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Double Your Impact

 

In 2008, Michael Grohman was introduced to Macaulay Honors College and it was an instant connection. As a high-achieving graduate of Brooklyn Law School (1983), he identified with Macaulay’s mission to provide unique opportunities beyond the traditional college experience. Under Michael’s direction, Duane Morris LLP, has been regularly hiring and mentoring Macaulay students and alumni.

Michael has organized three annual “Careers in Law” breakfast events at Duane Morris, introducing over 60 Macaulay students to the field of law. Panelists from various areas of the firm shared insights into their careers and then made themselves available for one-on-one informational interviews.

Since 2009 Michael has filled seven paid internship positions with Macaulay students who had the rare opportunity to conduct research, create documents, and shadow lawyers. Interns have called the experience “priceless.” One even noted “I learned so much at Duane Morris; now I am sure that I want law school to be in my future and I would highly recommend this internship opportunity to another Macaulay student.”

Michael also filled three full time positions with Macaulay alumni and two—Reshma Shah ’08 (City), Mary Pennisi ’08 (Brooklyn), —were hired upon graduating from law school. Anna Lukashova ’08 (Hunter), who also joined Duane Morris as a paralegal, is currently attending law school full-time at Brooklyn Law School.

On March 1, 2012, Michael will facilitate a “mock law school class” for the Macaulay Pre-Law Club. During this workshop, Macaulay students and alumni will get a preview of what a real law school class is like. This experience will enlighten students who are contemplating applying to law school and better prepare the ones who will begin this fall.

Michael has been serving on Macaulay’s advisory council since 2009 and in 2011 Dean Kirschner appointed him as co-chair of this influential and highly invested group. When he isn’t doing everything in his power to help Macaulay students and alumni succeed, he devotes time to his other passion, photography (check out his link below).

We are grateful for Michael Grohman’s leadership and to everyone at Duane Morris LLP for welcoming, mentoring and preparing Macaulay students and alumni to rank among the best lawyers in New York City.

More on Michael Grohman:

Law career

http://www.duanemorris.com/attorneys/michaeldgrohman.html

http://www.brooklaw.edu/alumniandfriends/meetouralumni/alumniprofiles/spring2010.aspx

http://www.bisnow.com/new_york_legal_news_story.php?p=15220

Photography

http://mdgrohman.smugmug.com/

Duane Morris LLP:

http://www.duanemorris.com/offices/newyork.html

Volunteer at a Resume Review Workshop with your fellow alumni on Wed April 18th, from 6:30 to 7:15 pm at The Met Council.

Mandatory Training April 12th, 6:30 to 7:30 pm

Read below for more information on the session. Email brianne.donnelly@mhc.cuny.edu to sign up!

 

The Resume Review Workshop has volunteers work one on one with clients to help them create or fine tune their resume.  The focus is to create a general resume that can be modified depending on the job to which the client is applying. This program aims to reframe the way our clients understand the purpose, strengths, and limitations of a resume.

By participating in the Resume Review Workshop, clients will have the assistance they need to tackle the daunting task of compiling a resume that clearly reflects their strengths. Volunteers will have the satisfaction of seeing immediate improvement while working with individual clients.

Impact:  With the current economic downturn, the job market is tougher than ever. Having the resources to create a strong resume is a key tool to securing a job. This workshop will give clients new ways to think about their professional development and improve their confidence when applying for jobs.

Clients served: Low income New Yorkers who want to find jobs or advance their careers. Clients come from various backgrounds and economic situations including unemployment, underemployment, or career change.

Volunteer description: Volunteers will be experienced professionals or skilled students who have the knowledge to edit and craft resumes for clients according to varied levels of work experience.

This March and April, alumni will again be hosting the accepted students event for Macaulay’s accepted applicants and we need your help! These yield events were developed by your own dedicated alumni relations committee to help make Macaulay the best it can be and attract the best and brightest students. We need as many alumni volunteers as possible to ensure these are a success.

Wednesday, March 28 6 to 8 pm – Hunter
Sunday, April 22 10 to 12 – Brooklyn, CSI, Lehman
Sunday, April 22 2 to 4 – Queens, City
Thursday, April 5 6 to 8 pm-  Baruch

EMAIL Brianne at brianne.donnelly@mhc.cuny.edu to volunteer!

Support Macaulay!

