New York Graduate Marches To Job Offer
Alvin Victor had spent four years preparing for June 3rd, 2011. That is the day he and 899 classmates would have marched into the graduation tent at York College and celebrate their success with their respective families.
But Victor got an offer he couldn’t refuse. No, make that a job offer he couldn’t refuse. But here’s the rub: he would have to skip graduation in favor of starting his new job.
Time Warner Cable wanted Victor and they wanted him for orientation along with other new hires to start on Friday, June 3rd. It was an anti-climactic way to end his college career, but quite a way to start his professional career.
Unlike most other students who graduated this spring, Alvin Victor marched straight into a job without the frustrations countless new graduates will face in this depressed economy. He is now a business service representative trouble-shooting problems over the telephone for small to medium-sized businesses. If the problem cannot be resolved remotely he dispatches a technician to the site.
It is a job with growth potential and according to Victor they will pay for graduate school, which is his goal. And he has high praises for the training and support he received at York.
“Professor [Wayne] Forester and the Office of Career Services helped me a lot,” said Victor. “I attended different conferences through Career Services. At York I really just surrendered to the process. I got involved, got to go to conferences, did study-abroad in Paris, got a mentor….There are lots of opportunities here.”
According to Linda Chesney, director of the Office of Career Services, Victor made all the right moves.
“Students need to understand that a successful career path begins in their freshman year,” says, Chesney. “Having a four-year career plan which starts with exploration and goal setting, and continues with exposure to external programs such as internships, leadership programs and career workshops that lead to effective networking skills are key to success. Career Services provides these services to all.”
In fact, Victor was one of the most visible students at York. He worked on campus as a college assistant, was a member of The Cardinal Crew, a de facto organization on campus, which promotes school spirit through social and scholarly events. As a Thurgood Marshall Scholar, he represented the Thurgood Marshall College Fund as a campus ambassador as well, all while maintaining his Scholarship-worthy GPA. And his mentor was none other than the College’s president, Dr. Marcia V. Keizs.
The Georgetown, Guyana-born student reared by a single mother, Victor came to the United States in his early teens determined to make his mother, Cheryl Prescott, proud as he watched her labor to provide for him.
“My mother works two jobs,” he said. “[But] now that I have graduated and getting a job she plans to quit one. It has been hard on her.”
And her dedication was a good example for her son as the president observed. “From the very start he was what I like to call a ‘loyal’ mentee,” said President Keizs. “By that I mean, he made his appointments routinely and kept them. He never missed one, though sometimes my schedule demanded that I keep him waiting or change dates. He was very curious and took my advice to heart.”
The president also remarked on Victor’s willingness to develop his scholarly abilities. “In one of my fist sessions with him when he was working on a particular essay,” she recalled. “I suggested he go to the Schomburg Library in Harlem. He had never heard of it. So he dutifully went and did some research there. I have seen him grow into a confident and accomplished person. He had a good foundation to start with. His family, especially his mom, should be congratulated.”
In honor of Ms. Prescott, President Keizs encouraged Alvin to don the cap and gown he would have worn to the commencement ceremonies on June 3rd, to a photo op she would create for him on the evening of June 2nd. He brought his mother, his aunt, Megan Prescott and his cousin, Malik to campus for the pre-enactment so that she would get a taste of that culminating event in her son’s life. It was, after all, their joint success.
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