When Andy Berman ’06 and Kevin St. John ’06 first created Facebook accounts during their junior year at Hamilton College, they had no clue that they would be working for the social media company only a decade later. In fact, after graduating from Hamilton, Berman said that he had “no idea” what to do professionally. St. John, who eventually went to business school and developed an interest in startups, started working for Facebook in 2015.
Both ultimately found a place on Facebook’s Global Marketing Solutions team and on Oct. 2 returned to Hamilton to discuss their work and share career advice with students in a discussion hosted by the Career Center.
Berman first suggested that students capitalize on connections. “A lot of our classmates from Hamilton are starting to do incredible things,” Berman said. He believes that through “leveraging relationships,” graduates can find potential jobs or simply establish links in a professional world. Berman told students, “You could pick up the phone and people would give you that time,” describing the affability of alumni. In his experience, Hamilton graduates were more than willing to help other Hamilton graduates.
Throughout the year members of the Hamilton Career Network return to the Hill to meet with students.
St. John described the importance of adaptability, especially when working at Facebook. To St. John, the “best and worst thing” about his Facebook job is that that the company constantly evolves. When hiring, Facebook seeks creative thinkers, mostly because it requires employees who can keep up with a company that continually expands and updates its programs.
Reflecting on his time at Hamilton College, St. John said that he thought the school prepared him well in this aspect. During his junior year, he faced the difficulty of dealing with a demanding curriculum, searching for summer job opportunities, and handling life outside Hamilton College, but ultimately described this as one of the “most important times” in his life. Along with teaching him how to flexibly “think, write, and speak,” St. John learned how to take a problem and “fix it.” Hamilton ultimately helped him be adaptable and able to confront such trying periods in his life.
The discussion led into a dinner where Berman and St. John continued to offer insights and spoke more informally about their time since Hamilton. In the end, attendees gained knowledge not only about finding and achieving careers in companies such as Facebook, but also how to generally approach the professional world.