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Colgate Professional Networks – Online

By Contributing Writer on January 11, 2016

Since 2012, Colgate has hosted nearly 100 Professional Network events around the country. These events have afforded thousands of alumni and students with an opportunity to network and grow professionally. “The response from the Colgate community at these events has been inspiring,” said assistant director of Professional Networks, Jillian Arnault ’10. “These events have created many business connections and both alumni and students attendees have landed jobs and internships as a result.”

Up until now, much of the opportunity to connect with the Networks has been afforded to those who are able to attend an event in person. In early January, Colgate partnered with Brazen to deliver virtual networking opportunities to all alumni, regardless of location. The Brazen platform, which is mobile friendly, allows alumni to connect with one another virtually. “Think of it as speed networking – online,” said Arnault. “This is an easy, but meaningful way to expand your network and make connections with alumni you might not otherwise have met.”

Devon Skerritt ’00, Colgate’s Dallas club president, believes strongly in the power of connectivity within the Colgate community. “When I lived in Boston after graduating, it was easy to connect and network with fellow classmates and alumni through in-person events and casual gatherings. When I started advancing in my career and moved to Dallas, it became more important but also more challenging. An online networking platform will be an incredibly powerful tool to intentionally connect the entire Colgate alumni community and help people develop their career network.”

The first virtual networking event will take place on February 3. Watch your inbox for details or visit the registration page.

Watch the Professional Network Law and Finance summit on M&A

By Contributing Writer on December 3, 2015

The Colgate Professional Networks Law and Finance Summit was held in the fall of 2015.

The panel conversation about M&A featured:

Robert Kindler ’76 (moderator)
Vice Chairman of ISG & Global Head of Mergers & Acquisitions | Morgan Stanley

David Allinson ’92
Global Co-Chair of Mergers & Acquisitions | Latham & Watkins LLP

Patrick Ramsey ’90
Co-Head of Americas Mergers & Acquisitions | Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Melina Higgins ’89
Retired Partner | Goldman Sachs
Member, Boards of Directors | Mylan N.V. and Genworth Financial, Inc.

Scott Barshay ’88
Co-Head of Corporate Department | Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

For more videos and content around Colgate’s Professional Networks, subscribe to this news feed or visit Colgate.edu/networks.

Meeting Alumni Through the Colgate Professional Networks

By Jillian Arnault on July 23, 2015

Colgate University’s Center for Career Services has an incredible ability to fill a room with some of the most brilliant Colgate minds in today’s world. Because of this, events like the discussion on Digital Media and Technology hosted in San Francisco are great opportunities for students, parents, and alumni.

Before the panel discussion, I found myself in a conversation with Colgate alumni working at Yahoo, Twitter, Airbnb, and GoPro. These alumni made it a point to give me their business cards and told me to reach out if they could do anything to advance my career. I had at least three more experiences like this throughout the night, proving that the opportunity to network at these events is second-to-none.

When the panel discussion actually began, you could have heard a pin drop. The collective experience and expertise sitting on the five chairs at the front of the room had everyone in the audience at the edge of their seats. The panel discussed the idea that our technology and ways of doing things on a day to day basis are changing so fast, there really is no way of projecting what tomorrow will bring. People used to get their information from newspapers and televisions, whereas now we have every piece of information we could ever need at the tips of our fingers (or in our pockets). Disruption seems to be the name of the game… Much to this point, Jason Rand ’07 gave a brief overview of the event and quoted Tom Goodwin of Havas Media, “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate.” I walked out of this event with a pocket full of business cards, a stomach full of some of the best food I’d eaten in a while, and a mind filled with more insight into the world of technology than I ever would have expected.

Complementing my experience at the panel discussion, I was also privileged to have attended a luncheon at Airbnb earlier in the afternoon, hosted by Chris Nulty ’09. This event was much more low-key and personal, yet just as memorable. About fifteen Colgate alumni and students crowded around a single table, sharing experiences and giving advice. People asked questions about how to make one’s way into a position similar to what someone else at the table already held, how to get the most out of entry-level jobs and internships, and how to maximize a Colgate education.

