Nick O'Neill and Bob Miller
Since 1995, Nick O'Neill and Bob Miller have been sharing their advice and professional expertise with Fordham alumni through the Career Continuance Support Group, which meets once a month on the Lincoln Center campus.
The seed for the group was planted in 1994, when O'Neill, an independent insurance broker who lives in Rockville Centre, N.Y., was looking for a new job. He contacted Miller, his old friend and former classmate, who since 1980 has been running a career outplacement and consulting service from his home office in Park Ridge, N.J. After landing a new job, O'Neill said, he "suggested to Bob that we team up and do a little something for Fordham."
That "little something" quickly grew into a successful career-counseling and support program that, O'Neill estimates, has reached more than 1,000 alumni since 1995. Each month, O'Neill and Miller offer career guidance, moral support (the sessions begin and end with a brief prayer) and a wealth of practical advice for alumni who are out of work, contemplating a career change or searching for more meaningful employment. The sessions are free and open to all Fordham alumni.
"I wanted to start the group because I had just gone through the process myself," said O'Neill, "and I realized that we had all kinds of things in place for alumni—cultural, social, athletic, even spiritual events and offerings. At the time, however, we didn't have a program that would help alumni look for work and find jobs."
The three-hour workshops take place at 10 a.m. on the last Saturday of each month, unless noted. Each session attracts anywhere from five to 25 alumni, O'Neill said. Click here for a list of upcoming career workshops.
"We've had the full range—men, women, all ages, executives, alumni in entry-level positions," he said. "The process is different for different people, but the principles are the same."
A recent session held in the Lowenstein Cafeteria drew six participants, five of whom were first-time attendees. One of the first-timers, a 2006 Fordham College at Rose Hill graduate who works for a health insurance company, said he was hoping to land a job as a web developer. Another participant, a 1979 Gabelli School of Business alumna, said she was looking for advice on how to leverage her experience in communications and reposition herself in the marketplace after spending more than 25 years with the same company.
Miller and O'Neill answered questions from each of the participants and offered general tips on how to prepare for an interview and how to craft an effective resume. ("Be concise and incisive," Miller said, as prospective employers typically spend only 30 seconds reviewing a resume.) They also stressed the importance of networking, and encouraged participants to take advantage of Fordham's Office of Career Services.
"There's a sense of fulfillment in helping fellow alumni," said O'Neill. "We always tell them that the worst that will come out of a meeting is that they know they're not alone in this process. Support is just as important as anything else. That's evident when alumni start talking with each other."
The group will meet at 10 a.m. on the last Saturday of each month, (unless noted) in the Lowenstein Center, Lincoln Center campus.
Topics can include:
- Trends in the market place
- Job search activities
- Role of the Internet
- Resume writing
- Open discussions
Click here for a list of upcoming career workshops.
No registration or fee is required.
For questions or more information, contact Nick at (516) 678-5970 or Bob at (201) 307-9327. Call for information! Join for inspiration!
"I just wanted to send a quick note to thank you. Yesterday was my first Fordham Career Continuance meeting. I found the session very helpful and I am already implementing some of your and the group's suggestions into my search."
"Thank you so much for the enlightening workshop. As I mentioned, it is the first time in my life that I find myself unemployed, thank you for the ammunition."
"Thank you very much for taking the time last night to share your knowledge about job hunting. I think you and Nick do a wonderful job. You have given me new inspiration at a time when I was really scratching my head and wondering if it was possible to really leave the legal field behind."