Queens College Students Attend Business Breakfast

By Sherica Daley | [email protected]

The chimes of the service bell jingled in the air during the Queens College School of Business’s #QC Business Breakfast, co-sponsored by the QC Blackstone LaunchPad Entrepreneurship Program. The event was held in the Q-Side Lounge and Dining Hall. The service bell alerted the participants to change tables in the speed dating style to meet Queens College’s alumni. Students were able to break the initial awkwardness that can accompany traditional networking events. The event tried a new approach to the traditional seminar with a speed network seminar.

The #QC Breakfast event is a event of socializing student-focused event with the bonus of delicious breakfast. They are free networking opportunities that bring together students of all majors to the business community. The School of Business has invited alumni prestigious firms in the past such as Merrill Lynch, Starwood Property Trust, Structure Tone, Republic Bank, and New York Life Insurance (NYLIC). Since March 2022, post-pandemic, this series of early morning breakfasts, has helped Queens College students meet successful alumni and receive advice on their college experience, and careers,

“We wanted to try something new and give everyone a chance to meet the alumni” explained Schiro Withanachchi, Associate Dean of the Queens College School of Business ”By hosting a free breakfast, the School of Business has strengthened our community, encouraged alumni involvement, and contributed to the professional and personal developments of our students” explained Withanachchi 

The alumni that joined the roundtable event include Brando Castro, Community Liaison for the New York City Department of Small Business Service and recent graduate of the class of 2023, Vincenzo Alomia, Financial Advisor at Prudential Advisors, Gerry Marotta, Client Director of Financial Services at Gartner Empower IT, and Gina R. Fini, Counsel and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Queens College. These five alumni came to the first business breakfast for 2024. Ambitious students got a chance to dine and meet each of the alumni.

“I love my experience here at Queens College” explained Vincenzo Alomia. “I have seen a lot of new changes here on campus coming here today, like the dorm rooms” explained Alomia. The students rotated and met with each alumnus and gained insightful advice on how to be successful after graduation.

The topic of this seminar was Thriving 101: Mastering Success at the Queens College School of Business where students discussed life in the business world after graduation. Each alumnus offered something different coming from different areas in the business field. “I told them that it’s okay if they want to don’t know what they want yet, that this is the time to explore different opportunities and fields,” explained Marotta. “They should engage in various programs the college offers such as internships, clubs, and other activities,” she said.

Adjunct Assistant Professor Gina Fini, came in early before her regular class to speak to the students.” I love the opportunity to gather with faculty, staff, and alumni to support our wonderful students.” explained Fini.

The participants also gained valuable information on professional networking and resources available on campus such as the Center for Career Engagement and Internships for resume help, and the job board HireQC.

Withananchchi provided information at her table on building resumes with Google Career Certificates. and earning free certificates in topics like Data Analytics and Digital Marketing for in-demand tech skills.

These skills give a competitive edge in the job market and speaking to recruiters. This led to the announcement of the hybrid career and internship fair happening on campus on March 15th, 2024, and March 18th, 2024. Day One is the virtual career with employers like Bloomberg LP, the New York Civilian Complaint Review Board, and New York City Parks & Recreation. Day Two is the in-person fair on campus with employers like the New York Department of Correction, New York Department of Taxation and Finance, and New York Insurance Fund. To RSVP for this event, Queens College students can visit the Center for Career Engagement and Internships site.

The School of Business will be hosting three more Business Breakfasts this Spring. On March 20, 2024, Queen College 2018 graduate Caitlin King will discuss her career as a senior strategy analyst in retail partners like Victoria’s Secret, Ann Taylor, and Burlington Coat Factory. On April 16th, 2023, Assistant Professor of Strategy at Yeshiva University, Peter Perkowski will discuss his professional and research on experience. Lastly, On May 7th, 2023, Darius Dale, Founder & CEO of 42 Macro and on–air contributor to financial media including Bloomberg, CNN Money, CNN Business, and Fox Business will share how his struggles of being homeless in his childhood contributed his success today. For information on RSVP for these events, Queens College community can visit the School of Business site.

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