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Life as a student is short, so why not get ahead in the short time your here? What have you been doing to be more prepared after life as a student is over with? If you answered nothing to that question, then you seriously need to get on your A game.
This is the time to learn and grow: as an individual and professionally. CUNY SPS hosts a lot of webinars that help us improve on those soft skills vital for being successful in life.
Join a club: research a club that will help jump start your career. If your majoring in media/communications/journalism a good club to join is the National Association of Hispanic Journalist. They offer fellowships and internships. They also send out great networking events and career workshops. I recently just went to one of their networking events, where I got to mingle with people that work for the New York Times, CNN, ESPN, and BuzzFeed, just to name a few.
Internships: don’t wait until the last semester to intern! Start right away if you can. Internships are a great way to gain exposure in different areas of your major firsthand. The more exposure you get to different professional environments, the more confident you will be when you graduate about what area in your field you want to go in.
Develop your mind: all of these things are great ways to get ahead but they’ll just be a waste of time if you’re not mentally prepared. If you’re the type of person who’s always second guessing themselves or don’t think they are good enough or smart enough, stop, you are enough. You don’t need to be the smartest, or the fastest, you simply need to be the best you can be. If you need a little extra push listen to motivational speeches, read books, and/or have little pep talks with yourself.
“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”—Les Brown
Yerelyn Nunez is a native New Yorker with Dominican roots in her blood. She loves to read, write, and is pursuing acting. She loves lending a helping hand or words of encouragement to those in need of it. She is majoring in Communication & Media at CUNY SPS.
THE OCTOBER SURPRISE
Since turning 40, each advancing birthday seems progressively less a reason to celebrate. But my birthday this year gave me a most unique and unexpected gift: I was invited to the CUNY Women’s Leadership Conference to be held at Hunter College on October 28th. This program turned out to be a great cause for celebration.
EXCITED, BUT A LITTLE APPREHENSIVE
This CUNY-wide event was to include students from all 24 campuses, so I knew many of the attendees would be college aged and much younger than me. I wondered: “As a continuing ed student shifting professional gears mid-life, how relevant could this conference be? After all, it will surely be geared to young women embarking on their careers, not women looking to redraft a life story.” I had no idea what to expect.
To my surprise and delight, the numerous speakers and panels had messages that were not only inspirational, but also absolutely applicable to my current circumstances. There were so many wonderful segments, here is a mere sampling:
- The keynote speakers Rossana Rosado, NYS Secretary of State, and Letitia James, Public Advocate for the City of New York, both delivered emotional speeches about the empowering experience of community involvement. Their lives of public service are proof positive that we all have the power to affect change.
- From the Women in Technology (WiTNY) panel, we heard about the need for women in the digital world. The statistics are staggering: only 18% of computer science graduates are women and woman comprise just 26% of the tech workforce. WiTNY would like to see that change.
- WiTNY offers courses, scholarships, internships, and networking. For more info see: http://www1.cuny.edu/sites/women-in-technology/about/
- (My personal take-away here: job opportunity—beef up on some programming courses!)
- Perhaps my favorite aspect of this symposium was meeting some of SPS’ faculty and my fellow SPS students. Our SPS students represented our school with eloquence and passion: asking questions, raising issues, and talking about passionate causes.
THE ONGOING PRESENT
This could have been a very tough birthday: I’m job hunting and certainly not getting any younger.
Thank you, CUNY and SPS for this encouraging lift—I could pop the bubbly after all!
For more information about the CUNY Women’s Leadership Conference, or to learn how you can attend a future conference, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Designer, single mom, and ongoing student, Lisa Sheridan is busy juggling life, work, and academics as an undergraduate in the Communication and Media department.
As a musician, every now and then I run into a person that inspires me by his or her approach to what they do. I met Cyrille Aimee on the subway one Saturday night while hanging out with my high school b-ball teammate, Steve. She was very friendly and we talked about music and life. She said modestly, “We will be playing a Birdland next week; you should come check out the show.” Although I didn’t make that show, I did get a chance to check the show out about a year later. Cyrille turned out be one of the most authentic musicians I have met in my life. Her personality is as genuine on stage as it is off stage. So when I got the opportunity to interview Ms. Aimee for my blog, I naturally kicked it with her like an old friend, a new ally, and a fellow musician. Check out what Cyrille had to say about her music, and how she approaches this stage of her career.
Jeffrey C. Suttles: When did you start singing?
Cyrille Aimee: Hmmm, I started when I was around 13 or 14 years old.
Jeff: Did your parents inspire you to sing?
Cyrille: Well my parents always loved music and musicians. My mother is from the Dominican Republic, so she loves to dance. I actually started singing when I met these gypsies.
Jeff: What school did you attend?
Cyrille: I came here to study at Suny Purchase College in Westchester, New York. I loved going to school in that area of New York, they have a great music program.
Jeff: Your new project, Let’s Get Lost, did you do the writing and production or did you collaborate with other musicians?
Cyrille: A little bit of both, some of the songs I wrote by myself. Some of the songs I collaborated with the guitar player in the band. There are some songs I did in French and I also did some covers. It’s a mix!
