Saturday, September 20, 2014

Summer in NYC

This past summer I was fortunate enough to intern at one of the Big Four Accounting Firms, Ernst & Young, LLP, in their Times Square office. As a public accounting major, I was thrilled to gain experience in the public accounting corporate world so early on in my career. At EY, I was a part of the Launch program, which is an internship program for underrepresented groups to gain corporate experience. My Launch class was over 60 students across the Northeast Region in EY offices ranging from New York City, Boston, Buffalo, and Providence.
EY Office in Times Square
View from the cafeteria
As an intern in the Launch program, I had the opportunity to shadow in both Tax and Assurance to get a feel for which side of accounting I would like to pursue. Within the Real Estate tax group, I got to review K-1 tax forms for real estate trusts. While shadowing on assurance side of the firm, I had the opportunity to visit different Real Estate client sites for audit work. For the rest of my time at the firm, I interned with EY Knowledge, which is an internal research group for the firm. In my group, I analyzed Big Data in excel (something I learned in my Information Systems core classes), which was then used for high-level decision-making by executives. The Launch program also brought in many speakers from both within and outside the firm for us to learn some more professional development skills. One of my favorite speakers was Kwame Jackson, runner up in Season 1 of The Apprentice and now very successful entrepreneur.

Myself and some other interns with Kwame Jackson
One of the best parts of the Launch program was the opportunity to work with a group of interns on a project throughout the eight-week program. I was working with four other interns from different schools on a consulting project that we presented on the last day of our internship to EY associates and managers. Receiving feedback on our ideas and presentation skills from people who are currently doing the work we want to do in the future was invaluable. It allowed us to apply all of the concepts we learned in classes to a typical presentation seen in the workplace on a daily basis.

My group on presentation day!

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Day in the Life: Ram Edition

Fordham offers a unique combination of the traditional campus community and the big city; because of this, the typical Fordham student is absurdly busy between classes, extracurricular activities, volunteering, internships, and trips into the other boroughs.  One example: yesterday, I was able to work on a research project, go to class, and see a concert by one of my favorite artists, all in a single day!

Above is a sample gel electrophoresis analysis;
this is one way we study the genes of the monkeys!
I started my day by working in lab for a few hours.  I just started with a conservation genetics project involving black lion tamarins (an endangered species of monkey.) As a biology major hoping to attend medical school, conducting research provides me with invaluable hands-on learning experience—and is so much fun! There are tons of ways to get involved in research at Fordham and not just in traditional science disciplines. Fordham holds an annual research symposium in the spring semester, where students present their projects to peers and faculty. We also publish a student-run journal featuring undergraduate work called the Fordham Undergraduate Research Journal, or FURJ.  For more information, check out Fordham's website for Undergraduate Research!

The black lion tamarin is an endangered species native to Brazil!
From lab, I walked to the Dunkin Donuts across the street from campus for a quick caffeine boost before class.  On Thursdays I only have two classes in the afternoon; first, a music theory course, followed by statistics.  Even though I am a biology major, I am also planning on completing a minor in music—it is fairly easy to incorporate a minor or even a double major during your four years at Fordham, and a large number of students take advantage of this!
Since it was such a beautiful day, I drank my Dunkin on Eddie's,
our main quad on campus, before heading to class!
After class, I had just enough time to grab a salad at the Cosi on campus (yum!) and then caught an Uber cab to West 175th and Broadway (Uber is a car company with an app you can download that lets you request a driver for your specific location, as well as get an immediate rate quote—super convenient!). My friend and I headed to the United Palace Theater in Washington Heights to see one of my favorite singers, Sam Smith. Just a 15 minute drive from campus, the concert was an awesome way to end the day!

The United Palace Theater was opened in 1930, and has a beautifully ornate, vintage interior!
Sam Smith, or the man with the golden voice, serenading the crowd! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Exploring the Different Boroughs

Being so close to Manhattan and the other boroughs of New York City is one of the major attributes of Fordham that make it such a special and unique place to go to school.  Exploring beyond the campus and the neighborhood around Rose Hill is a significant part of the Fordham experience.  In addition to the fun student activities that occur on campus every weekend, most students venture into Manhattan, but this past weekend my friends and I decided to spend some time in another borough, Queens!

Getting ready to run 13.1 miles!
My friends and I have spent the summer months and the start of the school year training for a half-marathon that took place in Queens on September 14th.  The course for the race ran through Flushing Meadows – Corona Park (The same park where the U.S. Open takes place.)  The race started at 8 am, so my friends and I got up early on Sunday morning to get to Queens.  It was really easy to do using the app Uber.  This app finds safe and certified drivers in your area and is significantly cheaper than taxis throughout the NYC.  Even as a senior, I’m still learning about new ways to get around the city.  It was only a 20-minute drive.  I was surprised to realize that we were that close to Queens, and I had never been there before!
Enjoying some hard-earned bagels after the race with friends.
It was a beautiful day, and the park was the perfect location for a race.  After we all finished, we enjoyed the weather and walked around the area and had a delicious post-race meal at a diner close by.  My friends and I were so proud of our accomplishment, and it was a great way to explore a new area.  Going into my final year at Fordham, I love discovering that there is still so much New York City has to offer and so much left to explore! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

It’s Always A Good Day To Be A Ram- Even After You Graduate.

