Experiences Abound Over Break – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Experiences Abound Over Break

In the one month that constituted winter break, more than 160 students met with more than 140 alums to network and learn firsthand about fields and specific careers in which they were interested. Traveling to the epicenters of diverse industries, New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., as well as meeting one-on-one with alums near their hometowns, students gained knowledge of work spaces, job requirements, responsibilities and rewards from alums who have been living their dreams. In all, they touched ground at 72 sites across the country to spend winter break networking and preparing for far more than just their New Year’s resolutions.

More than 40 students took part in the fifth annual Media and Public Relations/Advertising Days in New York City, including visits to Universal McCann; Ruder Finn; Rosetta; Innovation Interactive; ABC News; and B Productions.

This year marked the first time students interested in pursuing careers in economics had the opportunity over winter break to explore all that Washington, D.C. has to offer during Economics Day, led by Professor of Economics Tom Drennen.

“We have so many economics alums doing amazing things in D.C. This was a great opportunity for students to see how they can use their economics degrees,” said Drennen.

Still other students traveled to D.C. to take part in the Day on the Hill program, now in its sixth year. Associate Professor of Political Science DeWayne Lucas and Professor of Political Science Iva Deutchman accompanied students on the three-day trip.

“Students got a real sense of the different ways of getting to D.C. and being a part of the federal decision-making process,” said Lucas. “Whether they were interested in political science, history, economics, I think students saw the value of an HWS education and network in finding a role and place around the Hill.”

Among the locations visited were the Democratic and Republican National Committees, Ogilvy Public relations, the Heritage Foundation, the Center for American Progress and the Washington Post.

“Every road block is an opportunity,” said Ken Halsband ’88, one of more than a dozen alums representing journalists, screenwriters, producers and directors who met with students, presented career discussions and offered them behind-the-scenes looks at the media and film industry in Los Angeles. A record number of students visited Sony Pictures Entertainment, Glee Fox Studio, Los Angeles Times, and KCBS Studio City.

Nearly two dozen students and three faculty members headed to New York City’s financial district to take part in the annual Finance Experience trip, giving them an opportunity to visit 10 of the most prestigious financial firms.

During the three days spent in the nation’s financial center, students were given the opportunity to meet and network with 32 alums, who work at high profile organizations such as JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Russell Investments, Standard & Poor’s, HSBC Bank USA and York Capital. 

Students who did not take advantage of experiential trips participated in individual job shadowing, internship and networking opportunities. Caroline Dosky ’12, for example, had a two-week internship with national non-profit KaBOOM! in Washington, D.C.; junior Shane Samuel interned at the headquarters of GQ magazine while Carolina Oakley learned more about both the Museum of Fine Arts and Fidelity.

While many had their sights set on their futures, other students took the time to learn more about their past. Rebecca Ditchek ’13, Brianne Ellis ’13, Emily Hamburger ’13, Jenna Lohre ’12 and Stephen Wolff ’12 retraced their ethnic roots in Tzfat, Israel, as part of a collaboration between HWS Hillel, the Abbe Center for Jewish Life, and Livnot U’Lehibanot.

Just before students returned to campus, the Centennial Center for Leadership hosted a Leadership Institute with more than 80 attendees, including HWS students as well as high school students from Geneva High School and DeSales High School. Bill and Lisa Mathis P’13 gave the keynote address to the two and a half day conference. More than 30 speakers led workshops to help students gain the confidence and skills to be effective leaders in their communities.

For HWS Debate Team members -Gerald “Buzz” Klinger ’12 and William McConnell ’12 -winter break brought yet another opportunity and even greater success in the international debate arena. At the World University Debate Championship in Manila, the duo ranked 21st in the world. They were among only five U.S. colleges and universities in the final group, standing with teams from Yale, Stanford, Harvard and the University of Alaska. The HWS team emerged from a pool of 396 teams from across the world and outperformed any previous HWS team in the program’s history.