Last Thursday offered a cornucopia of postgraduate preparation at Niagara University.
The festivities commenced with the university’s annual Career Expo, which saw 105 employers stationed in the Gallagher Center, eager to speak with students (and recent graduates) about full- and part-time job and internship opportunities. Participating organizations ranged from Citi, Delaware North and New Era to Wegmans and Doodle Bugs! children’s learning academy.
Organized by NU’s Office of Career Services, the event was open to all majors. An added perk was a designated area for job seekers to have professional photos taken for use on their LinkedIn profiles.
The Career Expo event drew more than 450 attendees from several colleges, including Niagara University, SUNY Geneseo, the University at Buffalo and Edinboro University.
“Ingram Micro looks forward to attending the Career Expo every year as the premier way to engage with Niagara University students to discuss internship or employment opportunities,” said Jeffrey Streb, director of human resources and learning development at Ingram Micro. “This year’s event did not disappoint; once again, we were impressed with the quality and preparedness of those who attended and we look forward to continuing our conversations and welcoming many of those we spoke to onto the Ingram Micro team.”
“The Career Expo gave Perry’s Ice Cream an opportunity to interact with students and share our career opportunities in a personal way,” added Jodi Wiechec, director of human resources and strategic alignment for Perry’s. “We were impressed with the students’ professionalism and friendliness.”
Doug Stire recalled attending the Career Expo when he was a senior at Niagara University. The 2013 NU alumnus now serves as a logistics team lead at Praxair, a position he secured as a result of his participation in the event.
“Attending these type of events gave me the opportunity to meet employers and explore more employment options than I ever imagined,” Stire said. “I met Praxair at the NU Career Expo and the rest is history! Working for Praxair has been challenging and rewarding. I have learned many aspects of Praxair’s business and have the good fortune to travel to different parts of the world for my job.”
Stire also commended the preparedness of the students at this year’s Career Expo.
“The students we met today came here prepared to get hired,” he said. “The great elevator pitches we heard, along with the stellar resumes we collected made a lasting impression on us. Praxair is excited to hire more Purple Eagles!”
A career panel discussion was held in the Gallagher Center’s Multi-Purpose Room following the Career Expo. It featured six working professionals who have either graduated from a master’s degree program at Niagara or are on track to do so. The panelists addressed career and graduate school related topics presented by moderator Stephanie Morris, assistant director of career services, and responded to questions from the audience.
Many of the inquiries pertained to the value of an advanced degree and its role in helping graduates progress up the career ladder.
One of the panelists was Megan Bruso, a 2013 NU grad who is currently working at M&T Bank as an assistant vice president and recruiter for the bank’s management development program. She explained that many companies – including her employer – are willing help in financing if the focus of study applies to their job. M&T, for instance, has sponsored Bruso’s MBA studies at Niagara due to her concentration in human resource management.
Bruso also stated that the achievement of an advanced degree will often open new doors for career advancement.
“I work in human resources so I know how competitive the job market is,” said Bruso, who played Division I golf during her time as an undergraduate at Niagara. “There will be many job openings that don’t necessarily require a graduate degree, but having one gives you a distinct advantage.”
Other panelists, like FBI Special Agent Darin Schultz, lauded how learning and networking with faculty members and fellow students has translated to improved performance in the workplace.
“As an undergraduate, I found myself learning material just to learn it,” said Schultz, an enrollee of NU’s M.S. program in criminal justice. “When you’re in graduate school, you’re learning to apply. You are able to take what you learn in the classroom and apply it immediately to your real-world work.”
Joining Bruso and Schultz on the panel were Shanleigh Corrallo, a policy fellow at the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York; Laura Guglielmi, a program director at Northpointe Council’s First Step Chemical Dependency Crisis Center; Joe Lauzonis, a history teacher at Lewiston-Porter High School; and Joseph Ray, an athletic communications assistant at Niagara University.
To learn more about the job and internship support offered by NU’s Office of Career Services, please visit www.niagara.edu/career.
Punctuating the day was a Graduate Studies Open House, which showcased Niagara’s array of 29 advanced degree programs, including education, counseling, MBA, criminal justice, finance, interdisciplinary studies and sport management. A doctoral program in leadership and policy is also available.
Additional information on Niagara University’s graduate programs can be found at www.niagara.edu/graduate.
Photos of the Career Panel and Graduate Studies Open House by Gabrielle McIntyre, a junior communication studies major at NU.