MART: Member News

Alumna Discovers Dream Job at NYC College Fair:

highline 4 v2As I was setting up the Marist table at the New York Knicks College Fair, the nerves kicked in. Would I be able to do this? I hadn’t talked to students about Marist since my time as a admissions assistant earlier that year. At this point, I was working at another college in their financial aid office, and I was in a rut. I had already learned that financial aid wasn’t something I wanted to do in the long term, but exactly what I did want to do still eluded me.

Students came pouring into the theatre and as they asked questions, I became more and more comfortable representing Marist behind that table. I could do this! I could tell them how far away Poughkeepsie was by train, and what MAAC stood for. The MART training kicked in, along with the four years of personal knowledge I had. Talking about Marist would be no sweat. 

Towards the end of the fair, three boys approached the table with a young woman a few steps behind them. I was ready to answer their first question with “it’s a 90 minute train ride, and the campus is only a few minutes from the station”, when the first boy asked: “what is your internship program like?”

central parkI was floored. These kids knew their stuff and knew how to get the most out of that college fair. After their questions, the woman behind them stepped up and introduced herself as Dinah, an independent educational consultant. In my “vast” experience in higher ed, I had never heard the term. She explained that she was an additional resource beyond their high school to navigate the college decision and admissions process.

“Where were you when I was a junior?” I blurted out. My guidance counselor didn’t know my name, much less that my dream college was a liberal arts college nestled in the Hudson Valley and that I had an affinity for red foxes. Well gosh darn it, this consultant thing was something I could do. Something I wanted to do. In the blink of an eye, my job in financial aid went from a rut to a job I could use to garner experience in becoming a consultant on my own.

Almost a year later, I’m enrolled in an M.S. Ed in Higher Education program, and will be starting next month. I haven’t decided on a name for my business, or even a location, but I just know I’m going to be like Dinah. I never imagined that I’d find my dream job volunteering for Marist at the Knicks College fair, but there you have it. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t get Dinah’s business card. Although, with MART’s great network, I’m sure I’ll find her again soon!

Cindie Palumbo '09 currently works for a college in NYC. While at Marist, Cindie interned with Madison Square Garden and was the Secretary for the Student Programming Council.