At the first CUNY Career Innovation summit more than 200 students had opportunities to meet representatives from major media, entertainment, technology and consulting companies – and to hear from CUNY alumni working at those companies.
“One of the areas we want to build for our students is their network,” said Katie Lyon, the University’s new business sector innovation specialist. “We also want these companies to build their visibility with our students. Our students are the largest pipeline for entry level talent in the region.”
Lyon emphasized how important it was for students to hear from those “who were once in their shoes.” For example, during the summit Stacey Dackson, a Queens College graduate who works at Structure Tone spoke about the challenges and rewards of her work as a woman who rose through the ranks to be a vice president in the construction industry.
The companies that participated in panels, workshops and informal mentoring sessions included Mastercard, Bloomberg, Madison Square Garden, HHM Hospitality, TWA Hotel, Salesforce, Oliver Wyman, Structure Tone, Mace Group, PepsiCo and WeWork. The event was held in December at Borough of Manhattan Community College and attended by students from 10 of the University’s senior colleges and six of its community colleges. The conference was organized by the Sector Innovation Team, which is part of the University’s Continuing Education and Workforce program. Zoomdojo, consultants who focus on career preparation for students, also assisted with the conference.
Lyon added that it also was important for students to consider many options. “How do we show students the world of work is bigger than what you see on the surface?” she said. Helen Kim who is earning a Master’s in Taxation from Baruch agreed, “I didn’t think of hospitality before, but now I would since the panelists spoke on how important finance and accounting are to the industry.”
The next CUNY summit will be held on March 29, hosted by Microsoft at its New York City headquarters. The Sector Innovation Team is currently identifying speakers and companies to participate.