Learning Business In The Big Apple

Six members of OCC’s Business Club experienced the trip of a lifetime to New York City. They are (left to right) Billy Campbell from Liverpool High School, Giuseppe Darin from Fabius-Pompey High School, JW Simmons from Skaneateles High School, Rebecca Chapman from Baldwinsville High School, Mike Barron from Liverpool High School, and James Dowd from Kenmore East High School in Buffalo.

Rebecca Chapman remembers the moment when she and other members of OCC’s Business Club paused and thought about where they were, high atop One World Trade Center enjoying the view of New York City below. “One of us said, ‘I can see myself doing this. I can see myself living here. I can see myself working here.’ A lot of us had the realization we could see ourselves doing this one day. It was the most amazing experience. We all learned so much from it.”

What Chapman and five fellow members of OCC’s Business Club experienced was a three night stay in New York City and the opportunity to get an up-close look at a career in finance. “We had the chance to be a professional in New York City for three days,” said fellow student JW Simmons who is also Student Director on the OCC Foundation’s Finance Board. “It was a raw education about the markets and whatever kind of interests you had in the business world, a real-life experience to live in the city, be dressed in business attire and have lunch with people from Goldman Sachs.”

The primary reason students went to New York City was to observe the Quinnipiac G.A.M.E. (Global Asset Management Education) Forum, a student-run financial conference featuring industry experts. OCC students listened in on panel discussions about various topics within the financial industry including current trends and career opportunities. “We learned a lot about the finance industry, how to put yourself out there and a lot of life lessons. It was really amazing,” said Chapman.

Bradley Silverbush, ’75

Students were also invited into the penthouse apartment of OCC alumnus and attorney Bradley Silverbush, ’75. He fed the students, entertained them on his baby grand piano and talked careers with them. “He was like the Dos Equis guy, the world’s most interesting man. He was extremely intelligent, very creative in his thought, extremely well-spoken and gave great advice,” said Simmons. “I always say it’s not where you start, it’s where you end. Knowing he came from here is proof you can literally do whatever you want,” added Chapman.

The six Business Club students who attended only had to pay for their train tickets to and from New York City. All other expenses were covered by a generous donor through OCC’s Foundation. The donor was Alexander P. Henn, Managing Partner at Cypress Financial Consultants, LLC which is part of AXA in downtown Syracuse. “It’s always good to give students some exposure to industries and the post education world so that they can see what a career in a certain industry may look like,” said Henn. “We feel the student experience needs to go beyond the classroom and when an opportunity for students to attend an event like this in NYC comes about it is a special opportunity for them.”

The students wish to thank Henn, OCC Foundation Director Lisa Moore and Professor Kristen Costello who is Faculty Adviser for the Business Club. The experience was one student’s say they will remember and be inspired by for a long time.

LinkedIn to Success

One of Central New York’s leading communications experts shared valuable advice with OCC students as part of a LinkedIn workshop. Crystal (Smith) DeStefano, a 2004 graduate of the College, led the presentation April 1 in a computer lab in the Whitney Applied Technology Center. Smith is President and Director of Public Relations at Strategic Communications, LLC.

Crystal (Smith) DeStefanno, '04
Crystal (Smith) DeStefano, ’04

Students attending the workshop learned how to create a new LinkedIn account and enhance existing accounts. DeStefano’s advice included: different ways students could give themselves a title and describe their strengths, explained how to turn a resume on LinkedIn into a PDF which could be used when applying for jobs, and detailed how students could customize their LinkedIn page URL.

During her presentation DeStefano emphasized how permanent everything on social media is. Students were surprised when DeStefano told them every tweet they post on Twitter is recorded in the Library of Congress.

Student Charles Curran poses for a professional head shot as photographer Chuck Wainwright takes his picture.
Student Charles Curran poses for a professional head shot as photographer Chuck Wainwright takes his picture.

Attendees were also given the opportunity to pose for a professional head shot. Photographer Charles Wainwright of Wainwright Photo took individual photos in front of a professional background. The photos were emailed to each student for his or her use.

Chanel Turnquest, a Professional Communication major, enjoyed the workshop. She has worked in real estate for more than 20 years and is considering a career change. “I’m interested in the public relations field. I found this to be very informative and enlightening regarding how to get the most out of LinkedIn, build my career and use it to build my business.”

The LinkedIn workshop was sponsored by OCC’s Office of Alumni Relations and the Career and Applied Learning Center.

cropped Linkedin Workshop Team Photo
LinkedIn Workshop attendees pose for a group photo with presenter Crystal (Smith) DeStefano, ’04 (front row, second from right).