Executives Reach Students
The School of Business offered an opportunity for students to learn from seasoned executives this fall. The program, planned as an in-person event, went virtual.
The Industry Partnership Committee of the School of Business Dean’s Advisory Board collaborated with the John S. Levato Office of Career Services to provide students with an opportunity to interact with top-level alumni practitioners.
“This was Dean Sen's initiative and a way to engage students with alumni. It provided students the opportunity to share industry insight, provide career advice and connect coursework with real life. All sessions were great, students on the whole were engaged, asked thoughtful questions and some followed up with the alumni after for career and industry advice,” said Director of Career Services Deirdre Sweeney, who coordinated the matching of alumni with appropriate graduate and undergraduate classes.
Professor of Information Systems & Business Analytics Shobha Chengalur-Smith welcomed Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Careers on the Move Richelle Konian '95 into her virtual classroom. Konian, who serves as president of the UAlbany Alumni Association Board of Directors, described employment opportunities to seniors, providing career-path examples across various business disciplines.
“I was thrilled that Richelle took the time to speak to students, and they seem to have gotten high value from their interactions with her. Student feedback was positive – they stated that they gained valuable information from Richelle’s presentation. Richelle tells me that she had a number of subsequent student LinkedIn requests,” said Chengalur-Smith.
Marketing students benefitted from the career advice provided by Marino Radovich '93, vice president of advertising/sales at Disney/ABC. According to Professor and Chair Ioannis Kareklas, “Mr. Radovich gave a very interesting and well-attended lecture on careers in advertising, focusing on both the quantitative and creative opportunities in this field. We plan on having him participate again in the future, as his presentation was very well-received by students, faculty and administrators who attended the live lecture.”
Senior Associate Dean and finance professor David Smith invited three speakers into his virtual classrooms, Chief Financial Officer of RXR Realty Michael O’Leary '99, President of the Albany Division of Amsure Guy Alonge '85 and Corporate Banking Group Head at Fifth Third Bank Joshua Landau '95. Smith noted that the presenters provided career and industry advice and offered their own missteps as well as successes and that all of the presentations were well-received.
Smith said, “Mike O’Leary gave the students a view of the future of commercial real estate management. Guy Alonge shared his professional journey which included selling his business and then continuing on as an employee of the buyer. Josh Landau emphasized the importance of taking a wide diversity of classes, and of creativity and resourcefulness during the job search and provided insightful practitioner’s view of the impact of financial regulation on how business is conducted.”
Business student Zach Verde '21 appreciated the reassurance that Alonge provided. “With the coronavirus and other social unrest causing such uncertainty in job market and evoking fear in students, Guy's message of affirmation that we are all strong students and that we will find success in our own way was one that I believe many students needed to hear, I know it helped me,” said Verde.
Besides Smith’s classes, Landau also sat in on Associate Professor and Associate Dean for International Programs Rita Biswas’ MBA classes, as did Deb Pollard, president of Fenimore Asset Management and a member of the School of Business Advisory Council.
Biswas noted that the speakers did more than just log on and speak. She said, “Deb called me the week before and asked what the context was for the class. I mentioned that, before the pandemic hit, the class was originally slated to go to Costa Rica to study international business consulting on sustainability and business. Deb kept that in mind and addressed the issue of sustainability in wealth management and how more and more individuals and institutions are indicating that they want to direct their wealth into 'Do Good' funds.”
According to Sweeney, the School of Business plans to run a similar program in the spring of 2021 focused on digital forensics and accounting.