Alums share career advice during NYC event

It was reassuring to Wendy Liang ’25 to hear from alumni that she doesn’t have to know exactly what she wants to do with her life as a rising senior in college.

“A lot of the alumni here told us to not be afraid of our current situation, because we will figure it out,” Liang said of the interactions she had during a career connections event June 17 in New York City sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences Career Connections Committee (ASCCC).

Students talk with a Cornell alum
Jesse Winter Students met with 15 alums in the finance industry.

 “None of them said they knew what they wanted to do as a junior in college.”

Liang’s a computer science major but has a summer internship as a quantitative researcher with a financial services firm, so she came to the event — which was focused on finance — to learn more about the industry and the types of jobs available. 

Liang was one of 50 students at the event from across the university. They networked with 15 alumni from A&S with various careers in the finance industry, who shared advice about getting started in finance, the varied careers available and the importance of taking time to find the job that fits your interests and goals.

James Jabara ‘25 is working at a biotech startup this summer and has interests in entrepreneurship and science. He wanted to meet people who might give him some advice on how to move forward.

“The company I’m working with is really small, so I’m getting a lot of experience all across the board in all types of business strategy and operations,” said Jabara, who’s a chemistry and biology major with a minor in entrepreneurship. 

His main takeaway from the June 17 event was to think in terms of “microsteps,” he said. “I have a job I dream of having one day, but I need to think of what my first job out of college might be, then what that will lead to and then eventually I’ll get to that dream position.” 

The ASCCC is organized into five field teams of alumni and parents in the areas of media/entertainment/marketing; government/nonprofit and policy; law; finance; and healthcare. They organize events during summer and winter breaks to help students learn about careers. The teams also assist current undergraduate students as they begin to build their own Cornell alumni network.

Students and a Cornell alum sitting in front of a window with a great view of New York City
Jesse Winter Alums shared advice about getting started in finance and the varied careers available.

“It is very rewarding to know that not only are our students able to start building their own Cornell network by participating in the ASCCC events, but the activities also provide a great opportunity for our alumni to deepen their own connections with fellow Cornellians,” said Laurie Johnston, director of alumni engagement for the College. “The team members expand their own base by volunteering alongside their fellow A&S alumni and parents. We are so grateful to have such dedicated volunteers that help demonstrate how integral their liberal arts education has been to their own path.”

Amy Mulderry ‘96, interim president of CarelonRx, part of Elevance Health, hosted the event this year at Elevance’s office space in Manhattan. 

“This is the best way I can feel connected to Cornell, by talking to students about my own career path and what I’ve learned,” Mulderry said. “I hope to give them some assurance that they don’t have to make a decision now about where they’re going to be 20 years from now.”

Mulderry said students asked her about how to prepare for their first job and how to choose an industry to work in.

“I didn’t always choose certain things, but I found things that felt very interesting to me and I trusted a gut feeling with jobs that felt exciting and interesting,” she said. 

woman speaking to a group of students
Jesse Winter Amy Mulderry ‘96, interim president of CarelonRx, part of Elevance Health, hosted the event this year at Elevance’s office space in Manhattan.

Davis Choi ’26 came to the event wanting more information about careers in finance. He’s always been focused on law but wants to broaden his career options.

“It’s great to meet people who are so accomplished in their fields,” said Choi, a student in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. “I wanted to learn what I might be interested in for the future.”

Kathryn Erich ’26 said another benefit was being able to network with other students interested in this career field.

“It was great hearing how everyone’s internships are going and fostering connections with our own peers,” she said. 

Other career connections events took place on June 11-13 in New York City, with the government and policy event scheduled for June 27 in Washington, D.C. Alumni who would like to support A&S career development-focused endeavors are encouraged to support the Career Development fund.

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student listening to someone
Jesse Winter Alumni from the College of Arts & Sciences in the finance industry shared insights with students during a June event in New York City.