Three reasons why Alumni Giving is imporant…
-Your support helps advance the mission of the college
-Your gift demonstrates your satisfaction with your Honors College experience
-Your participation is an opportunity to invest in the program that invested so much in you

Sasha Ahuja ’09 (Hunter) talks about choosing Macaulay; her work toward racial and economic justice; and launching Macaulay Honors College’s Alumni Of Color Affinity Group.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background? (ie where were you born/grew up/how you found Macaulay etc)

As the first person in my immediate family to attend college in the US, applying and paying for college was daunting at the age of 17. I spent much of my senior year of high school applying to almost every full tuition scholarship program I could find. After finding the Honors College and wanting to get a better feel for Hunter, I remember meeting Gwendolyn Williams ’06 (Hunter) who was going into her junior year at the time. Gwen told me that she would not be pursuing a Bachelor’s had it not been for the (then) CUNY Honors College. She probably doesn’t know this but Gwen’s passion for this program was what sold me (Gwen recently graduated from medical school at the University of Pittsburgh!).

Sasha, would you mind sharing what you have been up to since graduating Macaulay Honors College in 2009?

Since graduating, I completed an MS in Social Work at Columbia University, concentrating in racial and economic justice in social and public policy. I spent a great deal of time organizing alongside social work professionals who were committed to pushing schools of social work to recruit a more diverse cohort of professionals, as well as to prepare social work students to examine their roles as gatekeepers for low-income communities and communities of color to access resources that they have historically been denied. In that time I also continued my organizing work in the South Asian community and immigrant communities throughout New York City, working primarily with youth. I am now working as a legislative consultant with the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, organizing and building capacity for New York City street vendors to drive progressive citywide change. Basically, it’s been a busy two years.

What would you say has been your most significant accomplishments since graduating?

I feel most proud of stepping into a professional role that enables me to bring my vision for change to the workplace every day.

How has Macaulay helped shape who you are today?

Macaulay has shaped my deep commitment to diversity in higher education, and more importantly has brought me to embrace the rich political history of the City University of New York. The Honors College embodies what was once at the core of the CUNY system – free, quality higher education for the people of New York City. MHC has made me think critically about how institutions of higher education are going to work to close the highly racialized education achievement gap in the United States. Macaulay has shaped my thinking about innovation when it comes to higher education as this program embodies what colleges and universities across the country should look like. In the world I want to live in, all higher education programs would invest in students not only financially, but also with the tremendous peoplepower that Macaulay devotes to students.

Sasha, you are launching an ‘Alumni of Color’ affinity group at Macaulay. Can you tell us a little bit about your motivation?

In connecting with Shekeima Dockery ’13 (Hunter) and Natalia Lopez ’11 (Hunter), both Mellon Mays fellows and Africana-Puerto Rican-Latin majors at Hunter College, the three of us began to discuss some of our experiences as students of color at Macaulay, including some of the difficult conversations around issues of race and racial justice that we have had with fellow students. We share a commitment to seeing Macaulay continue to reflect the people of New York City and the communities we are from. We look to bring a creative and necessary perspective to diversity at Macaulay by first and foremost bringing students together.

What is your vision for your new affinity group?

As a Macaulay alumna, it is important to Shekeima, Natalia and I that current students of color at Macaulay have a broad network of alumni to connect with, and that students and alumni of color continue to inform the MHC diversity dialogue, student programming, and institutional policies. Similar to fellow high-ranking institutions of higher education, we ultimately imagine something like a “Macaulay Honors College Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.” We hope this group can be the beginning of something bigger.

How should alumni that would like to get involved with your new group, contact you?

As we begin to sort through logistics for this brand new group, the best way to contact us is e-mailing us directly! Our kickoff event will be at Macaulay on Feb 2 and Macaulay is hosting “Supporting Excellence: Discussing the Experiences of High-Achieving College Students of Color” on Feb. 10. You can e-mail me at snahuja@gmail.com for more information on the events and/or affinity group.

What are your plans for the future?
I hope to continue to work in a capacity where I am able to work towards my vision for racial and economic justice.

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, Sasha!

Over 50 Macaulay alumni gathered on October 5 to welcome the Class of 2011 and dedicate the new word cloud mural.

The word cloud, a gift from the Classes 2005-2010, was dedicated by Macaulay’s 10th anniversary alumni giving chairs, Mila Matveeva ’10 (Hunter) and Dan Blondell ’10 (Hunter). Thanks to all who participated!

