Tag Archives: employer perspective

Networking Tips from International NYU Alumni

Panelist information:

Glenn Meyer, May 2013, POSSIBLE, Marketing Data Scientist

Dounia Kchiere, May 2013, UNICEF, Global Social Media Consultant

On Tuesday, October 8, the NYU Wasserman Center@SCPS hosted a strategy session for over 40 international students called “What is Networking? And How Do I Do It?” Co-sponsored by the SCPS Integrated Marketing Association.

In case you missed it, here are the top 8 tips shared by panelists Dounia Kchiere and Glenn Meyer, former international students and 2013 SCPS alumni who are now happily employed in NYC.

1.     Get out of your comfort zone: Challenge yourself to attend networking and social events on your own. Set a goal of meeting two new people at each event…and follow up with them. Don’t just stand in the corner with your friends and people you already know, this is not networking J

2.     Ask for information, not a job: The purpose of networking is to build relationships and to raise awareness of “your personal brand”. It is a way that students can uncover information about industries, potential opportunities, job searching strategies, and organizations. Never ask someone “what jobs are currently available at your organization”. Instead ask for information, advice, and insight.

3.     Address cultural differences: Networking is challenging for all students, but often international students come from cultures were networking may not be as common. Take the time to understand U.S. business culture and why networking is so essential to landing an opportunity in the U.S. Ask Wasserman Center Career Counselors, professors, and American students for advice on how to network and what is and is not culturally acceptable.

4.     Leverage social media to connect with industry professionals: Follow industry leaders on Twitter and LinkedIn and comment on their posts. This is a great way to connect with high-level professionals that you might not be able to meet for face-to-face meetings.

5.     Follow-Up, Follow-Up, Follow-Up: After meeting someone once, continue to build the relationship. Share updates about yourself (example: academic accomplishments and internships) or offer interesting information relevant to the industry. This will keep you top of mind with your professional contacts.

6.     Use the NYU Mentor Network: Leverage this Wasserman Center resource to connect with industry professionals for informational conversations. Interested in learning how to access the NYU Mentor Network? Stop by the Wasserman Center@SCPS for walk-in hours at 7 East 12th Street, Suite 829 (Monday/Thursday 4-5pm & Tuesday/Friday 12-1:30pm).

7.     Take risks: Start a relevant blog to help brand yourself as an industry expert! Send a LinkedIn message or Tweet to an industry professional that has your dream job! Approach panelists and event speakers after a presentation to introduce yourself! You will be amazed how these actions will help you to reach your goals.

8.     Don’t get discouraged: Building your network in the U.S. takes time and a lot of energy. Not everyone that you reach out to will necessarily respond to you. Don’t take it personally, move on to the next person and you will find that more often than not, people are more than willing to speak to students.

Join us for a series of workshops and seminars to learn all about marketing your background in the U.S. job search. Sign up through Career Net for this week’s events. 

Employer Perspectives: AllianceBernstein

Name:  Muneeb Syed

Grad Year:  2013

Current Position:  Investment Management Operations Associate

Muneeb Syed graduated from NYU in 2013 with a major in Economics. He is currently a Technology & Operations Program Associate at AllianceBernstein in the Investment Management Track. In his spare time, he likes to watch and play sports.

I’m currently an Associate at AllianceBernstein in Derivative Operations under the Investment Management track. Prior to joining, I had attended NYU and graduated with an Economics major in May 2013. Prior to starting full time in the rotational program, I took part in the 10 week internship in the summer after my junior year. That experience allowed me to realize that AllianceBernstein is where I wanted to spend my career. I was fortunate to land an offer to return for the rotational program and it has certainly lived up to its expectation.

Benefits of a Rotational Program

The rotational program presents an opportunity to continue to develop new skills and continuously learn about different sides of the business. It provides direct exposure to many different roles within the company and an opportunity to really figure out where we find the most interest. There are always new challenges or opportunities to learn about the industry and to really refine our skill-set.  It’s a difficult transition going from college to the work force. However it’s an adjustment that AllianceBernstein does a great job in supporting. Unlike most regular full time positions where you’re thrown into a particular role on a team, a rotational program allows you to get experiences in many different areas of the business before settling on a permanent role. AllianceBernstein serves as a great place to not only apply the skills that are taught throughout college but to really learn new ones.

