Tag Archives: alumni

Collaboration, Cooperation and Teamwork: One Teacher’s Experience At Success Academy

Every afternoon, after a long but satisfying day teaching third grade at Success Academy Bed-Stuy 2, Lizz Tetu sits down with five colleagues and her principal for their daily debrief. Each teacher comes with a pile of student work and identifies the concepts their scholars had struggled with that day – with the shared goal of finding better ways to present the challenging material.

This sort of teamwork, engagement, and support is a hallmark of Success Academy Charter Schools, where Lizz, a 2010 NYU graduate, has worked for five years – but has taught for only one semester. The support she receives from her fellow teachers and her principal is critical to her development as a professional. 

One example of that teamwork is the daily debrief. At one recent Monday meeting, Lizz and her colleagues realized they had a common roadblock — their students were having trouble finding the deeper meaning of a poem they had been assigned. Said Lizz,  “As a team, we looked ahead at the next day’s lesson and asked some tough questions – how could we approach the material differently to help scholars improve their poetry reading skills? We’re so used to troubleshooting comprehension issues that it took only about 15 minutes to create a concrete action plan that addressed the problem.”

This level of support from colleagues, and the constant feedback and encouragement Lizz receives from her principal, has enabled her to grow as a classroom teacher – a job that was not her first career choice.

After studying education theory and policy at NYU, Lizz decided not to go into teaching. Instead, she accepted a position on Success Academy’s school operations team — learning the business side of running a school and dealing with issues ranging from student health and enrollment processing to field trip coordination and communication with parents.

Later, Lizz transitioned to the Student Achievement Team, where she learned to evaluate student data, identify scholars in need of special education services, and solve schoolwide problems alongside other school leaders.

But after four years working at schools in Harlem and the Bronx, Lizz found herself “itching to get into the classroom.”

As a graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study — which encourages cross-disciplinary thinking — Lizz is adept at applying the lessons learned in one role to the challenges of the next.

“Having been a part of those teams has proven invaluable to the work I do as a teacher. I knew how to think critically about student work, but now I get to implement changes and problem-solve on my feet, in front of our scholars,” Lizz said.

Those critical thinking and problem solving skills are essential elements of quality teaching, as are support from school leaders and opportunities for professional advancement.  

“As I learn and grow as a teacher, I continue to receive support from my school principal, who meets with me and observes my teaching every week. Also, our schools all have weekly professional development sessions,” said Lizz. “I would encourage anyone who’s passionate about social justice and ready to learn to apply to Success Academy – there’s such a sense of teamwork here, and everyone shares the common goal of ensuring our scholars receive the best possible education.”

Recognized nationally for its innovative education reform efforts, Success Academy is a network of 32 New York City charter schools (and counting) that currently serves scholars in kindergarten through ninth grade. It counts among its faculty and staff a large number of New York University alumni. For more information about employment opportunities, visit www.SuccessCareers.org (and check out these documentaries: Waiting for Superman and The Lottery).

Lizz Tetu is a third grade teacher at Success Academy Bed-Stuy 2 in Brooklyn. She graduated from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies, where she studied education policy and music.  During her time at NYU, Lizz worked as a student ambassador for the NYU undergraduate admissions office and as an office assistant at the NYU Steinhardt Music Department. Lizz has spent the past five years working for Success Academy Charter Schools. She received her Master of Science in childhood education and special education from Touro College.

Interested in joining Lizz at Success Academy?  Apply for the Success Academy Summer 2015 Teaching Fellows Program here!