When all eyes and ears at the table fell on me, I defaulted to my experiences in the Thought Into Action Entrepreneurial Institute (TIA) from the previous school year. Every time I get the opportunity to rave about TIA, I take full advantage of it. Mentors from all over the country travel to Colgate once a month to meet with student entrepreneurs to help in any way they can. The mentorship I received as a result of TIA and Yuni Sameshima ’13 is the reason my venture has come this far.

I was fortunate enough to have been selected as one of the featured student entrepreneurs that ultimately presented to a “shark tank” at the end of the celebrity panel discussion. This year’s panel featured Jessica Alba, Founder and CEO of The Honest Co., MC Hammer, Entrepreneur and Musical Artist, Greg Coleman, President of Buzzfeed, Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Warby Parker, and Dan Rosensweig, CEO of Chegg and former COO of Yahoo. Presenting PetFed to this All-Star panel was definitely one of the most memorable experiences of my life to date, not to mention my venture received a generous amount of funding from the sharks.

I cannot wait to see what is next for the Colgate Professional Networks and Thought into Action. I strongly suggest that anyone who has the opportunity to attend a Colgate Professional Network event in the future takes full advantage of it.

Blog written by Daniel Mosko ’17.

Fundraising 101: Entrepreneur Event in NYC

By Jillian Arnault on July 7, 2015

This blog is written by Kerry Houston ’16.

On Tuesday, June 16, the Colgate Entrepreneur Network hosted “Fundraising 101,” a panel and interactive discussion led by distinguished Colgate alumni with experience in building their own businesses, marketing their brands, fundraising, and team-building. Hosted by Chairman of The Match Group, Greg Blatt ’90, the panel took place at IAC Headquarters in Chelsea. Moderated by Senior Editor at Forbes, Steven Bertoni ’02, the panel consisted of:

Alexandra Thompson ’02, Founder and CEO of Persifor LLC,
Nick Kenner ’03, Founder and CEO of Just Salad,
Tim O’Neill ’78, Managing Partner at Golden Seeds Fund 2 L.P.,
Katie Nadler ’06, Director of Strategy and Business Operations at GLAMSQUAD,
and Ryan G. Smith ’13, Founder and President of Trupoly.

Discussion included a variety of topics pertaining to entrepreneurship and the risks that are inherent in starting a business. Following the panel discussion, three Colgate alumni were invited to present their business models to the audience. Barbara Patrick ’92 presented her brand “Bitty Birdie LLC,” an underwear line designed specifically for young women. Former college roommates and student-athletes, Chris Brown ’05 and Keith Williams ’05 then introduced “9D Sports,” their sports training company that is a product of their mutual love for athletics and desire to encourage proper training techniques. As a rising senior interested in sales, marketing, and advertising, I was especially interested in learning about how these entrepreneurs harnessed their passions to create impactful companies which they are trying to expand to larger markets.

Before this event, I was well aware of the many challenges aspiring entrepreneurs face in today’s dynamic market where start-ups are increasingly prone to failure. However, the panel discussion and the questions posed by alumni did an excellent job of highlighting the many ways in which you can utilize your liberal arts education and critical thinking and analytical skills to approach such challenges from innovative perspectives. A networking reception followed the presentations, allowing over 200 Colgate alumni and students to share ideas, make connections, and engage with current students interested in entrepreneurship. It was an incredible experience to speak with a variety of Colgate alumni and learn how their time at Colgate, combined with real world experience, has been an instrumental factor in their success. Connecting with such alumni has not only cemented my firm belief in the strength of the Colgate alumni network, and its commitment to help launch the careers of new graduates, but has also inspired me to pursue employment opportunities at emerging and nontraditional companies.

Alumni Panel Discusses Alternatives to Medical School

By Jillian Arnault on April 9, 2015


Alternatives to Medical School Panelists and Moderator

Moderated by Dr. Julie Chanatry, the Health & Wellness Professional Network presents “Alternatives to Medical School,” a discussion of career paths in the health care industry. Panelists include Rachel Stahl ’13, Dr. Robert Raiber ’68, Carolyn Baker ’05, and Erin Murray ’11 (not pictured).


