Recent Graduates Start Strong in New Careers
Two members of the Class of 2013 say that their Fordham education, as well as the guidance they received from the Office of Career Services, helped set them up for success after graduation.
Jonathan Bonin, GSB ’13, is putting his Fordham finance degree to work at one of the world’s leading investment banks.
Bonin, an analyst in the corporate services and real estate division of Goldman Sachs, initially planned to major in history, but he changed his mind during his first semester at Fordham, after enrolling in a business course.
“I found out that a lot of what I was really interested in was the underlying economics of doing business and how economies actually operate. That kind of curiosity really encouraged me to explore more about those areas of business,” he said.
Bonin delved into the Gabelli School of Business's integrated business core curriculum, gaining a comprehensive grounding across the areas of accounting, economics, finance, information and communication systems, management/strategy, and marketing.
One program in particular, the Student Managed Investment Fund, helped Bonin chart his career path. He said the two-semester program, in which Fordham students invest $1 million of the University’s actual endowment, fostered his interest in becoming an analyst.
“It was an incredible experience to build a portfolio within the emerging markets space and diligently monitor that space on a day-to-day basis. I heavily invested my time [in the program] because the emerging markets provided the perfect forum for me to leverage my interest in world economics within a finance function. It really taught me, trial by fire, what the investing world is about,” he said.
He also met with a career services counselor at Fordham to start preparing himself to pursue internships.
“I wanted to know if there was a systematic process of participating in an interview and being able to help direct the conversation myself,” he said. “The process of learning how to interview was a learning curve, which Career Services helped me to overcome quickly.”
Bonin attended a Career Services information session with employers from the corporate services and real estate team at Goldman Sachs, the division in which he now works.
The division is responsible both for delivering services internally to the employees of Goldman Sachs, as well as building and maintaining the corporation’s infrastructure worldwide.
Bonin said the role has granted him valuable insight into how a business works.
“You’re able to gain excellent general business skills by learning and working with a variety of different businesses, such as travel, hospitality, and procurement. You’re learning how to run a business—this mini-economy that is Goldman Sachs,” he said.
Bonin said that he sees the connection between his Fordham education, steeped in the liberal arts, and the skills he needs to excel in his current role at work on a daily basis.
“As an analyst, my job is to look at raw data about the business and make sense of that information to tell a story as to how we can become more efficient as business managers,” he said.
“My liberal arts courses helped develop my thinking so I can see what questions I should be asking to better structure the presentations I give to my stakeholders.”
Garret Chani, FCRH ’13, started interning in the human resources department of Standard Motor Products in March of his senior year. He transitioned into a full-time job there as a human resources generalist in August, just after graduation.
Though he has been focused on human resources for the past year, Chani became interested in the field after exploring two very different career paths.
He entered FCRH as a pre-med student in 2009, but quickly realized that medicine was not the right fit for him. He settled on a major in economics, with an eye toward a political career.
After interning for the Mitt Romney campaign for a year and a half leading up to the 2012 presidential election, Chani began to reevaluate his career path. He had considered both pre-med and politics out of a desire to help people, but he learned that a political career might not fulfill that desire a way that was meaningful to him.
“The office I worked in focused on campaign finance. Our goal was getting people to help us by making donations. That’s a whole different kind of interaction than trying to help people with problems they’re having,” he said.
When he finished with the campaign, in the fall of his senior year, Chani sat down with Laura Greenbaum, a career services counselor at Fordham, and reflected on what he had learned and how he might translate his strengths into a fulfilling job.
He also attended an informational session with Google that semester, where employees from the company’s human resources department shed light on their field.
“They gave a different view of HR than what I believe is the stigma today. I believe that people look at HR and think they’re only there to enforce the bureaucratic side,” Chani said.
“During Google’s presentation, they emphasized the human side—how it’s our job to help the company run more efficiently by keeping all its employees as happy as possible.”
Chani met Fordham alumna Mia Kim, FCRH ’12, a Standard Motor Products (SMP) recruiter, at a Fordham career fair in fall 2012. He began interning in SMP’s human resources department a few months later and took over Kim’s role as a human resources generalist when she left SMP this past summer to attend graduate school.
Chani said he loves his role in HR, as it provides him an opportunity to help his colleagues when they have questions or work-related concerns. He also recently had the chance to lend a hand to some current Fordham students when he attended a Fordham career fair to recruit on behalf of SMP.
“It was very fulfilling to go back to campus. Fordham gave me all the tools I needed to succeed in the working world, and I think it’s really great that I’m able to give back by potentially helping someone else get their start in an internship with us,” he said.