In January, Gateway Career Center’s Career Tracks program provided students with an immersive career-exploration experience. Students gained exposure to potential careers across a variety of industries. They built their professional networks, developed practical skills, and had the opportunity to experience an urban environment that may help shape their future career path. Here are details about the New York City Career Track experience.

The offerings

Students chose either the financial services, media/communications, or technology/innovation track and met with companies like Nike, NBC Universal, BuzzFeed, cloud computing firm DigitalOcean, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Dow Jones Media, among others. At times, students in the finance and technology tracks came together for site visits (the same held true in Boston).

Why bring students here?

“We made a conscious decision this year to expand the program in New York, since we have a large number of alums working here in a variety of industries,” said Todd Wiltshire ’86, who led both the New York and Boston tracks. “While people tend to associate Manhattan with the financial and media industries, they may be surprised to learn that there are quite a few established startups in the city,” he says.

On the agenda

A “networking academy” was held the first day. Karen Fenaroli P’22, who runs the executive consulting firm Fenaroli & Associates, brought in marketing expert Bryan Grimaldi and NextGenVest founder and Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree Kelly Peeler to lead the discussion. At Nike, students in the Technology and Innovation Track learned from Jon Apostoles ’03 about the power of data science and the amazing experiences Nike is creating for sneaker lovers in augmented reality. At Dow Jones Media, students in the Communications and Media Track gained insights about creating a resume that captures attention and interviewing tips to help set you apart.

Wiltshire says another high point was a panel discussion with College trustees such as newly elected chair of the Board of Trustees Robert Sell ’84, Elisabeth MacDonald ’81, and Tony Fernandez ’81, who talked to students about their own career paths. “Every student thinks there is a magic straight line, and they are often surprised when they learn the real stories,” Wiltshire says.

The takeaway

“Hearing people’s stories is great, especially at such large companies,” says Chirag Nijjer ’20, an engineering studies and economics double major, who participated in the technology/innovation track. “I’ve met regular human beings who are doing cool things. It’s helpful to hear them say how they majored in this but are now doing this. It helps me calm down and stop worrying about the future. I can experience the now because you never know what skill will come in handy later on.”

At Dow Jones Media, Liza Thompson ’21, an international affairs major, said, “We are fortunate to make such powerful connections with alumni. Hearing how they had zig-zag career paths helps me realize that my major may not have as much impact as I think it might. What helps is getting out there and staying in touch with our valuable alumni. I applied for a summer internship at Dow Jones. To be here now is exciting. I get a sneak peek of what my life might be like if I pursue this route. This is an opportunity few other college students get to do.”

Categorized in: Alumni, Careers