The Health & Wellness Professional Network sponsored an on-campus panel discussion on the topic of Alternatives to Medical School. On March 6, more than 50 students from all class years attended the program to learn about career options in the field of health care. The panelists included Dr. Robert Raiber ’68, dentist; Caroline Baker ’05, physician assistant; Rachel Stahl ’11, nutritionist; and Erin Murray ’13, session assistant. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Julie Chanatry, chair of the Colgate Health Sciences Advisory Committee and member of the chemistry department faculty.

The alumni shared insights into their respective fields as well as their personal career paths. They talked about their Colgate experience and what factors influenced their decision to pursue careers in health. The students found both their advice and the exposure to new careers very beneficial. Courtney Dunphy ’18 said, “I was under the impression that most jobs in the field required medical school so I was thankful to hear from so many of our alumni about all the other options. It was nice to hear how the panelists decided that medical school wasn’t for them and how they were able to find other careers they love.”

According to Jack Nuveen ’16, the panel opened his eyes to another option within the industry. “The Alternatives to Medical School panel encouraged creativity and open-mindedness when it comes to looking for jobs in health care. Dr. Raiber provided the student attendees with a unique perspective on the dental field saying that being a dentist is equivalent to being a ‘physician of the mouth,’ and he encouraged students with a different and interesting perspective that they would not otherwise be able to obtain at Colgate.”

Dr. Raiber’s advice also resonated with Matthew McDowell ’16, who said he spoke to Dr. Raiber following the panel to learn more about dentistry, a field he had not previously considered.

From the robust attendance, we know that our students are interested in learning about the varied and diverse career options in health care. The Health & Wellness Professional Network looks forward to offering similar panels in the future.

Post written by Colleen Oliva, career advisor in the Center for Career Services

Colgate Hackathon: Project Descriptions

By Contributing Writer on March 12, 2015

Children & Youth First (CYFUSA)

Children and Youth First is a Nepali NGO that helps marginalized kids and teens access their right to quality education at the progressive boarding school Life Vision Academy. This USA division of the NGO is a registered 501c3 nonprofit that directly connects Western donors with this dynamic and unconventional school.

Life Vision Academy (LVA) started out as a tiny school building with 14 students and is now a multi-building facility with 34 students, a holistic critical-thinking curriculum, and a young creative board of directors. However, LVA is on a rented plot of land with skyrocketing fees, a facility too small to accept new kids who want an education, and a terrible landlord who even locks students out of the school. These children want to build a safe, sustainable, new Nepal, but first they desperately need to build a safe, sustainable, new facility.

Starting with $75,000 for the initial construction process, we can start building LVA 3.0: a safe space for creative young leaders, an inclusive home for marginalized children, and a facility that can open its doors to 200 students.

Goals and Needs:

My goal as the Executive Director in the US is to connect this school — which is low on funds but high in potential — to Americans who want to invest in this young generation, defend the right to education, and participate in a community making exciting visible change. Right now we have four main team members: Jenny in Florida is our Director of Fundraising for LVA, while Morgan in DC and Priya in NYC came on board specifically to market CYF’s women’s cooperative (explained further below).

Nepal team’s website: cyfnepal.org. This is the one master CYF website, and CYF USA has a page tab but we do not have our own autonomous website. This has been a point of contention between our division and our parent organization, but the Nepal team is absolutely unwilling to budge on the idea of CYF USA having our own website, due to web abuses that the former CYF Finland team committed before closing their division. Because we do not have direct access to editing cyfnepal.org, it takes a while for them to post our edits, and the language/aesthetics of the site itself are not a 10/10, my team and I are pushing to make the most of what we can out of other websites and tech resources that aren’t specifically a “cyf usa” website. For example, we have free reign over running a donation website that is specifically committed to LVA 3.0 (lifevisionacademy.org).

Sample template for lifevisionacademy.org: We own the domain but haven’t activated this site yet, as it is an incomplete prototype. We use TicTail as the web platform for making this draft site. See #3 below for how we’d like to improve this; you can see the very rough draft of the current website at lifevisionacademy.tictail.com if you want to see what we’re working with (which is minimal).

