My Spartan Success with Caitlin Zungoli

#MySpartanSuccess Interview with Caitlin Zungoli

Conducted by Laurie Child


FullSizeRenderCaitlin graduated in May 2015 with a degree in Finance, and a minor in Math.  With her hard work and always positive attitude, Caitlin was a big hit around campus ultimately leading to great opportunities and success. This was made evident by referrals for internships; after taking a class with Dr. Orenstein, Caitlin was recommended and hired as a Wealth Management and Financial Services Intern with UBS in Paramus, NJ. In her senior year, Caitlin was contacted for an internship with Cross River Fiber (a start-up telecommunications company) by former adjunct, Professor Sokota.  After graduation this internship turned into a full time position as a financial analyst, making her the 9th full time employee with the company.

Caitlin is currently working at BMW as a business planning analyst after stumbling across the position on LinkedIn.  Seeing the headquarters first thing on her previous everyday commute, she was very excited about this opening, realizing the opportunity and desire to always work there.  LinkedIn directed her to the company’s website through which she was able to complete the application process.  Within two weeks was contacted to set up an interview.  The interview was a 2 step process; first with two members of the team she would be working with, then after hearing back, the department manager and the retail network manager.  Caitlin obviously made a great impression, and was quickly followed up with a job offer, pending a background check and drug test. She could not have been more excited!

A few months after being hired, she went to orientation in Jersey City, where BMW imports its cars.  At the end of orientation, they returned to headquarters where she was able to network with others in the company and learn about other areas of the brand. Some of the many benefits of working with BMW include: working aboard, discounted leasing options, health and retirement benefits, and getting the first glimpse at new vehicles and upcoming projects.  As business planning analyst, Caitlin is responsible for over 400 BMW and MINI dealers, working with their financial statements to create national and regional reports.  At year end she is also responsible for the dealer accounting manual and informing dealers of their working capital requirements to name a few things.  Let’s just say that the great perks don’t come for free!

Caitlin has some great advice, and urges everyone to realize that nothing is out of reach. When applying to BMW they had 400 other applicants on Linkedin alone.  Always be personable! You never know who and when someone might be able to help you!  By leveraging and working with her professors she was offered multiple internships, one leading to a full time job position.  Caitlin expresses the importance of internships and how they were a vital key to her success.  Internships give you the much needed real world experience, but with the ability to learn what you like and dislike in a position or a particular field.

Strive to be successful, both in and out of the classroom, your GPA is important but so are extracurricular activities.  Caitlin’s time at STAC was filled with extracurricular activities that helped build her resume.  Most highlighted was the Business club in which she went on to became President.  Part of her responsibility while President included planning speakers to come and present.  This really encouraged her to leverage LinkedIn and the people she had met throughout her college career to fully reap the benefits of networking and help others network as well.   A great way to build your resume and create connections is to utilize Career Development and take advantage of their events like resume writing workshops, Dining Etiquette and Recruit Westchester just as she had.

She recognized early on the importance of building relationships with professors by being friendly and attentive. They will notice and recommend you for events and leadership opportunities.  She advises to always sit front and center to make sure the professors know you are engaged and focused on the topic at hand.  These small yet effective details led Caitlin to internships, academic awards, but most importantly valuable experiences that made her the most qualified applicant for the job!


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