It is a promise for the future — a hub for finding dream jobs — the Karl and Stevie Eller Professional Development Center.
Students will meet there with recruiters from companies like Microsoft, Macy’s and Goldman Sachs. Alumni will mentor students on how to succeed in a highly competitive job market. Career coaches will help students discover their strengths and align with career goals.
The $5 million, two-story, 13,000-square-foot addition on the fully enclosed south side of McClelland Hall was made possible solely through donations, including a lead gift from Karl and Stevie Eller. Among the facility’s features are a classroom for career training courses, a conference room, interview rooms and offices for the professional development team.
Eller College Director of Professional Development Sarah Diaz says the center will help create robust relationships between employers, alumni and students and lead students to internships and jobs with high-profile companies.
“We’ve discovered the secret sauce, a successful process that connects students with alumni who can help them get the job they want,” Diaz says.
Take UA alumni and Goldman Sachs investment bankers Keith Zusi ’90 and Stuart Kasdin ’90. Seven years ago, they wanted to help Eller College students find jobs on Wall Street.
“Every summer I was watching interns showing up from well-known Ivy League schools and I thought it would be really nice to have some representation from the UA,” Kasdin says.
Partnering with Jeff Welter, associate director for professional development, and Ricard Sias, department of finance head and the Tyler Family Endowed Chair in Finance, Zusi and Kasdin started visiting with students and sharing what it takes to get a job on Wall Street.
“What better way for me to give back and stay involved than to offer students an opportunity and change someone’s life,” Zusi says.
Their mentoring helped Juan Peraza ’14 earn a summer internship at Goldman Sachs after his junior year. He returned with a full-time job offer from Goldman Sachs and valuable experience that he shared with other students.
Last year, Peraza accompanied Zusi and Kasdin on a recruitment visit and helped Melissa Rose ’15 through the same process. Rose is now a securities analyst at Goldman Sachs.
“Juan made his way through and we’ve asked him to pay it forward and share what he learned with others,” Kasdin says. “Fast forward this process of mentorship five or seven years, and you will start to see a strong network of UA alumni working in New York City.”