The Main Event

CAREER CONVERSATIONS

Alumni who are interested in attending next year’s event should contact Laura Cornwall, assistant director for programs, at 1-800-284-5382 or cornwall@buffalo.edu.

MORE THAN 150 UB alumni and students gathered in the Union League Club in New York City on January 8 to take part in Career Conversations, an annual career networking event cohosted by the UB Alumni Association and the UB Office of Career Services. Representing more than 20 career industries, UB alumni volunteers spoke with students who intend to launch their careers in the metro New York area. Career Conversations taps into the UB Meet-a-Mentor program, which is a group of nearly 400 alumni who volunteer their time and talents to assist students and young alumni in their career searches.

Alumni represented such noteworthy employers as CBS News, Morgan Stanley, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the New York City departments of education, transportation and environmental conservation. A handful of small business owners and self-employed professionals also were present.

The two-hour reception was bustling, as more than 80 students—from first-semester freshmen to graduating seniors—arrived with their résumés and business cards in hand. Aditi Bhardwaj, BA ’07, found the event particularly helpful for recent graduates like herself. “I got a chance to speak with a majority of the people there and collected all their business cards to further keep in touch,” she says. “Not only did the event give a sense of UB community, but it also made me feel great about having been a UB student.”

Many volunteers, including Randi Bernstein, BA ’75, brought multidisciplinary backgrounds to the table. With degrees in speech communication, theater, marketing and library science, Bernstein could talk about her own nontraditional career path as an executive recruiter/consultant. Sophomore Rachel Mann, who is working toward a bachelor’s degree in social sciences interdisciplinary with a concentration in international studies, was surprised to learn about the variety of unique major-career combinations. “My major is so broad, and I didn’t think I would be able to ever find a direction to move in,” she says. “But an alumnus had my major and did something totally different than I expected. It made me feel good about my future knowing how many options I have.”

For alumni in metro New York, Career Conversations provides a wonderful opportunity for alumni to give back to UB and also to connect with students who are beginning their careers. “I’ve done a number of career events, and I’m always impressed with the caliber of the students and their eagerness to succeed, as well as the alumni who come to share their own career paths and knowledge,” says Helene Blieberg, BA ’77, principal of Helene Blieberg Associates, a management and communication consulting firm in New York.

Career Conversations is traditionally held the second week of January to accommodate students who are home during semester break. Alumni who are interested in attending next year’s event should contact Laura Cornwall, assistant director for programs, at 1-800-284-5382 or cornwall@buffalo.edu. More information on the Meet-a-Mentor program is available at www.alumni.buffalo.edu/volunteer.