Online donations: We have a PayPal account (accessed at cyf.donate@gmail.com) to which we currently have our TicTail sites linked. We also have a GoFundMe crowdfunding page (gofundme.com/cyfusa) that links LVA 3.0 donations to the PayPal account, but we are pretty inactive on the site. All our funds go securely into our US banking account, and then we wire to our Nepali bank account.

Social Media: We are way behind on social media, as our social media intern last summer stopped in August and we have not been able to hire a new one yet (or stay on top of it ourselves). Our Facebook page is the most active platform (facebook.com/cyfusa), and we have fairly inactive Instagram and Twitter accounts set up (@cyf_usa) but that anyone rarely posts on. We definitely need to revitalize our strategy here, and we absolutely need someone focusing their time and attention on this more than we currently have.

Team communication and project management: Our team just switched from Trello to Podio to organize all of our combined project management processes, reminders, and calendars. We also have two master Google docs we rely on, one for meeting minutes and one for women’s cooperative merchandise. We have conference calls with the four of us weekly via Google Hangout.

Outreach to mailing list/donors/sponsors: This is something we haven’t started at all yet, but we have a MailChimp account established and plan to start utilizing it soon.

Women’s Cooperative eCommerce store: We have two new team members specifically working on the Haushala women’s cooperative, which is employed by CYF in Kathmandu and ships merchandise to us in the US to sell. Half of the profit from these items returns to the marginalized women who are building economic and social independence through the cooperative, and they donate the other half to LVA. The eCommerce store is not a big current priority of mine, as we have two team members dedicated to it and my priority is the LVA capital campaign, but we do have a store right now via TicTail at www.haushala.com and are in the process of switching to Squarespace.


Colgate Thought Into Action Institute

Thought into Action was built from the bottom up, starting with one alumni entrepreneur and 10 students.  We now have over 100 students participating in the Student Incubator alone, supported by over 100 alumni mentors.  In addition we are officially now the Entrepreneurship Institute for Colgate and have launched the Entrepreneurs WeekendEntrepreneurs Fund, and the Summit Speaker Series.

Two main philosophies drive what we do. 
a. The only way to learn about entrepreneurship is to do it, i.e. start creating something from nothing NOW.
b. The best people to learn from and be mentored by are people who do it every day, our alumni entrepreneurs

We accept for profits, non profits, local initiatives, campus clubs, etc. This makes for a very rich group of passionate student entrepreneurs.

Goals and Needs:
Student Incubator
We built a web application from scratch that serves our Student Incubator. This has gone through thousands of iterations.

We use a lot of Google docs and email for the logistic side or organizing mentors for our Weekends, pretty ugly but it works.

Entrepreneurs Fund: We use F6S.com, Google docs and email to run our Entrepreneurs Fund.

Colgate Website: We just revised all of the pages on www.colgate.edu/entrepreneur around entrepreneurship to tie things together.

Social Media: we do a crappy job with social media, such as Twitter, with all of the above.  We should be using Instagram creatively, but don’t.  Don’t do much on Facebook, etc. And could even be doing more interesting things with video from our program, students pitching a progress over time, mentor know how.  See startupclass.samaltman.com.

Technology could help us deliver on a huge opportunity in extending TIA and our methodology beyond students to: the large Colgate community: many alums and parents out there starting businesses that could use help
The Hamilton area; local business owners, Hamilton students, and even the region…refugees and poor towns

Better scheduling tool / workflow for the Student Incubator would be great, but small in vision

Crowd funding student ventures I still think is a great opportunity but there is some sensitivity to this.  Middlebury does it well with middstart.middlebury.edu

Funding for the program, not life or death, but more how it’s supported (University, Endowment, etc.)
Resources…we are effectively three people running it, with support that we are EXTREMELY fortunate for
Awareness in the Colgate Community

Recognition nationally for the unique and innovative approach to entrepreneurship that Colgate has developed over 6 years

Constantly tying entrepreneurship into the Liberal Arts and proving their mutually beneficial relationship

Finance & Banking Network Collaborates with Student Group

By Jillian Arnault on February 17, 2015
Bill Rindfuss '87 Skypes in with Colgate Finance Club

Bill Rindfuss ‘87 participated in a Skype conversation with Colgate students on Sunday, March 8.













