On Oct. 18, 2017, the Manhattanville Offce of Alumni Relations and the Student Ambassador Association (SAA) hosted the annual 5 Under 25 event. The event included four Manhattanville Alumni, each student under 25 years old. One of the former students was unable to sit on the panel. The audience differed from senior undergraduates, who wanted to hear what life after college would be, and staff members who wanted to reconnect with their old students.
Panelists included 2017 graduates Falon Kirby, Assistant Publicist at HarperCollins Publisher and Jordan Winch, Subsidiary Rights Assistant at Macmillan Publishers in the Children’s Group. Patricia Rodriguez-Diaz, class of 2015, an Administrative Assistant to the Office of Residence Life, and is also enrolled in the Manhattanville College School of Business Graduate Program for Marketing and Communications Management. And Graduate of 2014, Eliazar Smith-Harllee who is the Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach at Manhattanville. He is also involved in the Manhattanville College School of Business Graduate Program for Sports Business Management.
Each alumnus was asked a series of questions throughout the panel such as how internship opportunities as undergraduates provided them with skillsets to enter the workforce, and how active roles on campus help life after graduation. The panelists were also asked to reflect about what leadership skills were learned at Manhattanville, and an open discussion on the transition to the “real world” versus undergraduate life.
Winch explained how her internship opportunity turned into a career at Macmillan Publishers. She clinched the job a few weeks after interning and could start immediately after graduation. Her leadership roles on campus helped her push for more diverse opportunities in her job.
Life after graduation was an easy jump for Kirby because of her active role as the former Editor-in-Chief of the Touchstone newspaper. She spoke about how her leadership role in journalism was almost parallel to the publishing world.
“There will always be deadlines, even after graduation- that’s something that I learned very…quickly” said Kirby.
One of the questions that the panel was asked to reflect on was if they would have guessed where they are now freshman year of college, would they have guessed correctly. Rodriguez-Diaz explained that she would have never seen herself at Manhattanville, but was pleasantly surprised at how much she enjoys what she does. She spoke about how the transition from being a full-time student with a job to being a full time administrative assistant to part time graduate student is “all about time management.”
Each alumnus agreed that the best advice to give to undergraduates who are about to make the transition into the “real world” would be to stay home for as long as possible. “You have the rest of your life to live on your own, stay at home and save your money as for as long as you can,” said Winch.
Overall, each alumnus was prepared to transition in the real world because of the opportunities and possibilities that Manhattanville provided for them as undergraduates. They were happy to come back and share their wonderful experiences with their former classmates and professors.