportunity because it is a job that you do not like. You never know what doors might be opened next from there and where it might lead you to. Thus, jump on any opportunities that you find and do not be afraid to do it.

Business Dining Basics

As originally published in the Ticker 11/17,

By Jessica Kweon, Peer for Career

Business dining has become an integral part of the recruiting process with the third or fourth interview usually involving a meal. On Thursday, October 30, Terri Thompson, business journalist and etiquette consultant, shared some excellent tips during the Dining Etiquette workshop hosted by the Starr Career Development Center.

First and foremost, the meal is an interview and the main goal is to receive the job offer, so you should focus on answering questions and making conversation. During the meal, try your best to avoid “chipmunk cheeks” and having a full mouth by consuming small bites. Nevertheless, do not neglect your food either; if you happen to not like what is being served, be mindful and try to stomach a couple bites, unless you have a strong aversion to the dish or for religious reasons you cannot eat the food. Avoid looking fussy about your food as it may turn off the hiring team. Keep in mind that the interviewer is most likely choosing the restaurant, so any dietary restrictions you have should be discussed beforehand. It is your responsibility to check out the menu beforehand and let him or her know about any concerns. Don’t over-complicate what to order; play it safe by ordering any specials or ask for recommendations. Additionally, make a conscious decision to not order alcohol, even if it is offered. After the meal, do not forget to thank the interviewer; send a handwritten letter or email a thank you note within 24-48 hours.

For additional tips, stay tuned for Terri Thompson’s Networking Etiquette Workshop in April!