Alumni Spotlight: Ke Jin

There are a wide variety of careers in hospitality. Through a career in hospitality you can focus on special events, finance, public relations, and more. NYU Tisch Center alumnus Ke Jin earned his Master’s Degree in Hospitality Industry Studies in May 2014 with a concentration in Hotel Finance. He shares a bit about his academic and professional experience on the What’s New Tisch Center blogRead the entire article here



The Job Search for Seasoned Professionals

Date/Time: Thursday, July 10th, 2014 | 6-7:30 PM

Location: Wasserman Center for Career Development, Presentation Room B

Thinking about changing jobs?  Getting back into the labor market and don’t know where to start? If you feel like you have great skills at your job, but not at job search, then we have the workshop for you. Join Steven Greenberg, CBS radio anchor of “Your Next Job” and expert on job search, who will discuss a new approach to getting hired in today’s competitive market.    The talk will focus on experienced jobseekers, who often face additional obstacles.   Steven will discuss how to combat the hidden bias against older candidates and offer concrete tools and strategies for enhancing your job search. There are new rules for success in today’s labor market, and Steven will help you develop a successful job search strategy.

Speaker Details:

Steven Greenberg is the creator and anchor of the CBS Radio news program “Your Next Job”.  His features air 15 times each week on WCBS 880 in New York, and on other CBS radio news stations. He has written popular articles about job search for Forbes.com and CNN Money.com,  and his job board for jobseekers over 40 has been profiled on NPR’s All Things Considered.   He is also the founder of a recruiting firm and a temp agency.   He was general counsel and HR manager for one of the most successful toy manufacturers in the US.  He is an attorney who practiced at two highly prominent law firms in NY – Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft  and Chadbourne Parke. He lives in Westport, CT with his wife and four sons.


For degreed NYU alumni and current students, please register through your NYU CareerNet account (click on the menu tab Events, then Seminars) to reserve a seat. If you do not have an account, please contact our reception desk at: 212.998.4730. Space is limited.

How to Get a Job at a Startup: Phase I

One of the most common questions I receive from budding entrepreneurs at NYU is ‘What’s the best way to get a job at a startup?‘ First of all, I love this question, because just 4 years ago, the question I heard most often was ‘What’s the best way to get a job as a banker or consultant?’ I’m so happy that the a large portion of the NYU community has set its sights beyond the corporate world, and I wanted to provide some insight on how to approach the startup job process.

I like to break the job search process in two phases:

Phase 1: Everything you do before you begin your formal job search process

Phase 2: The steps you take when you’re actively engaged in the hunt for the perfect startup job

This post is about Phase I:

There’s a multitude of ways you can prepare for the job search, and most of them should answer a simple question: ‘How can I make myself into the perfect startup employee?’ Four specific answers to this question are as follows:

1. Build internship experience

In general, the more experience you’ve had, the better. Note that I use the word ‘experience’, rather than ‘internships’. Quality is better than quantity. When we examine resumes, we look much more at the specific roles and responsibilities the applicant had, and even more importantly, what results they achieved in those roles. Far better to have had one job that gave you meaningful experience, then to have worked for several big name companies as a copy-making intern. Remember that your ‘experience portfolio’ matters far more than:

  • Your GPA
  • Your Coursework
  • Your Club/Leadership Activities
  • Your Volunteer Work

2. Build specific hard and soft skills

We’re always looking for interns that bring real skills to the table. It’s incredibly useful to have multi-talented people around in case we need a newsletter edited or a mockup created, or a report pulled from Google Analytics. The Microsoft Suite of tools is standard, and everyone has experience ‘using’ Facebook, Twitter, etc. but what harder skills can you build in your spare time? Sample skills include:

  • Hard Skills
    • Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator
    • HTML & CSS
    • Coding languages: Java, PHP, Python, etc.
    • Prototyping Tools: Axure, iRise, Serena Protoype Composer
    • Analytics tools: Google Analytics, KissMetrics, Qualaroo
    • Email Service Providers: MailChimp, Constant Contact, SailThru
    • CRMs: SalesForce, Zoho
    • Customer Service: Zendesk, GetSatisfaction
    • Other Social Sites: Google+, WordPress, Tumblr
    • Online Advertising: Google Adwords, Facebook, Twitter
    • Outsourcing Tools:Amazon Mechanical Turk, Odesk
    • Credibility within online communities like Reddit, Hacker News, Github, Quora
    • Testing / QA
  • Soft(er) Skills (always backed up by work experience)
    • Phone/Inside Sales
    • Usability Testing
    • Writing

