Creative professionals from large and small companies visited campus on Oct. 12 for the Contemporary Arts Roundtable to talk to Ramapo students about their careers, the various industries they work in and internship opportunities in their field. This event was coordinated by Dr. Eileen Quaglino, CA Career Advisor.
“We had a musician who owns a small business, an independent photographer, several multi-media organizations and even a local municipality,” said Quaglino. “All were anxious to meet with students and share tips and advice for gaining entry into the field and getting experience.”
In attendance were professionals in digital marketing, music, photography, social media, journalism, visual communications and animation. During this event, Ramapo students rotated among the 11 employer tables to gather information. Students had the opportunity to ask employers various questions depending on the industry. “What do you do on a typical day?” and “What is the best way to find an entry level position?” were the most frequently asked questions.
Many students brought their resume to the tables hoping to find an internship for the spring semester. Students can earn academic credit for their internship through the Cooperative Education program, earning up to eight credits that count towards graduation. The School of Contemporary Arts requires a credit bearing internship in several of their majors.
“Participating in an internship during college is an invaluable experience for our students. I believe it is one of the best ways to determine whether a specific career path is right for you,” said Becky DeMarco, CA Pathways Coordinator.
Becky added that one of the great luxuries of college is that you have the time and support to “try out” different careers before spending too much time in a job you dislike.
Events like these give students the opportunity to hear firsthand what it is like to work in creative fields. One of the employers at the roundtable has worked with 30 Ramapo students over the past several years. Students assist with video editing, public relations, web content and design for his firm, Tranquility49. They also attend events where they have the opportunity to network with a broader group of contacts and professionals in the field. This provides real skill building and experience for their resume and will make them more competitive candidates when they graduate.
The interactions students had with employers at this event can quickly turn into a mini-mentoring session. KPMG’s Digital Marketing Manager, Karen Kennedy, is also a mentor in the KPMG University Mentoring Program. Mujahid Sheikh, a first-year computer science major, attended the CA Roundtable and spent 15 minutes speaking one-on-one to Karen.
“She specifically advised me to think globally and consider opportunities that would expose me to learning about other cultures and meeting people across the world,” said Sheikh. “My career interest is pre-med. Speaking to Karen helped me to understand how important understanding people and culture is in any field.”
This article was written by a student employee of the Cahill Career Center. Visit the Career Center’s website at www.ramapo.edu/careercenter, or drop by C-209 OR ASB-513 to learn about upcoming programs.