Artist, Joseph Sopp '10 (Hunter), with fellow alumni at the dedication

Following Mila and Dan’s dedication, Miriam Samstein ’07 (Brooklyn), Macaulay’s first alumnus Director for the Macaulay Honors College Foundation Board, kicked off the 2011/2012 fund raising efforts!

Miriam strongly emphasized that participation and “giving back” is what matters most – not the amount of the gift.

We invite you to join the tradition of giving back by making a gift today!* Press the “Give” button to contribute now.

 

 

*Gifts will go to Macaulay’s Foundation that supports current students, academic programs, faculty and the “Opportunities Fund” that supports study abroad, independent research, internships, and community service projects.

Alumni activities are supported by the generous support from the Laura Schor Fund for Alumni Relations

Can you tell us a little bit about your background? (i.e. where were you born/grew up/how you found Macaulay etc)

I was born and raised on the South Shore of Long Island near Jones Beach.  I attended St. Rose of Lima Elementary School and Chaminade High School, an all boys Catholic prep school there.  My uncle attended Baruch College a long time ago, so when I was looking at colleges, I included Baruch on my list.  In researching Baruch, I found out about what was then CUNY Honors College, and I figured if I could attend college for free, why not.

 Rob, would you mind sharing what you have been up to since graduating Macaulay Honors College in June 2010?

I worked for J.P. Morgan Chase at the age of 16 as an intern.  One of my customers worked for the United Nations FCU.  When I was 18, in the summer before I started Macaulay Honors College, I interned at the United Nations FCU in their Insurance Department.  I turned the internship into a part-time position and eventually into a full-time position during my senior year at Macaulay.  I am currently a Financial Analyst in the Asset Liability Management department at the United Nations FCU.

What would you say has been your most significant accomplishments since graduating?

My most significant accomplishment since graduating Macaulay in June of 2010 would be purchasing a condo in Hoboken, NJ.  I feel very fortunate for Macaulay giving me the opportunity to save during my college years and graduate without any college debt.  This allowed me to make this purchase when both housing prices and interest rates were at historical lows.

 Can you tell us about the successes you have achieved in your career so far?

I designed and customized lender products utilizing the use of captive insurance companies, reinsurance intermediaries, and direct insurance/reinsurance companies.  Bottom line, I worked with financial institutions to self insure their own risk and therefore save them monies that they would have spent on commissions in today’s tough economy.

What role did Macaulay play in preparing you for the “real world”?

Although Macaulay offered so much to me and all of their students during our tenure there, i.e. the full tuition scholarship, grant funds, etc., Macaulay does not give anything away.  Macaulay makes their students earn it.  Nothing is for free so to speak.  From the application process to the grant request, if you didn’t present a worthwhile case or put in the hard work you either did not receive the grant or were not accepted, it is that simple.  The same goes for today’s “real world”.  Nothing is given, all is earned.

 What surprised you most about being a college graduate that you may not have anticipated as an undergraduate?

While attending Macaulay, I was so involved in working and my studies that although I attended the Macaulay events, I did not realize the importance that they would have on me later in my life.  Now that I have graduated and am able to look back and reflect on my life at Macaulay, I realize that those Macaulay events have helped me grow as a person and therefore succeed in life.  Macaulay events stressed the importance of studies and work, but made you take it a step further.  They made you take what you learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world in New York City, both present and future.

What advice would you give the most recent Macaulay graduates?

I would advise the most recent Macaulay graduates to always be yourself.  Anyone in management can always tell when you are not being real with them.  Trust me, a manager would rather have a hard worker who is real on his staff rather than someone who is fake and changes their attitude only for their manager.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future are to learn the Asset Liability Management field as it underlies the operations of all financial institutions.  I believe if I understand the backbone of financial institutions, it will allow me to understand the full operations of Financial Institutions to a greater extent.


Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions!

Xi Stacy Chen ’06 (Baruch) recently co-founded Coalition for Queens: Silicon Valley 2.0. The organization focuses on shaping the long-term future of Queens by building support for an applied science & engineering research campus in Willets Point, Queens. The organization received immediate media attention, being featured on NY1 and by the NY Daily News.

Stacy created the petition “Willets Points, Queens: future site for NYC’s Applied Science & Engineering Campus”.

You can read more about the City’s initiative, Queens SV2 and sign Stacy’s petition here.

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