Students prepare for the future with Career Center conference
November 03, 2017
Paul Halayko, co-founder, CEO, and president of Newburgh Brewing Company, discussed his journey from accounting guru to craft beer brewer/restaurateur.
The clock is ticking for Mount Saint Mary College seniors, and with about 200 days left before commencement, the forward-thinking students flocked to the college’s recent “Students Today, Employees Tomorrow, Knights Forever” professional development conference.
Sponsored by the Mount’s Career Center and Enterprise Holdings (represented by Jessica Casanova, talent acquisition specialist), the conference featured breakout sessions, a panel of successful Mount alumni, and a networking reception. Topics included grad school preparation, pointers on searching for a job, how to give a great interview, and financial tips for young adults.
The alumni panel consisted of Felicia Da Volio ’15; Nicole Kommer ’16; Bernadette Claravall ’17; Logan Kurtz ’16; and Karen Neary ’15.
Other Mount alumni offered their advice in written form in a packet given to each participating senior. Che-La Devonshire ’14, a registered nurse at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, suggested that the seniors be “relentless” in their job searches. “Know what you want and work toward it,” she said. “Become a part of where you want to work and get your foot in by volunteering time to their facility.”
Alexander Florez ’15, a mathematics teacher at Monhagen Middle School, warned the seniors against dismissing job opportunities “because they aren’t ideal,” citing flexibility as one of the keys to career success.
Paul Halayko, co-founder, CEO, and president of Newburgh Brewing Company, was the event’s keynote speaker. He discussed his journey from a sought-after accountant in New York City to breaking into the beer business – and how he was successful in both pursuits.
“The most important thing in any career or profession is going outside your comfort zone and being open-minded to new challenges, places, experiences [and] opportunities,” he said.
Since opening in 2012, the Newburgh Brewing Company went from selling beer only in the Hudson Valley to distributing products in New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Halayko says that he and his team were able to see that success only after a lot of hard work.
“When it’s a small business, you do almost everything,” he explained, “and if you don’t know it, you learn it.”