3. Have a powerful web presence

Nothing screams ‘not actually interested in the startup world’ than an applicant that has no online presence. With the multitude of sites available for public profiles & community engagement, if we can’t find you on the web, it’s hard to believe that you want work in tech full time. Here’s a list of sites you can use to beef up your web presence:

  • Start a blog. Tumblr is probably your best bet for this, but Blogger & WordPress are fine too
  • LinkedIn – critical to have a LinkedIn profile (more on this next)
  • Twitter – so mainstream now that it’s weird for people to not be on it
  • Quora – lets you flex your intellect a bit and show off your interests
  • Google+ – shows that you experiment with new media
  • About.Me – easy way to put all your online properties in one place
  • Pinterest – show your aesthetic taste in something
  • YouTube – blow us away with your own channel
  • Meetup – shows that face-to-face matters to you, and gives us a feeling for your interests

4. Network like crazy

Many students think of “networking” as a sleazy way of meeting people and trying to figure out what you can get from the, yet nothing could be further from the truth. While most of entrepreneurship is about being a ‘go-getter’, networking is about being a ‘go-giver’. It’s about taking a genuine interest in hearing the story and discovering the passions of every person you meet, and doing your very best to help them in any way you can. Donate your time, your ideas, your energy – think through your network about who might be helpful to them, and make the connection. Connection karma has a grand way of coming back to help you when you need it most.

Remember to add every person you meet as a connection on LinkedIn. Why? Well, eventually, you’ll identify people in the world that you want to meet, whether to ask them for advice, to try and form a business relationship, or to hire them. LinkedIn is the tool that tells you how you’re connected professionally to people, and the moment you see that someone is a mutual connection, you can ask for a strong introduction, which is the best way to meet anyone. The more connections you have, the more likely you are to know someone that knows the person who will change your life. Best of all, people with large networks are attractive to startups for the same reasons – they have a large pool of people to call on whenever the company needs help!

Want to join the Start-up community? Attend the NYU Start-Up Career Fair taking place today, April 11th, at NYU Poly from 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM! To RSVP, click here!

Alright. Now so now you’ve invested the time in energy in being eminently employable.

Stay tuned for Part II of how to get a job at a startup…

Nihal Parthasarathi (NYU Stern ’08) is co-founder of CourseHorse, an online marketplace that helps people discover, compare and enroll in trusted local classes. CourseHorse partners with established providers of personal and professional classes (ranging from Spanish to cooking to continuing education) and centralizes their programs to make it easier for consumers to find classes and for professional educators to sell their seats. Previously, Nihal was an education technology consultant for Capgemini, where he worked to implement an LMS, redesign the website, and overhaul marketing for a major test-prep provider.

Resource of the Week: Mentor Network


Resource Name: Mentor Network

Where to find it: Thorugh your NYU CareerNet account

What it is: It’s a great resource that the NYU Wasserman Center provides to help students explore different careers by connecting them with alumni and other professionals who are interested in helping you gain valuable experience in whichever career field you choose.

How do they do that? The Mentors in this program are available for you to have an in-person informational interview in which you can discuss their occupation and even obtain career advice and strategies. They’re also open to a “Day on the job” or a “Shadow Day” in which you get to spend a few hours observing your Mentor’s daily work routine and gain a real work perspective on a potential career. Lastly, they’re even available through a phone or Skype call for you to gain even more career-related information.

Who it’s good for: It’s fantastic for all you NYU students out there who want to explore your different areas of interest but don’t really know where to begin. And of course, for alumni and outside employers who are willing to give advice or just talk to students about their jobs and companies.

