The strength and the breadth of the Gilman network were on full display as we hosted two networking breakfasts for college-aged alumni in late July. These events, which were developed seven years ago with the help of John Avirett '01 and Matt Salsbury '01, were designed to introduce younger alumni to more experienced alumni working in fields of professional interest. The older alumni, we reasoned, could discuss industry trends, share career trajectories, and offer networking opportunities to the younger Greyhounds.
The first of the two events — held at the StepStone Group office in Owings Mills, Md. — included alumni who work in finance, real estate and construction management, and tech. In all, 12 alumni panelists gathered with more than 20 young alumni to share their experiences. Included in the exceptional advice that was shared was:
- Focus your career path;
- Stack your skills, so you become more attractive to employers;
- Utilize the Gilman network ... and TheGilmanNetwork.com;
- Don't be shy to pick up the phone or send an email to a potential contact (but do your research ahead of time, so you are clear on what you are asking of whom);
- Trust your gut;
- Be ready to demonstrate your grit, grind, and perseverance.
- Give back — lift people up as you climb;
- Life doesn't always progress in a linear fashion;
- Tie yourself to a great organization that will reward you over the long haul; and
- No matter what you do, sales will be a part of it ... so become comfortable in this role.
The second of the two breakfasts was held at Mangia 48 Madison in New York and focused exclusively on the finance industry. However, similar themes emerged as the older alumni shared from their own experiences:
- Be open-minded;
- You never know the direction your career will take, so talk to lots of people and ask lots of questions;
- You don't have it all figured out;
- When you land an internship, consider it an opportunity for you to interview the company (not just for them to interview you);
- Learn how to demonstrate your perseverance and resilience in an interview;
- Learn how to code (at least on a basic level);
- Be patient — if you put the word out about your career aspirations to enough people, the right role will eventually find you ... it just might not be right away; and
- Don't get too high from the highs or too low from the lows.
A huge thanks goes to all of our alumni panelists, whose commitment to the School and their fellow alumni was evident and exciting. These include:
- Victor Abiamiri '03*, Partner/Portfolio Manager at Brown Advisory
- John Avirett '01*, Partner at StepStone Group
- Mark Bower '99, Partner at Sky Lion Group
- Lawson Devries '96*, General Partner at Grotech Ventures
- David Fitzpatrick '07, Manager, Cybersecurity, at Ernst & Young
- Tronster Hartley '94, Technical Team Leader and Senior Software Engineer at Firaxis Games
- Rob Law '01, Principal at Shot Tower Capital LLC
- Matt Novak '01**, Director, Financial Advisor, at Harbor Investment Advisory
- Luke Redmond '06, Project Manager at The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.
- Hunter Somerville '00, Partner, Private Equity, at StepStone Group
- Khalil Uqdah '06, President, Development, at Charm City Buyers
- Karlo Young '97*, SVP, University Partnerships, and Portfolio General Manager at 2U
- Kevin Carroll '06**, Fixed Income Business Development Director at ExodusPoint Capital Management
- George Lacher '09, Vice President, Investment Banking, at Deutsche Bank
- Zeke Morrill '13, Associate at Morgan Stanley
- Charlie Obrecht '13, Associate at Jadian Capital
- Thomas Rogers '05, Head of Commodity Sales North America at Bloomberg LP
- Greg Stamas '06, Principal at The Blackstone Group
- Keech Turner '09**, Principal at Korn Ferry
Additionally, a special shout-out goes to young alumni Stas Kaminski '22, Noah Seth '19, and Zach Zinn '22, who attended both events, making the long and hot drive up to New York from Baltimore for the opportunity to meet with and hear from their fellow Gilman grads.
*: Member of Gilman's Board of Trustees
**: Member of Gilman's Alumni Association Board of Governors