School of Business connects with students

On Monday, Nov.13, Geneseo's School of Business presented a Professional Development (PD) event, one of many geared to equip students with insightful knowledge and helpful tips to apply to life outside of the academic sphere.

This specific PD workshop was organized by five members of the School of Business Student Officers club. President Andrea Roether, a junior business administration major, said the goal was to "give students exposure to the Business Advisory Council and what they do for the School of Business."

The event consisted of a panel of six members of the School of Business Advisory Council (BAC), three of whom are Geneseo alumni. BAC is a group of individuals who have "a strong commitment to the school, the students and the faculty," said Mary Ellen Zuckerman, dean of the School of Business. According to Zuckerman, "the group provides input about the curriculum, technology and the general direction of the School." These individuals, who range from alumni to internship sponsors to friends of the school, essentially serve as supplements to the students' academic training.

The members of the panel spoke to students and imparted them with what panelist Fabricio Morales called "old school tips." Other panelists present included Kevin Gavigan, former BAC chairman and a 1975 Geneseo alumnus, Chris McVicker, current BAC chairman and a 1972 Geneseo alumnus, Tom DeMott, Tom Fatcheric, and Jeff Fasoldt, a Geneseo alumnus and current Geneseo adjunct lecturer.

The common ideas that ran throughout each panelist's speech were the importance of successful networking, being conscious of one's own abilities and qualities, giving back to the community, and knowing that "technical skills aren't enough. You have to be engaging, show genuine concern, and be adaptive, too," as DeMott said.

Gavigan, in particular, advised students to develop a "dogged persistence" and to be "active Geneseo alumni by giving back to and staying connected with the place where you learned the technical skills that will, in part, make you successful." McVicker stressed the significance of the interview process and that "a unique handle on your own abilities is the key to succeeding." Other words of wisdom from the panelists include ed DeMott's emphasis on the fact that "you have a lifetime ahead of you to achieve success. There's no rush. Work hard and the money will come."

At the conclusion of the evening, students gathered outside the room to enjoy a small reception hosted by BAC, which provided an additional opportunity to make personal connections with the panelists. "Some students and panelists stayed almost an hour networking and getting to know each other," Roether commented.

Courtenay Phillips, a sophomore management major, said that while it could have been shorter, she learned some valuable things about the importance of the interview process and networking. In addition, she said she "didn't realize, though, how important the little things are, such as volunteering your time. It was definitely enlightening."

Freshman Dan Li, an accounting major, said, "I learned a lot about how it's really important to build relationships with colleagues and clients."

Roether saw the event as a success. "We had a great turnout and the panelists gave insightful tips and stories for managing their own career that will be beneficial to the students who attended."

Looking toward the future, Roether stated that the School of Business student officers hope to establish a "career partner program, where students have the ability to contact and get advice from BAC members."

For more information regarding the School of Business and the Business Advisory Council, visit