Why you should use it: As a student at NYU, you don’t really have that much free time to take an internship or job in every company or career you’re interested in. This is a fantastic way to save time as well as get the benefit of talking with a mentor who’s willing to guide and help you figure out. And it’s easy to do so as well!

To connect with a mentor in your area of interest, you can come in for a walk-in appointment and a counselor will briefly go over protocol and the steps to utilize our Mentor Network.

If you have additional questions please contact career.mentornetwork@nyu.edu

In case you missed it: Days in the Life Alliance Berstein & Nan Fisher Entertainment

Mukul, a 2012 NYU Poly graduate and current Associate at Alliance Bernstein tweets about his day in the Technology Associate Program. Alliance Bernstein is a research-driven asset management firm that is global in scope and client-centered in its mission. Read about Mukul’s day by clicking on the logo below!

For more Days in the Life, follow us @NYUWassEmployer! And, as always, follows us @NYUWasserman for the most recent career advice and information!

Mentor Spotlight: Lisa and Lara


Lara Rosenblum

Company: Inzenka

Position: Consultant

College/University you attended: NYU

Major: Economics

How did you find your job? NYU CareerNet

What’s the weirdest job you ever had? I was a pizza delivery girl when I was 17.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Don’t apply to jobs you are not 100% interested in.

What is the hardest interview question you’ve ever been asked? How did you answer it?
What are the three areas of growth you see our company heading to over the next decade, and what notable market evidence supports your claims? I improvised and made something up on the spot.

What part of your college experience prepared you most for the real world? Graduate school internship

If you could tell your college self one thing, what would it be? Specialize.


Mentor Spotlight: Julian & Pauline

Julian Metcalf

Company: Moody’s Investor Service

Position: Associate Analyst – Public Finance Group, California Team

College/University you attended: MPA Wagner/NYU, BA SFSU

Major: Masters of Public Administration, BA of Geography

How did you find your job? Networking with alumni from Wagner. I identified a group of alumni working in the areas that interested me most. I asked them for informational interviews. During the calls I learned everything I could about their roles, their organizations and the challenges they face. One alumnus turned out to be the managing director of public finance at Moody’s. Her work seemed intellectually stimulating and very challenging. Working in public finances as an analyst seemed like a rare opportunity to learn about hundreds of government organizations and immerse myself in regional economics. After our phone call I did even more research, and followed up with thank you email and expressed my interest in working for Moody’s if an opening arose. I found even more alumni who worked at Moody’s at continued the routine of asking for informational interviews. Within weeks I had spoken with several people across the organization. Eventually it paid off, and two months later I was driving across the country to start at an opening in the San Francisco office.

What’s the weirdest job you ever had? Starting a business at age 17.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Remain open to new challenges and opportunities without losing sight of your big picture goals. It’s easier said than done, but both flexibility and commitment are critical for advancement and fulfillment.

What is the hardest interview question you’ve ever been asked? How did you answer
it? “Are you willing to do X.” The “X” being some unexpected and in my opinion negative component of the job. The problem was that besides this new twist I really wanted the job and in the middle of an interview when you’ve been unemployed for months it is easy to be very agreeable. However, I consider a job interview a two-way interview, where I am interviewing them as much as being interviewed. After a moment of honest reflection I said “no.” It was
difficult to essentially nullify my chances of the job mid-interview, but it was important for me to set limits for myself and communicate them. I wouldn’t recommend everyone react the same way, it is very situational. In many circumstances it is best to provide an affirmative answer, and spend time after the interview reflecting on your response.

What part of your college experience prepared you most for the real world? Writing essays and presenting in class. In every job I’ve ever had communication has been critical in some. Even in the most technical roles it is critical to convey abstract ideas through writing or presenting to your manager or groups. All of the essays and class presentation on even the most
random topics prepared me to better articulate my ideas and get my point across.

If you could tell your college self one thing, what would it be? Relax, stop worrying about what you’ll be when you grow up because there are plenty of jobs in the world and it just takes time to find them.


