Over spring break, 16 students – members of the Geneseo Alumni Association Externs – crossed the palatial lobby of the Neuberger Berman building, an asset management firm located in Manhattan. They were concluding their stay in New York City by sitting in a conference room that offered a majestic, 36th floor view.
The 16 externs were selected from a pool of nearly 100 applicants; 15 were juniors and seniors and one was a freshman. The students stayed at the Fashion Institute of Technology's Kaufman Residence Hall from March 12 - 17.
Each extern met with an alumnus or alumna that currently works in New York City.
All week the externs nudged their way through the swarmed city streets to attend the different events on the program's itinerary. They visited companies where Geneseo alumni are well-positioned including Aeropostale, The Recording Academy and Time Inc.
Another focal point of the trip was the panel discussion; a board of alumni gathered to impart what they had learned after leaving Geneseo and moving into the professional world. Alumni addressed questions that the externs posed and gave advice on topics ranging from sexism in the workplace to the art of building a résumé.
Many of the alumni said repeatedly that the transition from Geneseo to New York City was a jarring experience. The rhythm of life, as one may guess, is much more fast-paced in the Big Apple than it is Geneseo. A common point of advice many alumni had to offer, especially during the panel discussion, was the importance of taking time off before becoming inundated with a job or graduate school. Many of the alumni said they regretted not doing so and then inadvertently growing up too fast.
The alumni proved that education continues outside of desk-lined rooms. College students sometimes see adults and themselves as two separate spheres with little relation; hearing the stories and career paths of the alumni broke down those separate worlds and showed that, although daunting and frightening, the future holds hope for Geneseo's graduates.