Jeff: How much are you touring these days?
Cyrille: I just got back from France two days ago, and I’m headed to Japan next week. So I’m pretty busy.
Jeff: How often do you get back to France, to visit your family?
Cyrille: Well I was there last week, and I’m going back in June. I try to get back as much as I can, I usually go when I have a concert. I try to stay a little longer to spend time with my family and friends.
Jeff: How does your family feel about you success? Are they happy for you?
Cyrille: Yeah, of course they are.
Jeff: Who would you say influenced you the most, as a musician or an artist? Who inspired you to do what you do?
Cyrille: Hmmm, many artists have inspired me. Ella Scott Fitzgerald heavily influenced me when I begin my career. But I’m also crazy about Michael Jackson. It’s so many artists that influence me. The list is very long!
Jeff: How about Sade, some of you vocal work reminds me of Sade.
Cyrille: Yeah, I love Sade.
Jeff: What do you feeling is missing right now in jazz culture?
Cyrille: I would like to see jazz become available to wider audiences. Jazz has an old connotation to it, and it’s not that at all. Jazz is a very evolving music and the only thing is people don’t know they like it because they are not exposed to it. If they were exposed to it more, they would discover more about it. I would like to see more jazz on TV and on the radio.
Jeff: Yeah, it would be nice to see commercial radio and TV embrace the jazz culture. Okay last question, what words of wisdom or suggestions do you have for young artist aspiring to do what you do?
Cyrille: Hmmm, do be afraid to get back on the horse when you fall off. You are going fall many times, and basically the job of an artist is to use the times that you fall as constructive criticism and learn from it.
Jeff: Hmmm-great advice Cyrille, every young artist should apply that concept. It’s always a pleasure to kick it with you. Have a safe trip to Japan; we’ll talk when you get back. Peace.
Jeffrey C. Suttles is a Master of Arts candidate in Urban Studies at the Murphy Institute. He is an independent songwriter/musician who completed his undergraduate studies at The City College of New York. He is currently a CUNY CAP student who continues to pursue career opportunities in publishing, communications, and the arts.
Elected officials make a lot of decisions that affect students, so we should vote. We get 4 chances to vote in 2016. Here’s a little summary of what’s happening.
April 19: New Yorkers will vote in their party primaries for president. Some of the different parties are Democrat, Republican, Working Families Party, Green Party, Conservative Party, etc.. When people register to vote, they get to select the party they want to be a part of. Some people do not pick a party. The registration deadline is March 25th.
June 28: Primary day for all 27 New York members of the United States House of Representatives, including New York State Senator Schumer. The registration deadline is June 3rd.
September 13: Primaries for all 63 seats of the State Senate and all 150 seats of the State Assembly. The registration deadline is August 19th.
November 8: President and Vice President of the United States. The registration deadline is October 14th.
The only way to vote is to be registered.
You can get more information by checking out CUNY’s Voice Your Choice website.
Rhonda Harrison has just completed her studies at CUNY SPS to earn her post-graduate certificate in Adult Learning & Program Design. She is a social worker with a background in workforce development and currently works as an Advisor at a community college.
I ran onto the bus just as the driver was about to shut the doors. I reached into my jacket pocket and pull out my Metro Card, only to find out there was not enough money on it to pay my fare. Sigh.
I looked at the driver, and gave him the please don’t embarrass me and kick me off the bus for not having any money look. He shot me back a dirty look and gestured for me to go on ahead without paying.
“Thank you” I whispered.
As I made my way through the cluster of people who insisted on standing at the front of the bus, I saw an old friend I hadn’t seen since high school; Roberta Smallwood.
Roberta was very troubled back then, she was in and out of jail for robbery and she used to smoke crack. But from what I saw, Roberta had cleaned up nicely.
The seat next to Roberta was free so I decided to sit on the tattered blue upholstery that clearly had a set-in stain. After awhile, as a New Yorker, you become a master at differentiating a set-in stain that will have no affect on your clothing from a stain that’s fresh.
Roberta immediately recognized me and we laughed and reminisced about our high school years. She opened up about her prison days and rehab. She had been clean for five years and worked as an administrative assistant for the MTA. Every now and then her eyes would wander off out the window when she spoke of her past. I guess some memories were still very fresh for her and she was still healing. I was happy to see that she is doing so well.
The bus finally reached my destination, the subway. Roberta and I exchanged phone numbers and emails, vowing to stay in touch, but would we really? People often run into old friends and have every intention of staying in contact with each other, but life’s routines always seem to get in the way.
As I hopped off the bus, I was painfully reminded of the annoying blister I had on my pinky toe that would hurt every time my sandal strap would rub it. As I thought about Roberta on the train ride into NYC, I realized that everyone has a story; there is something that happens in everyone’s life that makes them who they are. What is mine?
Martine Chevry received her B.A. in Communications and Culture from the CUNY School of Professional Studies in June 2011. She currently works as an Editorial Assistant and lives in Queens, New York. Martine is currently planning on self publishing her first novel in Spring 2012. She enjoys writing, working out, shopping, reading and reality television.