Culture at AllianceBernstein

The culture at AllianceBernstein is one of the greatest selling points that the firm has. It’s modeled behind four behaviors:

·       Be Team-oriented

·       Be Ingenious

·       Be Relentless

·       Be Accountable

It’s an environment that tremendously supports collaboration between peers. The goal of the firm is to serve our clients to the best of our abilities and that isn’t done by any single individual but instead by putting together the ideas of everyone. The firm is relentless in that individuals go above and beyond to complete the challenges that are presented to them. By being accountable, individuals aren’t asked to take the blame if something goes wrong but it empowers them with the ability to speak their mind and take action. And lastly the firm is ingenious in the way that it promotes creative ideas and provides the resources and tools to implement them. All four behaviors are very apparent at the firm and it has created a really fun and exciting environment to work in.

Employee Resource Groups

The firm also does a great job in providing opportunities to create a great balance outside of work.  There are many employee resource groups that are tailored towards different interests. For example, the AB Volunteers group plans different events to provide employees the opportunity to do community service dealing with various social issues. They advocate the importance of giving back to the community and serving those that are less fortunate. Other groups include the AB enERGy team that promotes and advocates environmental-friendliness through their events as well as the LGBT club, AB Run Club, and several others. It serves as a tremendous opportunity to network with our fellow employees throughout the company while taking part in a lot of the things that we’re passionate about.

Size of AllianceBernstein

The size of firm is one of the greatest strengths at AllianceBernstein. Larry Cohen, the head of Technology and Operations perfectly defines the firm as, “big enough to do what you would want, but small enough where you know who you’re working with.” At AllianceBernstein, we get to work on really exciting projects alongside brilliant individuals. There are a lot of tremendous minds at this firm who are open to sharing their insight. It serves as a great opportunity to continue to learn and grow.


The mission is really simple at AllianceBernstein: to serve our clients. Regardless of where individuals are in the firm or what their specific role is; their ultimate goal is to help the end client. Everyone is supportive of one another and help achieve that ultimate goal. Managers do a great job in explaining how everything aligns with the strategy of the firm that enables a unity to exist throughout the firm. AllianceBernstein is a great place to not only start off a career but where one can continue to grow and develop. The firm is focused on keeping its talent and nurturing them to take on leadership opportunities. The rotational program is the beginning of that development process.

Interested in a career at AllianceBernstein?  Get more info and apply to jobs by checking out the below!

Thursday, September 12NYU Career Fair

Friday, September 13 On Site Info Session – AB Office 2:00pm

Monday, September 16NYU Twitter – Matt Chen will be posting about Life In the Day Of – Software Development Associate

Monday, September 16 – On Campus Info Session – Career Center, Room B @ 12:30

Job Postings:

Software Developer: Job ID 902067

Infrastructure Engineer: Job ID 902060

Business Analyst: Job ID 902024

Investment Management Operations: Job ID 902064

Global Analytics: Job ID 902046

Guest Blogger: Q&A with BALLROOM BASIX™ Founder Sidney Grant

Learn more about the inspiring inner city school project and apply to several internship opportunities that will help you make a difference!  Expand your skills as a Development and Fundraising intern, a Media Services intern, or a Programming intern by applying through NYU CareerNet.


Founder/Artistic Director Sidney Grant gets a thank-you hug from one of his BALLROOM BASIX™ students, “Miss Angela” from PS114Q in Rockaway, whose school was severely damaged in Hurricane Sandy



Before we talk about your inspiring inner city school project, BALLROOM BASIX™, I have to ask you how got your your nickname: Dr. Dance. It’s fantastic! Can you tell us about it?

Years ago I was at a dinner dance on the Upper East Side, seated next to none other than the famous sex therapist, Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Our first dance together was a foxtrot. As we were gliding across the floor, she asked me what I did, and I told her that I teach connection to young and old alike through Ballroom and Latin dancing, and went on to explain my philosophy about what an incredible contribution this connection can make in the lives of those who experience it. When the dance finished, she looked up at me and exclaimed, “You, sir, are the Dance Doctor!” The next day I registered the name at City Hall — and the rest, as they say, is history.

