Backpack To Briefcase

Onondaga Community College will host its Experience to Job Fair on Wednesday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the SRC Arena and Events Center. Over 70 companies from across Central New York will bring job offerings, internships and volunteer placement opportunities to OCC students and alumni. In the month leading up to the fair, OCC’s Career Services office will offer several professional development workshops known as “Backpack To Briefcase.” Many will be led by successful alumni volunteering their time to assist current students.

Celine Rahman, ’10 (photo courtesy Carmen Emmi)

Celine Rahman, ’10, who is the creator and founder of the online blog Cup of Rahman, will be addressing students on the topic of Building Your Online Brand April 3. She’s excited to be part of Backpack To Briefcase. “It is vital that students are given the opportunity to utilize tools in which they can become their most successful selves and I am honored to be able to help them do that.” In addition to the branding discussion, students who attend the session will also be able to have a professional headshot taken for use on their LinkedIn profiles, portfolios or other professional needs.

Backpack To Briefcase begins Monday, March 27 and continues until the Job Fair April 26. In addition to Online Branding, workshop topics will include Networking, Business Etiquette, Interview Preparation and Job Searching. Alumni presenters hope the experience will be about more than tips and strategies. Jonathan Clark, ’15, Vice President of Together Now, Inc, wants the sessions to develop into a self-learning opportunity for students to discover what they truly want to do. “Life is too short and jobs can be made so quickly. Choose a career you are passionate about. It may require taking a risk. We need them to understand it is not only okay but necessary to achieve their dreams.”

Career Services Coordinator Michele Carey believes alumni will play a critical role in making the workshops better than ever. “We are very excited to be partnering with the Alumni Office to offer the Backpack To Briefcase series. The programming, led by alumni, will be a great compliment to services the Career Center is offering and will bring a very different dynamic. I imagine students seeing themselves in the presenters, which has the potential to deliver a more powerful and impactful message.”

Career Services will also host independent resume and cover letter review sessions leading up to the Job Fair. To schedule an appointment please call Career Services at (315) 498-2585 or

Trending A Career: Celine Rahman ’10

Celine Rahman (picture courtesy of Carmen Emmi)
Celine Rahman (picture courtesy of Carmen Emmi)

Decision time had arrived for Celine Rahman. It was 2008 and she was about to receive her diploma from Jamesville-Dewitt High School. What would come next? She didn’t have a plan. That’s when her mother told her Onondaga Community College would be a great place to start.

Rahman took her mother’s advice, came to campus and felt at home. She was a full-time student who worked three part-time jobs. One of her jobs was at the College’s Career Center. “My time there was really helpful. The people there taught me how to explore my passions and transfer them into actual jobs. I felt very fortunate to work alongside them and to take advantage of their expertise.”

A class Rahman took with Communication Professor Katharine Rumrill-Teece wound up setting her on her career path. “The class inspired me and I learned about myself. I wound up majoring in Communication because of it.” The experience in Professor Rumrill-Teece’s class led her to start an online blog, “Cup of Rahman” in 2009. The inspiration for the name came from the similar sounding Ramen Noodles. On her blog Rahman billed herself as a millennial artist highlighting fashion and photography. “I am a child of the 90s. I would post a lot of images from that time and attach quotes to encourage women to express their feelings, to live free and not to be afraid of who they are.”

Today Cup of Rahman can also be found on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook and has its own YouTube channel. She has more than 30,000 followers. Rahman’s success has resulted in her leaving a job in New York City and returning to Syracuse to focus solely on furthering the brand and social media presence of her project. “It was not easy to leave New York. I felt if Cup of Rahman was going to be anything, I needed to dedicate the necessary time to it in order to give it a chance to succeed.”

Rahman credits her time spent at OCC with propelling her to where she is now. “I learned a lot about pursuing my passions. I learned to work hard both in school and with my craft. I am committed to seeing this through.”