Networking with Alums in NYC – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Networking with Alums in NYC

Over winter break, HWS students were taken on a crash course in job networking and informational interviewing in New York City where they explored careers in finance as well as in advertising, media and public relations. The events were organized by Joe Ambrosetti, associate director of employer relations at the Salisbury Center for Career Services, and attended by HWS faculty as well.

On Jan. 5,  an Advertising, Media and Public Relations excursion allowed 28 HWS students from all class years to meet with representatives from companies in all sectors, including ABC/Disney/ ESPN, Interpublic Group, Marina Maher Communications, Inc., and Merkley+Partners.  The students who attended reported a powerful experience.

“The trip allowed us to see, firsthand, positions that can be attained with a liberal arts degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges,” says Harald Zurakowski ’12. “It was helpful to speak with alums about the paths they took toward their current positions in advertising.” 

Media Day

Andrew Fosbrook ’10 adds, “We were exposed to each company’s culture, which varied greatly from one firm to the next.  Any chance to network with HWS alums is extremely valuable and this trip proved to me how strong our network truly is.”

From parents such as Brian McMahon P’10, president and CEO of Orion Trading/Interpublic Group, and Don Morrison P’07, executive vice president, managing director and group media director at Universal McCann, to young alums like Leila Higgins ’09, client services coordinator at Orion Trading, the HWS network is vast, deep and ready to help, says Ambrosetti.

On Dec. 21 and 22, nearly two dozen students got a unique look at the inside of the financial industry, visiting Standard and Poor’s,  the New York Stock Exchange, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citadel Securities, Bloomberg, and Brown Brother Harriman & Co. Led by Ambrosetti and followed up with a debriefing from Professors of Economics Patrick McGuire and Jo Beth Mertens, who provided an academic perspective for students after the sessions with various firms, the Wall Street Experience included the advice of seasoned alums and parents, such as Thomas Schmidt ’88, JP Morgan Chase’s managing director, and Gerald Porter P’12, vice president of Fidelity Investments.

Wall Street

“I thought the Wall Street Experience was a wonderful opportunity for me to get a better hold on the operations of the financial system,” says Jerimiah Booream-Phelps ’12.  “Overall it greatly increased my interest and understanding, as well as put a face and voice to the banking system that I’ve been learning so much about both in and out of school.”

Ambrosetti, who networked and coordinated with alums and parents to organize the events, was extremely pleased with the turnout: “We’ve been doing this for several years because students are exposed to all different departments.  It is exciting for me to see internships and jobs emerge from this type of opportunity. It is all to the credit of our alum network.”

Other Advertising, Media and Public Relation Day hosts included: John Baxley ’84, production manager/executive at ABC/Disney “All My Children”; Alex Gellert ’86, partner/managing director at Merkley + Partners; Keith Hughes ‘83, senior vice president  of MMC (Marina Maher Communications); Gary Montanus ’73, senior vice president of sales at American Broadcasting Companies; Katherine Parker-Magyar ’09, Universal McCann ; Adam Polcek ’92, director of ABC Full Circle at ABC National Television; Joseph Maggio ’88, vice president and national sales manager of ABC regional sports and entertainment sales.

Wall Street

Other Wall Street Experience hosts included: Chapin Bates ’81, P’09, managing director of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank; William Brame ’06, trading analyst at J.P. Morgan Chase; Stephen Bridgman P’10, senior vice president of finance at Brown Brothers Harriman; Colby Feane ’06, J.P. Morgan Chase; Brittany Gannon ’07, AVP: Product Manager at Bank of America Corp.; Aileen Gleason ’85, senior vice president of Global Product Solutions at Bank of America Corp.; Carl ‘Eric’ Hedman ‘94, senior director of structured finance ratings at Standard & Poor’s; Georgia Jones ‘04, copy editor at Standard & Poor’s; Jesse Leiter ’09, J.P. Morgan Chase; Patti Norton ’90, vice president of investment advisor services at J.P. Morgan Chase; Trevor Pieri ‘09, analyst at Citadel Securites; James Ramage ’81, Capital Advisory; Eric Stein ’89, managing director at J.P. Morgan and Chase; Craig Stine ’81, managing director and head of financial institutions at Citadel.

“At the end of the day, this programming validates a student’s interest to see if he or she wants to continue to pursue this career path and seek an internship in a particular industry with a specific interest,” Ambrosetti says.