The following was composed by John Hughes, a second year MIA student studying Political and Economic Risk Analysis.
On February 18th SIPA held its annual New York City Career Series networking event at the Gabarron Foundation, a chic art gallery and cultural center in Murray Hill. The event brought together first and second-year SIPA students interested in possible career opportunities in New York with over 100 alumni who work in the city and region. The alumni represented a multitude of industries and sectors, coming from banking, the UN, non-profits, environmental consultancies, media companies and multinational corporations, to name a few.
As attendants skirted through the crowd with trays of hors d’oeuvres and wine, students and alumni mingled around the room, stopping to speak with each other for a few minutes about careers and interests before moving on to a new conversation. Students received a list of alumni attending beforehand, so many had already reached out to a few alumni and now had the opportunity to meet in person. Others used the opportunity to learn about new fields they may not have thought of. Regardless, students found that the alumni were all very approachable and eager to help, with many offering their business cards and an invitation for students to follow up to learn more about their organizations and fields.
This event is just one indicator of the strong alumni-student bond at SIPA, a true strength of the program. Whether students choose to attend events like this one or not, all have access to the alumni database. There students can search thousands of alumni to find those in careers of interest to them. An e-mail or phone call can easily lead to an informational interview and another person to add to the student’s network. Though not all students necessarily get concrete job offers out of these efforts, many find that having access to such a wealth of dedicated, successful alumni certainly helps towards this goal.