James Hall, ’18

The deciding factor for why I chose to attend Saint Peter’s University was the conversation I had with representatives from the Center for Career Engagement and Experiential Learning (CEEL) at Accepted Students Day 2014. Our conversation revolved around the student placement rate for accounting majors, the relationships the office cultivated with different financial firms, and how Saint Peter’s proximity to New York City gives students an advantage in the recruiting process. I knew immediately I was in good hands and enrolled as a student the next day.

Throughout my freshman and sophomore year, I attended several of the CEEL- sponsored employer information events, resume workshops, and career seminars. However, my direct relationship with the office began at the start of my junior year when I was selected to be one of the first ten students to participate in the Goldman Sachs Local College Collaborative Program, which was coordinated and supported by CEEL. The GSLCC is a special professional development program, which consisted of a series of professional sessions to enhance career skills, provide insight to career options, and foster meaningful dialogue between students and experienced professionals using a case study project and workshops. The success of our team would not have been possible without the support of CEEL.

In August 2017, Mr. Enzo Fonzo, CEEL’s Director for Senior Career Engagement and Success, hired me as his assistant for the 2017-2018 academic year. My role evolved into being named the first Senior Year Experience Peer Advisor. In this role, I supported Mr. Fonzo in the career advisement of students and served as a peer resource and mentor, which included planning/conducting innovative programming initiatives, assisting students in writing cover letters, critiquing resumes and editing LinkedIn Profiles. In the fall of 2017, I participated in On-Campus Recruiting interviews. CEEL gave me the skills, training, and alumni contacts to get me prepared for these full- time opportunities. I was offered a full-time position as a Management Associate in the nationally prestigious Con Edison GOLD Program, which I started in June 2018.

I can say with complete confidence that CEEL is the hardest working office at the university, hands down. Working in the office was the highlight of my college career. CEEL did not only help me land my first job—they also gave me the tools and guidance to build a successful career. I encourage all students to get involved with CEEL as early as possible. Everyone in the office wants to see you succeed—so get started!