“Don’t be afraid what your first job is, because it won’t be your career or your last job,” advised Michael Howard ’13, pointing out his transition from a business analyst to an architect. The sentiment was reiterated throughout the NYC Immersion Trip, as students saw how Hamilton’s liberal arts education and network prepared them for diverse career choices after college.
This marked the third year of the Career Center’s Immersion Trip. Initiated in January 2017, its goal is to help students explore different industries and jobs to make well-informed career decisions. So far, the Connect Team has led three trips to NYC, one to Boston, and a few local ones to Albany, Syracuse, and Utica. The theme of the tracks varies by year and location; past themes have included marketing, nonprofit, biotechnology, and law.
This year’s Immersion Trip explored three industries in New York City: digital media, fashion/business, and urban planning. Twenty-four students from all class years and a wide range of majors participated in the trip.
The day began with presentations by Howard, who is now an architectural designer at Kohn Pederson Fox, and Jeff Richards ’03, an architect at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. The two architects came from different paths, as Howard majored in physics and math, and Richards in art history. Both emphasized that common skillsets learned at Hamilton, including critical thinking, communication skills, and problem-solving, helped them throughout graduate school and their career.
After the introductory presentations, students went off with their respective tracks for two site visits and lunch with young alumni. The Digital Media Track met with Christie Crawford ’13 at VaynerMedia, and Ben Tomaszewski ’10 and Amanda Tarnate ’11 at Taboola, where they learned about the importance of getting their foot in the door and networking. They also talked with recent graduates working at Penguin Random House, The Athletic, Facebook, and MarketSmiths\\ Content Strategies over lunch.
The Fashion/Business Track visited Laura Booth P’19, 22 at Tapestry, and Maggie Porges ’09 at Tory Burch. Caroline Zuchold ’19, who led the track, said that her favorite part was “learning about the different career paths that alumni took to their current job.” She also noted that a lot of planning went into the trip, as the Connect Team began planning in September to decide focus areas, contact alumni, and market the event.
For Ram Franqui ’19, the highlight of his day was visiting NY Economic Development Corporation, as he witnessed how much the organization prioritized community engagement. “I learned that there are a host of occupation, roles, and focuses within urban planning ranging from asset management to transportation,” he remarked, and said that the trip opened his eyes to both public and private career paths within the industry.
In the upcoming semester, the Connect Team will host around 40-50 programs focused on industry education. Shauna Hirshfield ’06, associate director of career development, encouraged students to check Handshake for a full schedule of future events.