Fashion Merchandising students from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) hit the streets of New York City (NYC) to connect with successful working alumni. On Oct. 20 through Oct. 21, Dr. Eklou Amendah and representatives from the Career and Professional Development Center accompanied a group of 11 students in N.Y.
Career Development collaborated with the Office of Alumni Engagement to find SNHU alumni who work in NYC in corporate positions.
The group met alumni Corinna DaCruz, Erica Solomon, Patricia Gorski, Emily Lyman, and Amanda Mayberry. The latter three alumni were met at an alumni dinner held at the Bread & Tulips restaurant. At the dinner, students were free to talk to the alumni in a casual setting. The students asked questions about their journeys from students to business professionals.
Sophomore Ella DiPietro said, “[Talking to successful alumni] makes me so much more motivated to get out there.” She continued, “Especially as a sophomore that hasn’t done an internship yet, it was good to get a glimpse of [what to expect].”
On the second day of the trip, Corinna DaCruz was first on the list to visit. She works as the Senior Manager of Integrated Marketing at SpinMedia.
Lastly, the group stopped by GLOSSYBOX to see campaign manager Erica Solomon.
At each of these meetings, the students got a fill of what life is like beyond SNHU. The alumni gave tips on how current students can establish plans to get the careers they desire. Topics of discussion included internships, campus involvement, and utilizing services from Career Development.
Career Development’s Special Projects Coordinator, Elizabeth Keaton, said, “The New York City Fashion Industry Exploration trip was an outstanding opportunity for students to not only meet Alumni within their fields, but also practice their professional networking abilities. All of us at the Career & Professional Development Center couldn’t be more excited to offer these opportunities, both large and small, to students of any major and interest across campus.”
Fashion merchandising and marketing professor Dr. Eklou Amendah said, “What was great about [this trip] from my standpoint was that it was really informative… The visualization in terms of our students thinking, ‘I can be that person two years or a year from now,’ was very very interesting.”
He went on to emphasize that passion is the crux of landing and maintaining a job after college. While passion cannot be taught, it can be stimulated by testing the waters of different areas within a field. “SNHU gave [these alumni] the basic knowledge to adapt to their job environment, but the passion aspect is something that they use SNHU as a tool to develop,” he said.
Career Development will continue to offer students opportunities within various areas of interest. These opportunities will come in the form of on-campus events or off-campus trips.