New fund helps students explore career options

An alumna from the College of Arts & Sciences has created a new fund to help students with some of the unexpected expenses of career exploration – travel costs for interviews, conference attendance fees and even a new interview suit.

The new professional development fund in Arts & Sciences Career Development helped students to attend this year’s New York Recruiting Consortium event Jan. 11 in New York City.

Natalie Arimah ’19, a government major, was able to secure a host of interviews for positions in the law field, one of which turned into a job offer.

“The funds that Arts and Sciences provided were literally the difference of me being able to go to these interviews or not at all,” Arimah said. “I’m not from New York and getting to the city and staying for days, especially without the guarantee that I would make it to the next round of interviews, was too much money to spend. But with the funding I was able to not worry about that, and it was like a wave of pressure was lifted from my shoulders, and I could actually focus on nailing my interviews”

Rose Gutfeld ’78, the alumna who contributed to the fund, said she wanted to help lower income and first-generation students.

“Unlike students from wealthier families, these students often have difficulty paying for such items as graduate school application fees, professional attire and travel to interviews,” said Gutfeld, an English major who was very involved in The Cornell Daily Sun as a student. “The money I am donating is aimed at helping students pay these costs and overcome the disadvantages they face.”

Gutfeld’s Sun work led to a job at The Wall Street Journal and she later worked at Congressional Quarterly, did freelance writing and editing and taught a writing class at American University. 

“I was inspired to make this donation by my years of volunteering at CollegeTracks, an organization in Montgomery County, Md., that helps low-income and first-generation high school students navigate the college-admissions process,” she said. “CollegeTracks helps them apply for financial aid, study for standardized exams and submit college applications, among other assistance. Over the years, I've been able to see how this support has helped level the playing field for these students.”

The New York Recruiting Consortium event connects juniors and seniors with interviews for full-time employment and internships with employers based in the New York City area. The companies attending represent a variety of fields, such as consulting, education, finance, health services, legal services, medical research, nonprofits and publishing. The consortium includes Cornell, Bard College, Brown University, Connecticut College, Swarthmore College, Trinity College, Union College and William & Mary.

Students can learn more about eligibility, what the professional development fund covers and apply for funds on the A&S Career Development website. Learn more about the New York Recruiting Consortium.

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