OPCE Launches New Career Panel Series



November 15, 2017 | Career Development

Women in STEM career panelists.

Women in STEM career panelists.

The Office of Partnerships & Community Engagement launched its first Career Panel series this fall.  Patricia Payano, Senior Career Advisor, collaborated with the Program Coordinators and other areas of the College to create the series. The panels are geared to helping students learn more about possible careers within their programs of study.

The first career event, on October 12, was the Urban Studies career panel. Moderated by Molly Makris, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies and Program Coordinator, the panel included individuals from the  transportation industry and government:

  • Jacob Balter, Director of Strategic Investments, Long Island Railroad (LIRR)
  • Angel Vasquez, Chief of Staff for Marisol Alcantara, NY State Senator, Upper West Side and Washington Heights
  • Anne Krassner, Education and Outreach Manager, Citi Bike
  • Josh Fraidstern, Train Operator, New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA)
  • Shane Deaton, Director, Corporate Finance, Tesla

The panelists discussed their educational background, career pathways, and day-to-day job activities. They also gave insights into next steps for graduates with an associate’s degree in urban studies and the many career opportunities available in this broad field. The discussion concluded with a look at the challenges and opportunities cities will face in future years, and what types of jobs will be needed.

On October 19th, the Exploratory Panel was held. This panel was meant to be broader and cover a range of majors and careers.  Representatives were from both a not-for-profit organization and companies and included:

  • Josephine Minnow, Events Manager, Shutterstock
  • Daisy Vargas, Talent Acquisition Recruiting Associate, HBO
  • Mike Tyner, Freelance Director/Producer, Truth 2Power Films
  • Richard Burke, US Campus Technology Recruiter, American Express (AMEX)
  • Mwata Nubian, Operations Manager, Fort Greene Council

The panelists gave students an overview of their jobs, their academic and professional preparation, and how they prepared themselves in college for their professional careers.  Additionally, they gave advice on how students can prepare for the world of work while in college and what their next steps could be once they earn an associate’s degree.

The third career panel this fall was Women in STEM with speakers from different scientific/medical/technical areas:

  • Laura Dhariwal, MD, Atlantic Health System
  • Denise Cruz, CCC-SLP, Director, Clinical Education and Clinical Services, Marymount Manhattan College
  • Sherri L. Smith, Editor, Tom’s Guide/Laptop Magazine
  • Beth Spektor, Program Director, CUNY Tech Career Readiness, Office of Workforce Partnerships, CUNY
  • Jasmine Bayron, PhD Student, CUNY Graduate Center, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Moderated by Maranda Miller, Assistant Director of Learning Support, SUNY Maritime College, the diverse panel featured a physician, a doctoral student in earth sciences, an editor at a tech magazine, and two college administrators who provided a variety of perspectives for students to consider.  An in-depth discussion looked at misconceptions about women in STEM careers and how to deal with them and which soft skills are beneficial in the STEM area. All panelists agreed that having a mentor is critical to future success in the field. The session concluded with each participant speaking about the barriers and challenges they faced as they progressed in their academic and professional paths and what they learned along the way.

Patricia Payano and the Office of Partnerships & Community Engagement (OPCE) anticipate continuing these panels throughout the year. They have already received requests for career panels addressing the arts and for students with disabilities. In addition, Patricia wishes to hold events where students can learn from professionals such as brown bag lunches with individuals from different fields, site tours, and skills-building workshops.