Making Connections: Job Shadow 2017
Each year during winter break, Fairfield University’s Alumni Job Shadow Program pairs students with alumni professionals across the country for a day of career exploration. The program was launched in 2011 in collaboration with the Alumni Association, Alumni Relations, and the Career Planning Center. The Alumni Association Board envisioned this new program as a way to give Fairfield’s alumni across the country opportunities to provide career guidance to undergraduate students. The inaugural year began with 49 alumni matched with 60 students. This year’s Alumni Job Shadow week grew to 242 students and 171 alumni in business and organizations across various industries. This year, students spent the day at Barclays Center, WebMD, Medtronic, LinkedIn, Heineken, AMC Networks, Michael Kors, American Express, NYU Langone Hospital and many more.
The Alumni Job Shadow Program is designed to give students a unique and up-close look at the world of work in a career or industry of interest. “Students learn about different types of internships and career opportunities and build their professional network. Students get a firsthand view of a day in the life of an alum and it allows the alum to share their experience with the student,” stated Kim Nickolenko, director of Experiential Learning and Internships at the Academic & Career Development Center. “It also helps them gain important and necessary networking skills. They are able to make connections with alumni mentors while at Fairfield and to assist them in their job and internship and post-graduation.”
At Heineken, Maya Krysicki '17 shadowed alumna Mary Kelly '02, director of Consumer Insights. Throughout the day, Maya was able to meet other employees in various departments including Financial Reporting, Brand Finance, Talent Acquisition, Brand Management and Shopper Insights, and was able to speak to Mary about her career and career opportunites within marketing.
"I believe that the Alumni Job Shadow Program is an wonderful opportunity that all Fairfield University students should take advantage of. I was fortunate enough to participate in the program last year and visit American Express with alumna Lisa LaGratta. This was another incredible experience and I only have positive things to say," stated Krysicki. "I’m very thankful for both Mary and Lisa who volunteered their time to participate in the program and prepared such informative and enjoyable days for me to spend with their companies. Also, thank you to Fairfield University’s Academic and Career Development Center for developing such an incredible program!"
Kelly Bommer '18, a business management major, spent the day at Barclays Center with alum Gerald Sauvigne '09, director of Accounting. Bommer spent the day touring the center and speaking with Sauvigne about his position, discussed the various operations at Barclays, and their respective careers in the field. "Being that the industry of business and sports is such a competitive market, having the opportunity to speak with Jerry gave me a leg up on the competition as I move forward in my professional endeavors," stated Bommer. "I am thankful for the opportunity to shadow at the Barclays Center and encourage students to become a part of the program. I hope one day to host a student!"
Meghan Ward ’05, a nurse practitioner at NYU Langone Medical Center, hosted three Fairfield students at job shadow this year. “I loved letting the nursing students shadow me this year. I am so passionate about both nursing and Fairfield and felt really proud to have them come,” stated Ward.
Once again, alumni reported that they got more than they gave from visits with the students, which makes this program a successful venture for everyone involved.
For more information about the Job Shadow Program, please visit https://www.fairfield.edu/jobshadow.
Pictured: Maya Krysicki '17 at Heineken