"The perfect word to describe me as a freshman was “naïve.” I went to Jewish day school my entire life, so I grew up around people who were like me, who came from the same or very similar backgrounds. UAlbany prides itself on diversity, and having people of different colors, creeds, shapes, sizes, religions, ethnicities, etc. So coming here I was naïve in the sense that I was closeminded in what I knew and believed in. Where in the past I would only be part of Jewish organizations, freshman year I joined clubs and the Pitch Please acapella group where I was the only type of person who was like me. It was very different. I lived with people and went to class with people who weren’t like me. I wasn’t naïve to the point where I didn’t know these things existed, but I just never experienced it.
I grew up in Brooklyn, and my dad used to say, “Grant, people are people.” My dad is in business with people who are Pakistani, Iranian, Iraqi, Afghan, Jewish, every type of people who you would think would be enemies. The kind of things that he’s shown me is that there’s differences in everyone. Whether you agree with them or not, at the end of the day, everyone lives and everyone’s gonna die. When you’re alive, respect the people that you’re living with. You don’t have to agree with them, but respect them. I read the news, I watch the election cycle, with such hatred coming from every side. There is a basic amount of respect that people need to show each other. And watching how that isn’t shown is making me grow and say “I do not want to be that.” I see my dad as my real role model of how to orient myself in this world and how to be an overall decent human being.There’s always a goal in business. So social agendas shouldn’t come into it. That’s how I plan on leading my life. There shouldn’t be any social agenda that leads to fighting coming into my business deals. It’s about simple, respectful discourse in a business world.
My long term plan is to just keep growing and working my way up as far as I can possibly go, and to continually learn from different people. If the opportunity shows itself where I could do what I love, which is music, and combine that with the business world, then that’s the ultimate goal. Accounting came naturally when I took it Sophomore year, so I decided to stick with it. There’s a strong ceiling that you hit if you’re not certified, so next semester I plan on beginning studying for the CPA exam. Once I have that foundation, I can do almost anything in business with a CPA. I’m going to work for a year or two, then go into an MBA program.
I get all the Handshake emails and saw a mid-sized accounting firm looking for a full time employee for the next year. It didn’t require a cover letter, and I hate writing cover letters, so I plugged in my resume, and a few days later I got a response. I met them at the UAlbany Career and Professional Development Career Fair, went to the informational, had a few interviews here and in the city, and then I got the job. I graduate in May, and the job begins next November. I signed up for Handshake last year because I was looking for an internship. I didn’t really think anything would happen with it, but I usually go with the mentality, “What do I have to lose?” If I have nothing to lose, then why not?"
Majors: Accounting and Music
Hometown: Woodmere, New York
Photo by Naomi McPeters
“You need an incredible support group, and people who understand. You have to build it when you don’t need it.” - Sree Sreenivasan
The following article came across my page on Twitter or Facebook: "The Met ousted a top executive, so he used Facebook to show the world how to do unemployment right." I highly recommend reading it!
Why am I sharing an article about a man who was fired from his job?
1. Sree is so on top of his game, that being fired only creates opportunities. This does not dismiss his vulnerability or that feeling you might get when deciding whether to jump into a pool of water that you know is too cold!
2. Sree was not fired because of any inability to perform, but rather because of budget cuts. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in all of its grandeur, is a non-profit organization that often has to make difficult financial decisions. I love the Met.
3. In 2009, Sree was named one of AdAge's 25 media people to follow on Twitter; in 2010 he was named one of Poynter's 35 most influential people in social media; and in 2014, he was named one of the most influential Chief Digital Officers by CDO Club. (Taken from the introduction from his TED talk below.
4. Don't you want a life where getting fired does not scare you, but rather motivates and emboldens you to rise? I believe that if you read this article about Sree's departure, you will glean tools that will help you to make critical choices about your future.
If you live in NYC and take Sree up on his offer to walk and have a "meaningful conversation" and a cup of coffee or tea, please share your experiences in the comments!
8/1/2016 - Sree Follow Up:
Look who was selected to be the Chief Digital Officer of NYC: www.politico.com/states/new-york/city-hall/story/2016/08/mayor-appoints-sree-sreenivasan-as-chief-digital-officer-104381
My husband is an Eagles fan. We are a "Fly Eagles Fly" home and are currently in a state of mourning and confusion. That does not stop us from appreciating Cam Newton's athleticism and his history. When this video was shared with me, I thought about you (student who may be reading this) and every person that may be discouraging you from your goals when you know that you are doing your best - or like Cam, that you are at the top of your game. When I saw Mr. Newton smile while getting tackled during the last game against the Cardinals , I wanted to do a happy dance because I instantly saw this as a metaphor for life. Disappointments will come. You will make mistakes. Back-biters are always hungry. Nay sayers are always talking. What are you going to do about it? Be the best you. Come out of your room. Face the scary, the unknown and the difficulties of life. Press on.
Struggling in a class, but you never needed help before? Get over yourself and get the help that you need. You will be better for it. Nervous about going to your professors' office hours or speaking to a professional in a career that you want to pursue? Acknowledge your sweaty, nervousness and do it anyway. Do not be your own detractor, there are enough applicants for that position. Press on. Just press on.
Check out this article in USA Today:
50 questions to ask if you’re disappointed with your fall grades.
By Billie Streufert December 31, 2015 6:30 pm
Fall grades got you down? Stay calm and persist on. You were admitted to college because your institution believes in you. All students encounter difficulty at some point. Faculty and staff are eager to support you. Consider the first set of questions below to affirm your strengths and assess your values.
Now that you have celebrated these things, take time to identify the choices you made and the action you can take to perform even better in the future.
Next, brainstorm your future strategies and goals in consultation with academic advisors or learning specialists. Ask yourself and these consultants the following questions:
If you feel discouraged, reframe this as a valuable opportunity. Whether you aspire to be a nurse, teacher or counselor, you will have more empathy with your clientele who are also facing difficulty because you coped with setbacks yourself. Plus, you are exerting grit and refining your study strategies, which enhances your ability to be a life-long learner. Stay optimistic and persistent. Another semester and a clean slate is ahead of you!
Billie Streufert serves at Augustana University, S.D., as the director of the Student Success Center. With more than 10 years of experience in career and academic advising, she is eager to help students discover and achieve their goals.
Welcome! My name is Rachel Moody. I post weekly announcements and messages to motivate and inspire my UAlbany advisees, and any one else who visits. Comments are welcome! While you are here, have a virtual cup of tea!