Exploring the Possibilities
The Career Center’s 4th round of HamiltonExplore provided 120 underclassmen the opportunity to explore career interests during winter break. The shadowing program is designed to assist sophomore students with career exploration and decision making by offering the opportunity to “shadow” (observe) a Hamilton alumnus/a or parent in the workplace for a day or part of a day.
By observing the nature of the work first-hand and asking questions of the alum/parent sponsor, students acquire insight into a career field and determine the suitability of that career.
The 120 students spent their day with one of 172 alumni and/or parents sponsors. Associate Director of the Career Center Leslie Bell outlined the importance of HamiltonExplore. “It provides students with a first-hand look at a job or career field of interest,” said Bell, “and a glimpse into a professional work environment.” She noted that for many students it is the first time experiencing a law office or an operating room in a hospital.
Also of value, HamiltonExplore “provides at least one connection in the Hamilton network but often several more as several sponsors arrange for them to meet with colleagues, Bell explained.
Jessica Tang ’16 shadowed Daniel Fielding ‘07 at Habitat for Humanity NYC. “From experiencing the work environment and watching my sponsor carry out tasks, I got a much better idea of what working in a nonprofit was like, on a micro and macro level,” Tang explained. She said Field is “passionate about his job, and clearly willing to provide a good shadowing experience.” Tang added, “ He was really flexible--he often asked about what I was interested in and what I wanted to see/do, so I would particularly recommend this experience for students who have a wide variety of interests or aren't really sure what to do with their future.”
John DeGuardi ’16 enjoyed shadowing Dr. David Shaffer P'15 at Albany Oncology and Hematology. “It was interesting listening in on Dr. Shaffer's conversations with his patients and seeing how he interacts with them,” said DeGuardi. It was evident that he cares about them a lot. Dr. Shaffer's patients respected him and saw him as a symbol of hope. His consistent optimism and willingness to try new things was amazing, and it truly helped his patients.”
Cassidy Dennison ’16 took part in two shadowing experiences that cemented her future career goals.
She shadowed Britton Jones P’15, CEO of the Business Journals Inc., and Alexis Faraci ’04, owner of Bronx Bakery. “I had two very different shadowing opportunities that taught me about selling products to a customer, event planning, and the steps taken in order to run a successful small business,” said Dennison. “Both mentors gave me insight into what courses would be helpful to me and were extremely generous with their time and advice. ”
Dennison attended the Business Journals' Fame, Moda, and the Accessories Show. “I walked away from this week knowing that I am going to pursue a career in fashion because of the energy, people and constantly changing styles...and of course my love of fashion,” Dennison remarked.
Kathryn “Kate” Parker-Burgard '84, P'16, director of community service at St. Luke’s School in New Canaan, Conn., hosted Liz Morris ’16. Morris commented, “During the day I was able to talk to Kate about my community service experience, about her career path and her work.” For Morris, who is considering a career in teaching, “my shadowing helped me see how I could combine my interests in working with children, teaching, community service and coaching into my future. It was valuable to talk to professionals who readily offered advice and insight into what they do," she remarked.
"To top off my day, I volunteered with Mrs. Parker-Burgard and some St. Luke's students at Inspirica, a nearby non-profit working to end the cycle of poverty and homelessness. The day was remarkable and has given me a great look into many careers I could see myself pursuing,” Morris said.
Yani Najarian ‘16 shadowed Gavin Mlinar ’96 at Unisys Corporation in Blue Bell, Pa., where Mlinar is the senior sourcing manager for IT & Telecom for the Americas. Najarian sat in on conference calls and meetings regarding Unisys's relationship with other companies. “Gavin helped me polish my resume and gave me advice for my future, including to take advantage of all the opportunities the Career Center has for students,” said Najarian. "It was an extensive and incredibly helpful day.”