My best friend Jenn who graduated last year!
 She couldn't stay away!
One of the many aspects that Fordham University has to offer is tradition. These traditions are carried over from generation to generation of Fordham Rams, and the way in which these traditions are carried over is through Fordham’s very own tradition postal service, if you will: alumni. As I am in my second year at Fordham, I have experienced many of the events on campus that generate a huge alumni population, and one of our biggest ones was this weekend for Homecoming.
I was a 'foam finger enthusiast' 
Thank you to the ram- I hunted him down for a picture!

Days leading up to the big game students watched as the oh-so-grand Alumni Tent was pitched in the middle of Edward’s Parade. Students and Alumni alike literally hit the ground running during the third annual Homecoming 5K Run around campus. As I walked over to the game, I overheard two men talking about the run. After giving each other a high five, I overheard one say to the other “Wasn’t it great to run around campus again? It’s like it was yesterday.” This got me thinking. I passed through various alumni at the game, too. They were all laughing and cheering, and I couldn’t help but overhear all of their memories that they were discussing. I think I heard “it’s so good to be back!” over 100 times. The unity of Fordham is ever lasting, and alumni are one of most prideful aspects of Fordham. They want to know how Fordham is now; they want to be ever connected with their alma mater. This for me is a beautiful thing that Fordham has to offer, and I know that in three years, and more to come, I will be on Edward’s Parade, Jack Coffey Field, and Arthur Avenue screaming, “it’s good to be back!”

A Mini-Guide to Broadway Shows for a Fordham Student!

One of the things that I cherish most about being a student in New York City is being able to take advantage of all the theatre that happens on Broadway. With Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus being so accessible to midtown and the theatre district, whether you’re a Rose Hill student like me who only needs to take a Ram Van, or living at Lincoln Center itself, it’s almost as if Broadway is in your backyard. Seeing a Broadway musical is a must on a Fordham student’s bucket list because Broadway is so iconic to the New York City image, and it plays an important role in promoting culture by the variety of stories that are being told on stage. I was fortunate enough to have been able to stay in the city over the summer because of work, and in my spare time, I discovered the different ways one can make the most out of the theatre-going experience, from acquiring the best deals on tickets to even meeting the stars after the show! Tourists from all over the world flock to NYC to experience the dazzling spectacle that is live theatre and fortunately for students in the city, it can be a form of entertainment that can fit in anyone’s budget!

  1. CAB Raffles and Dorm programs: Fordham’s Campus Activities Board does an excellent job of providing fantastic events for students to win tickets to Broadway shows. Every month, they host a raffle and if you’re lucky enough, you can snag a ticket for a high-demand show for as low as $25! I got to see one of the first previews of If/Then the musical starring Idina Menzel through the CAB raffle. Getting to know your dorm programs can also get you some nice deals for Broadway show tickets, and it’s always fun to go with hallmates to experience a show.

    The ticket that I won from the CAB raffle for If/Then!
  2. Lottery: If you’re feeling lucky, many Broadway shows offer a lottery style where you go to the theatre two hours before a show to enter a drawing. The price of lottery tickets never go above $40 and many of them are often located in great places to see the stage. I was able to win some cool box seats for Kinky Boots for only $37!
    Lottery tickets for Kinky Boots. I felt so close to the stage!
  3. Rush Tickets: Despite having to wait several hours in line and in a myriad of weather situations, rush tickets can oftentimes get you some great box seats or really close orchestra seats for as cheap as $27, like I did for Les Miserables.

  4. Standing Room Only Tickets: For some of Broadway’s demanding shows, like Hedwig and the Angry Inch and the Book of Mormon, you can opt to stand in a special aisle throughout the show for a low price. I saw Chicago the musical this way, and the $27 I spent standing was definitely worth it.

  5. Tix4Students: For $5 annual membership, this website provides access specifically for students to get tickets. Ticket prices vary from $25-$45 and gives you the opportunity to book tickets in advance like any normal ticketing service.

If you really enjoyed a Broadway show and don’t want your evening to end just after that curtain call, I highly recommend asking the nearest usher to point you in the direction of the stage door. Here, you’ll be able to interact with the stars themselves as they come out to sign autographs and even take pictures!
Incredibly grateful for the stagedoor for opportunities like these ones. Meeting these Broadway divas, Idina Menzel, Audra McDonald, and Sutton Foster was an honor!
My autographed playbill and pics with the cast of Bullets over Broadway.
Every theatre-going experience should be a special one, and Fordham’s prime location makes it possible for any student, whether you’re new to Broadway or a theatre connoisseur, to have a good time with great company at a Broadway show.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New Week, New Activities!