Pauline Ma

Company: Johnson & Johnson

Position: IT Analyst

College/University you attended: Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Major: Media, Culture, and Communication

How did you find your job? I completed a 6-month internship with J&J before my senior year and heard about the rotational IT Leadership Development Program which I am currently in the process of completing. The support of my manager and the network I had built within J&J definitely didn’t hurt!

What’s the weirdest job you ever had? Selling Cutco knives. I’d say it’s pretty weird when someone asks you what your job is and you respond with “I sell knives…”

What’s the best career advice you ever received? These words from Denice Torres (President of McNeil Consumer Healthcare) really resonate with me: “With your career, you have to say what you want – but make sure you want what you’re saying.”

What is the hardest interview question you’ve ever been asked? How did you answer it? “Tell me a time you made a mistake or came across a big challenge – and what you did to overcome it; how did you remediate the situation?” I think this is one of the hardest questions to answer because as human beings we just don’t like admitting when we’re wrong, and telling others about our mistakes is not an easy thing to do either! I addressed this question by
discussing the importance of humility and transparency in both professional and personal life, along with the consequence of owning the decisions I made and learning from them. I used my J&J internship and experience as President of an on-campus club as illustrative examples.

What part of your college experience prepared you most for the real world? Each and every one of my (8!) internships prepared me in different ways. Fundamentally, 3 things:

1. I got to experience “office life” in a variety of environments – large corporations vs. boutique firms, managing my career development completely on my own vs. being a part of a formal
internship program, etc.

2. I’m thankful that I was never in a position where expectations were for me to simply get coffee, answer phones, and make photocopies. Instead, I was given the opportunity to learn by being hands-on: creating press materials and writing releases, interacting with editors and bloggers, and more – tasks that my managers themselves were doing. I was lucky throughout the various internships that my managers weren’t micro-managers; they gave me the space to discover what parts of the business I liked (or not) and gave me the room to come up with solutions on my own when possible.

3. I learned early on how to navigate the office through building relationships, networking effectively, and communicating clearly to a diverse group of professionals from various functions and industries.

If you could tell your college self one thing, what would it be? I would quote Oprah Winfrey… “You can have it all. Just not all at once.”


Mentor Spotlight Network: Derek

Derek Simon

Company: “The Americans” (coming to FX in January, 2013!)

Position: Assistant to the Executive Producer

College/University you attended: NYU Tisch

Major: Film and TV Production

How did you find your job? I was referred by a friend, who had been involved in the production of the series’ pilot.

What’s the weirdest job you ever had? I spent two years at the Howard Stern Show in various positions. Some of the weird things I had to do are definitely not appropriate for wide publication (but I’m happy to share them in private).

What’s the best career advice you ever received? It sounds silly, but you hear over and over again that it’s always “who you know.” It couldn’t be more true. Every job I’ve ever had came from a connection — be it family, a good friend, an acquaintance, or a friend of a friend of a friend’s mom’s brother’s babysitter. I used to be very awkward and uncomfortable with asking people for an opportunity, but — at least in film and TV — it’s really the only way to get the job you want, and people understand that — and are almost always willing to help.

What is the hardest interview question you’ve ever been asked? How did you answer it?
While this wasn’t exactly a “weird” question, I was once told prior to an interview by the woman interviewing me: “These questions are dumb, I don’t want to ask them to you and I don’t care about your answers, but it’s company policy, so…” It made answering them really difficult, because I wasn’t sure how seriously I should take them after that — too seriously, and I’d seem really awkward in front of this woman who told me they didn’t matter, but too lightly might seem that I didn’t care at all. I’m still not entirely sure if she was just trying to throw me off.

What part of your college experience prepared you most for the real world? Internships, internships, internships, internships.

If you could tell your college self one thing, what would it be? You really aren’t as busy as you think you are.


Day in the life of ZocDoc!

Matt, an Operations Associate at ZocDoc tells us what a day in his life is like! Check it out by clicking the logo above!