My Spartan Success with Jessica Freeman

#MySpartanSuccess Interview with Jessica Freeman 

Written by Laurie Child


Ever consider an internship? Hear from current STAC junior, Jessica Freeman who is currently interning with Sterling National Bank at their headquarters in Montebello, New York. Jessica is expecting to graduate the spring of 2017 whilst working toward a Bachelor of Science in Finance.  She began her internship in September 2016 in tandem with the fall semester (a program that earns 12 credits) and will work through December.   Jessica was informed about the position and program by her finance professor, Dr. Trendafilov; he then referred her to Mary Vota along with the Career Development Office who explained the process and what the program entailed.  We asked Jessica to explain the interview process to us. “Before I could be interviewed, I had to fill out an online application and submit my resume. Once I was successfully screened, I was called in to interview by the liaison to Sterling as well as the heads of the credit, accounting and ops departments. They asked me a series of questions about my academic record and my goals for the future”.  This internship program is very competitive, and involves many screening processes.  Jessica explained how, “Mary Vota was beyond helpful, she was always available to answer any questions I had about the process”.  Jessica expresses the importance of connecting with your professors, stating that, “If it wasn’t for Dr.T recommending this program to me I would have missed out on this fantastic opportunity”.  

Jessica currently splits her time between the Credit and Finance Department at Sterling. Some of her responsibilities include: spreading financial statements, pulling credit reports, and performing due diligence on potential clients.  Her favorite aspect of the internship is performing due diligence, “I like investigating clients and looking for their online presence”.  One of her favorite experiences so far was meeting the CEO of Sterling, Jack Kopnisky and explains how, “He is a great leader and has grown the company immensely since he has taken over”.  Jessica loves her internship at Sterling, and emphasizes how much she has learnt so far and how good of an experience it has been.  She is currently in the interview process for a summer internship as an Analyst and is hoping her current internship will increase her chances for consideration.

The importance of networking is magnified in the current job market, and sites like LinkedIn enforce this.  It is important to always be professional and make as many professional contacts as you can.  You will never know who and how someone may be able to help you. We asked Jessica what advice she would give to current STAC students looking for a job or internship?  “My advice to another student at STAC looking for a job or internship would be to take advantage of the Career Development Office as well as to build professional relationships with professors. If you are able to establish a relationship with a member of faculty, they will often think, and refer you to positions that they hear become available”.

My Spartan Success with Brendon Padilla

#MySpartanSuccess interview with Brendon Padilla      

Conducted by Laurie Child                                                             

Brendon at the New York Stock Exchange

When do you plan to graduate and what is you major?                                    

Brendon: I am currently a Communication Arts Major, scheduled to graduate this December, 2016.

Can you tell me a little about the position you have?                                        

Brendon: I am currently transitioning from an editorial intern to a freelance position with CNBC. I recently interviewed and successfully obtained the position to work for the CNBC audio team on Wall Street.  During the past 2016 Presidential election, I was called in to work in the sandbox.  This involved controlling the different cameras from other Networks, and being able to switch to different feeds if needed.  I am currently training to be the audio board controller, and will be actively working with CNBC after graduation.  Some of the responsibilities I have will include: to mic people on set (including Mad Money with Jim Cramer), control audio levels and camera angles, and work in the sandbox.

How did you hear about this position?                                                                                                

Brendon: Part of a Professor Prior class involved taking a tour of the CNBC headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey.   To work at CNBC was always a dream of mine, and the tour of the facility was amazing.  The technology they have and the resources available are out of this world.  After the tour, I knew I wanted to work there, but was apprehensive about applying due to a lack of experience.  After speaking with Dr. Durney about the tour and my aspiration of working at CNBC, he put me in touch with Mary Duffy (STAC alumni), Vice President of Talent Development.  I set up a time to meet with her and discuss the possibilities at CNBC and what I needed to do to get my foot in the door.   I spoke with her for 10 minutes at maximum, with no position lined up.  A few weeks later, I received a call and was offered a summer internship position in the talent development department.  It was a dream come true!