The Colgate Professional Networks are designed to help Colgate students and alumni in a variety of ways. Over the course of the school year, the Finance and Banking Network has proven to be extremely valuable to current Colgate students through a range of programming focused on professional development.

In November, a group of nine alumni returned to campus for the Colgate Finance Club’s Young Alumni in Finance program. This event took place over a day and a half to allow for ample time for students to learn from young alumni and keynote speaker, Joe McGrath ’85. Nearly 50 students participated in this important program.

Since then, alumni have continued to support students in their professional development. On March 8, the Colgate Finance Club organized a Skype conversation with Bill Rindfuss ‘87, Executive Director, Strategic Programs, Haas Finance Group at Berkeley. More than 30 students participated. Students learned a lot from Rindfuss’ discussion of his previous roles in finance in New York and San Francisco along with his current position teaching in the MBA program at Berkeley-Haas. According to Rindfuss, “Students weren’t shy about asking questions or following up afterward, which is great because I encouraged them to think of alumni as part of their network and to capitalize on that network. It’s easier for undergraduates to take that step when they understand that alumni want to help them and participating in sessions like this shows that’s the case.”

Additionally, the Finance Immersion Trip, a signature event for these groups, will be taking place again in March. With alumni hosts at Credit Suisse, Voya Investment Management, and AllianceBernstein, among others, it is clear the alumni community is a strong supporter of these students. This immersion trip is an invaluable experience designed specifically to give sophomores and juniors exposure to the industry as they start thinking through their future careers.

The collaboration between the Finance and Banking Network and current students is sure to benefit students for years to come. According to Tyler Forbes ‘16, president of the Colgate Finance Club, “The Finance and Banking Network has been great throughout the entire year with regards to engaging interested students. The Network has helped bring back alumni within the field of Finance in order to educate the Colgate Finance Club on multiple different topics. The Network has been very flexible with their approach, and we are very pleased to be working with the Finance and Banking Network moving forward.”

Colgate students participate in non-profit career immersion trip

By Contributing Writer on January 6, 2015
Colgate undergraduates learn about non-profit careers during a Common Good immersion trip in NYC.

Colgate students learn about non-profit careers during an immersion trip in NYC.

The Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education (COVE) and Colgate Career Services began Thanksgiving Break by taking a group of twenty Colgate undergraduates to New York City for a non-profit career immersion trip and alumni networking reception sponsored by the Common Good Professional Network.

“The students who participated blew us away with their preparation for the trip and engagement throughout the visits,” said Krista Saleet, director of the COVE. The students visited four non-profit organization: Fiver (Tom Tucker ’67, Chairman) , Cities of Service (Rachel Greenburg ’10, Program Manager), the Malala Fund (PJ Kadzik ’12, Program Coordinator) and the Rockefeller Archives (Jim Smith ’70, Vice President/Director of Research and Education).

“The alumni who hosted us at the various sites shared great information about their organizations and career paths that helped illuminate a path forward for students interested in common good careers,” Saleet said.

“Each organization provided me with first-hand experience of what it is like to work at and be involved in the non-profit sector,” said Jade Dennett ’15. “Overall, this trip increased my knowledge of the non-profit sector as a whole, and it also gave me the opportunity to start building connections with successful, passionate alumni who are in this field of work. I enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about the non-profit world.”

Theresa Solinger ’15, agrees: “I found it most interesting that almost everyone with whom we spoke expressed a similar reason for choosing to work in the non-profit world – a need to believe in the purpose of one’s work. I was happy to hear that each person felt genuinely fulfilled by their work, even with the challenges that follow. Tom Tucker ’67 said Fiver, which he founded, has been the “thrill of his life.” That expression has stuck with me, and I hope to feel that way about wherever I find myself after Colgate.”

The Common Good Network is one of Colgate’s Professional Networks, introducing alumni, parents and students to fellow Colgate community members working in common industries. Through the Professional Networks, alumni, parents and students are able to build Colgate contacts at regional events and through lively LinkedIn groups.

For more information about the Common Good Network and other Professional Network opportunities, please visit www.colgate.edu/networks.