By Jada Butler
Assistant News Editor
In honor of International Women’s Day, LIU’s Office of Employer Relations hosted an event in the Hillwood Cinema from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on March 6, beginning with a students’ artistic showcase, and followed by a Women in Business panel.
The event opened with a performance by “the women singers of Long Island Sound Vocal Jazz Ensemble,” followed by the Post Concert Dance Company performing, “Like A Girl 2.0,” choreographed by Jennifer O’Neil, a senior dance major. Nino Chavchadez presented her original artwork focused on female subjects.
Five female executives then spoke on a Women in Business panel. The panelists included Barbara J. Beatus, Associate Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Long Island; Cary Carbonaro, Managing Director of United Capital of New York and New Jersey; Trooper Erario, a NY Troop Recruitment Officer; Mallory Kerley, Manager of Marketing and Communications for United Way of Long Island; and Wendy Ofer, a Diversity and Inclusion Specialist for Canon USA. Moreen Mitchell, University Director of Employer Relations, introduced and moderated the panel, asking questions regarding their career pathways, their current roles, and opportunities for students at their companies.
A Q&A followed the panel discussion. Audience members were able to ask for advice from these women on the best ways of finding success.
When it comes to interviews, it is always important to come prepared, the panelists said. They advised bringing a printed copy of your resume to the interview, even if the employer or recruiter already has it. “I know sometimes I’m too busy with other meetings to print out your resume,” Beatus said. “It’s always nice when you come prepared.”
How you dress for an interview can be important. Each panelist expressed her discontent with the style of dress that millennials tend to wear when coming to meet with them. “You can’t wear jeans to an interview!” Beatus said. “We tell people to dress business casual and they show up in sweatpants,” Ofer said. “A first impression is a lasting impression.” Panelists gave the advice to dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
When it comes to meeting people and gaining contacts to add to your network, a student asked the panelists the best way to sustain the relationship. Carbonaro said the best way to keep in touch is to utilize social media. “By commenting on my stuff, you’re constantly on my mind.”
Beatus agreed, giving the example of an employer that she kept in contact with. “I met a recruiter four years ago and at the time there were no openings, but I made a reminder to reach out every three to four months,” she said. “We kept a consistent, mutual connection for four years and eventually an opportunity came.”
“If there is someone very specific that you want to connect with, I would think to ask them if you can shadow them, conduct an informal interview, or even ask them to mentor you,” Kerley said.
Success isn’t easily obtainable and can sometimes come unexpectedly sudden or late in life. The panelists were asked if their current careers were where they expected to be working. It was a mixed response, with two out of the five panelists being in careers of their initial interests.
Kerley wanted a path that was completely opposite of what she did in high school. “I de facto [went] into communications, because I liked talking to people and branching out of my comfort zone,” she said. Kerley interned at several places, including a radio station, marketing & special events, public relations, and merchandising positions, before settling into a career with Canon.
Erario, who studied physical education in college parallel to her marine corps enrollment, discovered during her internship at a corporate gym, that it was not what she thought it would be. In her last two years in the marine corps, she applied for the police exam in multiple locations, and landed a job just as she graduated.
Beatus, who also teaches yoga, closed the panel by sharing a quote from one of her students. “My [yoga] student who is 65 said, ‘I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up,’ so just remember that,” Beatus advised. “It’s always a process, it’s always changing, so don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Just try to really think about what you like and what makes you excited. It could take you a while, but explore your options.”