“In my experience, the transition from college undergraduate to career professional represents the first wholly uncharted step that many of our students will take,” says Economics Professor Carli Ficano, PhD, chair of the business and accounting department. “While I am confident that their curricular and co-curricular Hartwick experiences have prepared them well, I often find that the students themselves are uncertain about where their chosen paths will lead.”
Enter the Student Trustee Advantage Program (STAP) – a faculty/trustee collaborative designed to guide Hartwick students through that unchartered step. Trustee Keith Fulmer says, “Career connections are incredibly valuble. I’ve seen it in action.” In fact, he has helped make it happen. The treasurer of Hartwick’s Board of Trustees and a former partner and senior executive at PwC and IBM, Fulmer started Hartwick’s STAP initiative a couple of years ago, formalizing existing trustee initiatives.
— Professor Carli Ficano
The program now includes six faculty working with 17 trustees on this expression of Hartwick mentoring. “It’s rewarding to offer insights and connections to students that help them determine career path options and begin networking in ways they might not be able to otherwise,” Fulmer says. “We’re ultimately here for them.”
The process is simple, and impactful. Professors pair some of their best students with trustee volunteers, taking care to align interests. Expectations are clearly defined, as are options for engagement. Sometimes trustees are able to forward students’ resumes to colleagues, other times they talk about industry trends, offer tips for interviews, and discuss career options.
“So many trustees are involved, all with different expertise and career paths,” Fulmer says, citing the arts and entertainment, business, communications, consulting, corporate social responsibility, finance, law, marketing, nursing, public health, and public policy. The faculty brings in students with interests and majors in those areas.
Trustee Mary Pat Lindsley ’86 was quick to get involved. “When Keith came to me with the opportunity, I thought, ‘How fantastic!’” she says. “This represents what Hartwick was for me – a place of connections. That’s what continues to draw me; it’s everlasting.”
Lindsley’s first conversation with faculty centered on “What I do and where I could help.” Matched with four students last year, she says, “We talked on the phone and met on campus. I looked at their resumes and offered advice. Some had informational interviews at my company” in biopharmaceuticals. This year, she is working with Ficano to advise more Hartwick students.
“The Advantage Program is a great way for me to lean in and give back,” Lindsley says. “I feel such a commitment to our students.”
You have probably noticed that this edition of The Wick is devoted to mentoring Hartwick students and young alumni. Members of the Hartwick College Alumni Association have mentored for students for many years. Sometimes the relationship continues even after the student becomes an alumna or alumnus.
I have been serving as a mentor to several students for several years, offering advice about graduate schools, career planning, and job searches. The relationships usually grow in more personal ways, such as exchanging information about my vacations in England, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, and Japan; the mentees’ J Term and semester abroad experiences in Romania, France, and England; or an internship with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Boston.
The mentoring relationship often begins when students and alumni participate in a daylong job shadowing experience or in an internship sponsored by Hartwick’s Career Services team. For 25 years, our job shadowing and networking programs have been connecting Hartwick students with successful alumni in career fields that match their interests.
If you can offer an internship experience or job lead to a Hartwick student, please go to www.hartwick.edu/recruit; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or contact Assistant Director of Career Services Alison Dodge ’05 at email@example.com or 607-431-4249.
You’ll see – helping a Hartwick student or new graduate get started on her or his career is a very rewarding experience.
Michael C. Doherty ’73
Colonel (Retired), U.S. Army Reserve
President, Hartwick College Alumni Association
Catherine is an environmental analyst working for the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC). Mike spent his 43-year career in environmental protection as a sanitary engineer (commissioned officer) in the US Army, a civilian environmental planner for the US Navy, and a civilian environmental program manager for both the US Marine Corps and the US Army.
Employers and service agencies turned out in force to recruit Hartwick students during the annual Internship, Volunteer, and Career Expo this fall. Representatives of 70 organizations greeted more than 200 students who are ready to jumpstart their careers.
Alumni were well represented among the recruiters. Jennifer Schuman ’08 was there for A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital; Cameron Worthington ’17 represented AXA Advisors, LLC; Nathan Tweedie ’09 was recruiting for the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum; Chris Slonaker ’02 and Dane Alexander ’14 represented NBT Bank; Taylor Ashton ’18 was there for Opportunities for Otsego’s Violence Intervention Program; Andrew Gorzycki ’18 recruited for Tyler Technologies; and Nancy Tarr ’14 was there on behalf of the Well Dunn Foundation.
The event was a great success thanks to Hartwick’s Assistant Director of Career Services Alison Dodge ’05, partners across campus and in the community, and informal mentors who encourage students to step forward into opportunities.
You’ve “been there, done that.” Tell a student, or a class, how you navigated your way from college to career.
Listen, offer advice, review a resume, be a sounding board. Short regular phone calls; email/text exchanges; whatever works for you.
It only takes a minute to share a job opportunity online; go to www.hartwick.edu/recruit.
Host a student at your workplace. Share your insider’s perspective. Offer your voice of experience.
Deliver a lecture, meet with a small group, get on the phone with just one student, post on Hartwick’s social media.
No one know better than you the timeless value of a Hartwick education.
Show students how it’s done: make introductions; ask your contacts to offer informational interviews; accept LinkedIn request.
And asks you to talk with a promising student. Or make the call (email, text) yourself.
J Term in the US and abroad, collaborative research, internships, and more. Your gift can help students have experiences that set them apart.
To boost students’ careers and invest in the future of Hartwick’s next generation. We’ll help make it happen.
Contact the Division of College Advancement at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-431-4081.