On August 19, President Jones, Dean Donald Siegel, and other constituents cut the purple ribbon unveiling the new School of Business building. The cutting-edge modernist design is both student and faculty friendly making its prime University location all the more appropriate. Similarly impressive is the interior which features state of the art technology and equipment, a café, group study rooms, and collaborative research centers. But, most importantly, it humbly stands as a true testament to the outstanding dedication and commitment of invaluable alumni.

The alumni network in the School of Business has made a great impact in enhancing students’ lives in numerous ways. Their continuous support through monetary donations, event sponsorships, networking events and club presentations and scholarships has gone a long way in ensuring the success of aspiring students.

This past spring, I was fortunate enough to be a recipient of the Zelin Family Endowed Scholarship, made possible by Mr. Steven M. Zelin '84, Joy Zelin and the Zelin family. Their generous donation has significantly alleviated my financial burden and given me additional time to dedicate to my commitments as a student. As a member of three School of Business clubs, I am active in community service activities and professional events including Junior Achievement Bowl-a-thon and Relay for Life. More importantly, I am able to focus on my dual major in Accounting and Business Administration (dual concentration in Marketing and Management). This increased focus has allowed me to maintain my GPA and position on Dean's List.

As a member of the Executive Board of two School of Business organizations, Albany Business Leaders Emerging (ABLE) and the Dean's Leadership Council (DLC), I can personally attest to the incredible alumni support. Over the past years, we have had alumni come to various student organization meetings to present and share their experiences, participate in the Flash Mock Interviewing Event organized by the Dean's Leadership Council, and Facilitate the EY spring kick-off event called LAUNCH. Their presence at these events has boosted my confidence and morale while building a sense of community within the School that extends beyond the campus.

Firms too have played a crucial role in their contributions to the School of Business. Being the Primary Representative for the Direct Admit Program has given me countless opportunities to network, build relationships and collaborate with professionals and recruiters in the corporate world, especially the "Big 4" Accounting Firms where I hope to do my final internships. I was among the selected few who participated in the EY LEAD Scholars Program, a program that awarded me a scholarship at the end of the year. I was also able to meet incoming students and professionals at the Direct Admit Reception hosted by EY in NYC in March.

Everything I have been a part of in the last two years has shown me what is means to stand tall and proudly say "I am a student in the School of Business at the University at Albany." The school and everyone involved in it have helped me grow and develop both as a professional and individual. After completing my undergraduate and graduate degress at UAlbany, I hope to be employed by one of the Big Four Accounting Firms and be amongst the alumni who have recognized the importance of continuing the endless chain of giving back and bringing forth leaders and ultimately solidifying the legacy of the School of Business.

Najwa Zarook
Junior Accounting & Business Administration major