How did STAC help you in your career search?                                                                                

Brendon: My time at STAC helped in showing me the importance of persistence and goal setting. The personal relationships gained with the professors in a small classroom setting gives you the opportunity to extend your network and leverage your contacts.   Without Dr. Durney, I would not have had the opportunity to meet with Mary and get my foot in the door obtaining my first internship with CNBC.

What is your favorite aspect of the position, can you give an example of what has been your favorite experience so far?                                                                                                    

Brendon: Working two internships with CNBC, and now training for a freelance position, I have worked in different departments in different locations. I cannot exaggerate the community aspect of working at CNBC, and the people I work with.  I truly love going to work and being on site at CNBC.   One of my favorite experiences so far has to be working with Jim Cramer on Mad Money.  As an intern, I ran the scripts to Jim and got to know him on a first name basis (having regular conversations with him before his set).  I love his show, and before CNBC I would not have dreamed to be working directly with him.

What advice would you give to STAC students looking for a job or internship?                    

Brendon: I would advise current STAC students to take advantage of the networking opportunities at the college, especially the professors, their backgrounds and potential contacts. When competing against some of the bigger named schools out there, it can be very daunting to many students from smaller schools.  Do not let this get to you, but motivate you to show how STAC has prepared you.  Focus on being unique and detail orientated when in the workplace.

My Spartan Success with Sean Wilson

Sean Wislon, 2016

Interview Conducted  by Laurie Child

Written By Victoria Perrotta

When do you graduate, and what is your major?

Sean Wilson is currently a senior and is expected to graduate in May of 2017. He is majoring in Communications with a Minor in Public Relations.

Sean Wilson at Fox News Station

How did you hear about the position?

Sean is currently interning with Fox News in the Digital Library Department where he pulls, cuts, and edits old video clips to be used on the Digital Platform. Sean had previously applied for a position at Fox but missed the deadline, and was unsuccessful. He reapplied the next time it became available and was contacted for an interview.


Can you explain the interview process?

The interview process was a unique one, and split into 4 phases. The first phase, applying online and submitting his resume and cover letter.  After a successful screening, he was then contacted for phase 2 of the interview process – an online process in which he assumed he would be talking with someone via Skype.  Instead, it consisted of a question popping up on the screen, and given 60 seconds to answer before moving to the next question.  After completing this phase successfully, Sean was contacted for a phone interview and eventually obtained the position.   Unlike the traditional interview process, Sean was never asked to come in and participate in a face to face conversation.

How did STAC help you in your career search?

Sean used the Career Development Office during his early years at STAC, helping him put his resume together and layout his experience appropriately.  Sean has really benefited from the small school environment, taking advantage of the personal connection with professors and participating in classes that may not be available at larger institutions.   An example of this is the Communication Skills in Business class which is taught by Professor Winship. Part of this class involves participating in a Mock Interview, and completing a self-evaluation of your answers and preparation.  Sean found this very useful and was able to apply his knowledge to his Fox success.  

What is your favorite aspect of the position, can you give an example of what has been your favorite experience so far?    

Sean loves his current Fox News internship, “I love the fast paced environment of working in New York City, and the social aspect of the office”.  Sean has recently obtained another internship with Fox News in the production department.  Although he loved his time in the Digital Library, he wants to pursue a career in production, and this internship is a dream come true.   

What advice would you give to STAC students looking for a job or internship?      

Sean’s advice for current students is to “get yourself out there”.  Although it seems daunting, you have to be proactive and leverage the opportunities STAC provides with the small school environment and the services offered here.  “Before successfully getting this position with Fox, I applied to 20 plus companies, and did not hear back from any of them”.  He went on take an unpaid Internship with the Rockland Boulders which although was not top of his list, gave him the direct experience to production, and allowed him to compile a professional portfolio with published works. He advises students to “consider every opportunity, and not overlook anything that may not be top of your list – learn to say yes”.