Happy Monday! It's the beginning of a new and fantastic week! I know many of us aren't fans of Monday mornings, but at Rose Hill we have no reason to dread them (even if we have to kiss goodbye an incredible homecoming weekend)!

Here's a quick recap of my weekend:
On Friday I had a blast attending Pres Ball with my friends, Saturday we enjoyed cheering on our football team, and on Sunday, we took the train up to Connecticut for a day of boating and sun!

I really like Mondays, I don't really catch a break until bedtime, but that's okay because I enjoy being busy! Today I had classes at 11:30, 2:30, and 5:30. They included Texts & Contexts: Contemporary American Fiction, Classic Jewish Texts, and Spanish. Each class went well! All of my professors are really engaging. I enjoy the way I was able to space out my class schedule because it allows me to get work done in between classes.

After my Spanish class, I was super excited to attend my first Club Volleyball meeting! I played volleyball for four years during high school, took a year off, and this year (as a sophomore) decided that I wanted to play again. The Fordham Club team meets for two hours on Mondays and Wednesdays. Today we ran drills, played 3 Vs. 3, and then ended practice with a scrimmage. I had a blast meeting new students and getting to play volleyball again. Anyone is welcome to come and play with us! Although most players have some experience playing the sport, newcomers are welcome too!

Once volleyball practice ended, I headed back to my dorm, which is where I am now. Before I head to sleep I'm going to get some reading done and call my family!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Branching Out!

Students modeling for MODE's photo op

On September 3rd, I attended Fordham’s annual Club Fair on Edward’s Parade.  The usual campus hangout was encircled by tables, one for mostly every club here at Fordham.  The club fair allows students to see what is happening on campus and gives them an opportunity to get involved with something that they find interesting. At each table you can receive a brief overview of what the club is and give them your email to receive more information as well as meeting times.  As a sophomore, I wanted to broaden my horizons and get involved with something new and exciting.  I came across many clubs that caught my attention, but the one I was most interested in was MODE.
The Fall 2013 Cover
The Spring 2014 Cover

MODE is Fordham’s version of a fashion magazine.  A group of students work together to publish one edition every semester which gets distributed right before the start of finals.  The magazine covers a myriad of topics from fashion to romance to fitness.  What makes MODE special is its emphasis on the Fordham community in its articles.  The models and interview subjects in the articles are all current students or alumni.  Fashion on campus was a huge part of the most recent edition of the magazine.  It is very cool to see people you know in the magazine! Also, it makes it super easy for any Fordham student to relate to!

As a communications major, I was very interested in being a part of MODE.  Writing for a magazine can be a good way to improve on your writing skills while being a great resume booster as well.  Rumor has it, members of MODE have interned for big time magazines such as Teen Vogue!  Being a part of publishing a magazine is not only good for potential writers or journalists.  It is a great way for anyone interested in fashion, photography or graphic design to gain experience.  Although I am just starting to get involved, I cannot wait to begin writing for the magazine! 

Weekend Update!

My friends and me at the finish line.
Anna Romagnoli

This weekend I did a half-marathon in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens with friends from Fordham. It was a beautiful day and a fun way to spend the morning in another borough that's only a 20 minute cab ride from the Rose Hill campus.

Our mason jar parting gift.

Danielle Smith

This Sunday I attended the Club Leader Summit as a treasurer for Math Club. We attended different presentations including a keynote speech by Dean Dolan during dinner. At the end we even received cool mason jar containers for our hard work!

The view from our seats.

Gianna Rosamilia 

On Friday, I attended Fordham's annual  President's Ball, which was a great opportunity for my friends and me to get dressed up and have tons of fun! On Saturday, I completed a GoRuck Light event in honor of 9/11. GoRuck is a teamwork-oriented, fitness challenge designed to emulate the training Navy SEALs go through. On Sunday, I went to the Giants game at MetLife stadium. They lost to the Cardinals 25-14, but the game was still a lot of fun, and overall, the weekend was awesome!

Kirsten Simons

My weekend started off a little early, with a trip to Brooklyn on Thursday evening. I met a friend downtown, and we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge as soon as it got dark to see the lights in memory of 9/11. As we walked, we talked about our memories of the day, and reminisced about the past few years at Fordham. We then went to the Brooklyn Bridge Park to enjoy the incredible views of the skyline, where there were many other people doing the same. Later, we went to a little restaurant a block away for some incredible sushi. 

After the excitement of Homecoming on Friday and Saturday, my friends Daniel, Maddie and I decided, in typical New Yorker fashion, it was time for a leisurely Sunday brunch. We headed to the East Village, where we found a great diner. Over a delicious meal, we talked about our weekends, and the work we were putting off to enjoy the great day. We then walked around the neighborhood a bit, as none of us are overly familiar with the area. It was a great relaxing end to a hectic and busy weekend.

Memorial lights for 9/11.