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Freshman Elevator Pitch Finalist Lands Business Internship

When Madel Liquido ’19 signed up for the career workshop through CEEL (Center for Career Engagement and Experiential Learning) she figured it would be “a good experience.” The Saint Peter’s University freshman never imagined it could be a springboard to valuable professional connections and a paid summer internship in downtown Jersey City.

Liquido was one of 32 Saint Peter’s students who participated in the Goldman Sachs career workshop held on April 22. The intensive workshop was part of Community Teamworks, an initiative that pairs the investment firm’s employees with service projects in the communities where they work and live. During the daylong event, Goldman Sachs employees provided students insight and advice on resumes, interview skills and their 30-second elevator pitch. Students were presented with a scenario (you are standing in line at Starbucks and see a well-dressed executive) and challenges (start a conversation, make a positive impression and procure a business card or email).

Liquido, a mathematics major from Edison, N.J., drew on the customer service skills she honed at Dunkin’ Donuts for her elevator pitch. “I like starting conversations with customers,” she said. “Working with the public, you also have to prepare yourself for all kinds of people.”

Liquido’s pitch made a distinct impression and the honors student was one of three finalists in the competition, which led to an even bigger opportunity.

CEEL, which aims to help students with career development starting in freshman year, established a connection with Komar, an apparel company that recently relocated from Manhattan to Jersey City. Introductions were made, and soon after, Liquido was offered a business analytics internship that began on May 23. “Who knew an elevator pitch could lead to so many things?” she said.

Laura Pakhmanov, MHRM, executive director of CEEL hopes to see more students achieve concrete steps toward their career goals. Pakhmanov and her staff are implementing services and programs that encourage deliberate and proactive career planning. “The sooner students start [career planning] the more successful they’ll be,” Pakhmanov said.