A history that includes being named “New Yorker of the Week” on NY1 news last summer, and being nominated for “New Yorker of the Year” in December! Why do you think that was?

I am grateful to have a dedicated BALLROOM BASIX™ team that recognizes the magnitude of our mission, so the honor really reflects our combined efforts. The bottom line is that we live in a day and age where all of us — but especially children — are increasingly desensitized and depersonalized by technology: e-mail, texting, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. It was this fact that lead Academy and Tony-award winning actress Marcia Gay Harden to lend her voice as our celebrity spokesperson.

Sadly, face-to-face interaction is such a rare commodity nowadays, and I think the producers at NY1 recognized how vital a program like BALLROOM BASIX™ is as a creative conduit for respectful physical interaction among young people, at a critical adolescent age. The NY1 press clip includes interviews with two of the middle schoolers from our pilot school that captures the effect of our dynamic 2-month program quite poignantly. Click to watch: http://youtu.be/jkEcGFEW1Qg

You recently did a demonstration up at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. The student journalist who covered the story quoted you as saying, “We need to put the ‘civil’ back in ‘civilization’ ” Can you elaborate?

Manners have largely disappeared from society, and one of the hallmarks of our culture is civility. As a result, bullying has become epidemic in our schools. BALLROOM BASIX™ is a creative way to transform “girls and boys” into “ladies and gentlemen.” We use a specific script whereby every student has to ASK for and ACCEPT the dance. “Tradition Position” (linking arms to escort a partner on and off the stage or gym floor), is required of ALL students. This is just one example of manifesting our memorable motto: “Making manners matter…every move we make.”

I love the alliteration! And schools must too, since what you’ve achieved statistically since your inception as a not-for-profit three years ago is nothing short of extraordinary. Can you share with our students some of your accomplishments?

Gladly. I actually began the project 5 years ago in a single school, PS 180, in the Morningside Heights section of Harlem. It was their first year extending beyond elementary school with a 6th grade class, hence the name Ballroom BaSIX — which is also named for the six steps of the box step). We spent the next two years developing and refining our unique, non-competitive methodology — which both educators and parents agree is the healthiest way to have the greatest benefit for the greatest number of children. And since my syllabus is rotational, it ensures that EVERY child will dance with EVERY other classmates EVERY class. That’s a real game-changer when it comes to peer relationships — in an engaging and entertaining way, of course.

After two years, and an additional Harlem school, BALLROOM BASIX™ was accepted into NYFA, the New York Foundation for the Arts, thereby becoming an official not-for-profit entity. In 2011, we transitioned to FCNY, The Fund for the City of New York, and have been a Partner Project of theirs ever since. In those two years, thanks to the support of private donors who believe so strongly in our work, we achieved the unthinkable: 1,000 schoolchildren served!

Incredibly, in this past 2012-13 school year, we MORE THAN DOUBLED that number, serving an additional 1,800 students in over a dozen schools in Harlem, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn! What’s more, we enjoyed our first regional launch in Hudson, NY last fall through Obama’s Greater Promise Neighborhood Project. Consequently, as a fledgling not-for-profit that is expanding rapidly, we need interns to work alongside our team as we grow.

That’s impressive short-term growth! So exactly what kind of qualities are you looking for in an intern?

Reliability. Compassion. Authenticity. I have no doubt that the academic qualifications of an NYU intern will be outstanding. But an appreciation for the significant impact we have on each and every child we serve is critical. Our entire team believes wholeheartedly in this premise, and so we want like-minded interns who recognize the power of our transformational programming.

I would ask every candidate, regardless of which position they are interested in, to think back to a time in their own childhood when they felt ostracized or rejected, and recognize that BALLROOM BASIX™ — as the only noncompetitive initiative of its kind — is designed to instill inclusiveness and cooperation by getting kids arm-in-arm, hand-in-hand and eye-to-eye — with “fun, fitness & fancy footwork!” If this resonates strongly for the applicant, then we encourage them to contact us. Hard-working interns who truly appreciate our mission will undoubtedly discover a mutually rewarding experience that will serve them at NYU and beyond.

To learn more about BALLROOM BASIX™, please visit their website at www.ballroombasix.org.