Making Connections: Job Shadow 2015
In the fourth annual Job Shadow experience last week, approximately 180 Fairfield students and 133 alumni met in businesses, hospitals, research institutions, school systems and news organizations all across the Northeast and in the Midwest. Students got a firsthand view of different industries and career paths in their field of interest, and made great connections for their remaining time at Fairfield and post-graduation.
Gap, Inc. Headquarters, New York City - Click here to see the video!
Veronica Florentino ’10, hosted six Fairfield students—all of whom are communication or marketing majors—at Gap headquarters in Manhattan. Students toured the NY Gap Archives, a large room filled with multiple generations of Gap clothing, used as a resource for designers. Students also met with the HR department and the marketing team.
Florentino majored in economics, but found herself drawn to the retail field. Because of her finance background, she was recruited for a new team at Gap—Merchandise Analytics, where as an analyst she employs a mix of her skills and interests. Florentino was able to share the progression of her career path with the students.
Veronica Florentino '10: “I think the students were trying to seem cool and collected through their [Archives] tour, but as soon as they walked out, it seemed like the collective reaction was ‘OMG, that was so cool!’ One of the team members from HR commented that normally when they host college students, they’re very quiet, but the Fairfield students were engaged and participating. They all had questions and were interested in being there. I couldn’t help but remind them to enjoy their remaining time at Fairfield, but they’re all ready for the next step and looking for opportunities to learn.”
Jacqueline Cooper ’16: “The Dolan School continually stresses the importance of networking, and the Gap employees did the same. I also learned that it is okay to have multiple career paths. Once you graduate you may not end up at the job you expected, but that is okay—career paths change and so do your interests.”
Lauren Engelke ’15: “I was able to listen to people’s experiences who were standing in my place just a few years ago. I learned a lot about what is expected of me and the numerous opportunities within the marketing field. It was a great day to expand my networks and provide the ability to continue networking!”
Madison McNeill ’15: “The day went great!... We got to see the Archives, which was very cool…. It was very enlightening to see how much [the staff] love their jobs… I really appreciated everyone’s advice and will take what I learned with me for future job interviews.”
Pictured at Gap, l-r: Lauren Engelke ’15, Madison McNeill ’15, Ally Tuozzoli ’16, Veronica Florentino ’10, Christie Camarda ’16, Jacqueline Cooper ’16, Taylor Biggs ’16
Strategia, Chicago, Ill.
Katherine Ansani ’16 shadowed Ric Gruber ’08, an attorney and founder of a start-up company, Strategia, a full-service creative agency that creates web design and digital logos for companies. Gruber also arranged for Kate to spend an additional day shadowing with his mother at Two By Four, a Chicago ad agency!
Ric Gruber ’08: “Katherine wasn’t just a shadow—she was thrown right into the mix. Our creative team asked for feedback regarding a site launch that had been months in the making and her fresh eyes were just what the team needed for a different perspective on the site’s UI/UX. Katherine didn’t see beanbags and nap-time; she was able to experience the fun, excitement, and intensity of a creative team searching for perfection within the constraints of a client’s budget and strict deadline.”
Katherine Ansani ’16: “I was lucky to have had the opportunity to shadow in Chicago especially two different people!... I learned a lot about what it takes to start your own company… It’s great to know that Fairfield’s alumni network extends far beyond the tristate area, and that alumni are so willing to give back to their alma mater and help out current students.”
Bridgeport Hospital, Bridgeport, Conn.
John Orazietti BSN ’97, a certified registered nurse anesthetist and academic coordinator of the Bridgeport Hospital/Fairfield University Nurse Anesthesia Program, showed Michelle Costa ’15 and Hang Tran ’16 around Bridgeport Hospital during their day there. Orazietti involved the students in a variety of operative cases, from transurethral prostate resections (TURP) to laparoscopic hysterectomies. “The students were knowledgeable and very inquisitive,” said Orazietti.
Hang Tran '16: My experience with John was great... We had six operations on that day, so it was a busy morning... I was able to observe what he did in the operating room clearly...John is a very friendly and funny person. He made you feel comfortable. I learned a lot about what the nurse anesthetist does through this experience.
Octagon Marketing, Norwalk, Conn.
Two Fairfield students shadowed Tom Freda ’13, an account trainee at Octagon, an agency specializing in talent representation and sports, entertainment, and lifestyle marketing. Octagon is part of the Interpublic Group. Three other Fairfield alumni joined in to make the students feel welcome and tell them about their areas.
Nicola Douglas '02, HR Manager: “The students were well-prepared, engaging, and showed ambition and the desire to learn as much as they could.”
Jaime Bivona '06, Account Manager: "We truly enjoyed introducing Katie and Anne to Octagon, our culture, and careers as well as the industry as a whole. We look forward to supporting both of these students and this program in the future.”
Joe Perkowski '13, Account Executive: “The students were engaged, professional, and showed a passion for our business. The Job Shadow program is perfect example of the excellent resources available at Fairfield’s Career Planning Center.”
Tom Freda '13: “The Job Shadow Program was a great way to connect real, experienced alumni with seniors who are looking for more than just the classroom experience...They were engaged and had great questions for all of us!”
Anne Guglielmoni ’15: “Job shadowing at Octagon was an awesome experience. Throughout the day, we were given the opportunity to meet with many Fairfield University alums… We also sat in on one of the company’s MasterCard Sponsorship meetings which gave us a great example of what a day at Octagon is like… I am very grateful for this opportunity and hope to maintain the great relationships I was able to make.”
Katie Donohue ’15: “Terminology and skills that I have learned in the classroom were in the forefront of the [debriefing] meeting. This was reassuring—to know that what I am studying so hard for will be put to good use in my career… A good tip we learned was to be persistent… If you have the opportunity to connect with a Fairfield alum, you have a better chance of finding something in common with them.”
Pictured l-r: Jaime Bivona '06, Katie Donahue '15, Joe Perkowski '13, Anne Guglielmoni '15, Nicola Douglas '02, Tom Freda '10
Fairfield’s Job Shadow program is hosted in January each year.
Student applications are due in October.
Visit www.fairfield.edu/jobshadow for more information.