Yeshiva University News » Sy Syms

Newly Graduated, Yeshiva University Alumni Find Career, Graduate School Success  

job fair 2As undergraduates, Yeshiva University students learn to balance a rich and vibrant range of academic, extracurricular and spiritual pursuits, dedicating themselves to rigorous Torah and secular study while discovering their passions, championing their beliefs and forming lasting friendships. So it’s no surprise that after commencement, they hit the ground running: more than 90 percent of YU graduates were employed, in graduate school, or both within 6 months of graduation, according to the most recent survey by YU’s Career Center.

“The fact that for the last six years, we’ve been at or above that 90 percent rate is impressive,” said Marc Goldman, executive director of the Career Center. “In particular, full time employment has risen even higher than in past years, with more than 85 percent of those employed working in full time positions—that number rises to more than 90 percent when you look at those who aren’t also in graduate school.”

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Students Learn Practical Business Skills in Course Presented by Financial Training Experts

AMT finance course taught on Beren's campus by German NandeClose to 100 students participated in a financial training seminar May 27-30, presented by Adkins Matchett & Toy (AMT), global experts in training analysts and investment bankers at leading financial companies, hedge funds and corporate law firms.

The intensive four-day, 30-hour class was offered primarily to undergraduate students from Stern College for Women, Yeshiva College and Sy Syms School of Business.

“Several members of the YU Board of Trustees encouraged the school to enhance our analytic offerings in finance, and we are exploring ways to incorporate these vital real-world skills into the curriculum at Sy Syms,” said Michael Strauss, associate dean of Sy Syms, explaining the impetus behind the course. “We believe that all students should take this fundamentals of finance course before they enter the business world.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Nine Yeshiva University Undergraduates Recognized for Exceptional Academic Achievements

More than 600 students from Yeshiva University’s undergraduate schools were awarded degrees at YU’s 83rd commencement exercises, held at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ on May 22. Nine received the distinction of valedictorian, an honor that reflects exceptional academic achievement. As these new graduates begin the next stage of life and apply their talents to pursue a range of careers, they remembered the vibrant Jewish life and rich academic and extracurricular experiences that shaped their undergraduate years.

Valedictorians

Valedictorians (L-R): Isaac Merkel, Malia Weiss, Avi Levinson, Devorah Levinson, Eli Shavalian, Eli Grunblatt, Benjy Lebowitz, Bella Wolf and Natan Koloski

“YU afforded me the unique opportunity to enhance my scientific pursuits with Torah knowledge,” said Bella Wolf, the valedictorian of Stern College for Women. “I feel that as a Jewish student majoring in the sciences, there is no other university that could better meld together my religious beliefs with my career goals.”

Wolf, an aspiring ophthalmologist, will attend YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the fall. “YU has an amazing science department which helped me in my pursuit to attend medical school,” she said. “I received incredibly valuable skills both in the research and medicinal field, as well as in life in general, from my four years at Stern.” Read the rest of this entry…

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From World-Class Faculty to Unique Opportunities, Seniors Reflect on Yeshiva University Experience

On May 22, some 600 new graduates will march across the stage at the Izod Center to receive their diplomas during Yeshiva University’s 83rd Commencement Exercises, completing a foundational chapter in their educational journeys and moving on to exciting new opportunities. Before they toss their caps in the air, members of the Class of 2014 shared some of their favorite moments and the profound experiences that shaped their undergraduate careers, as well as dreams that started here but which they will carry with them all their lives.

“Yeshiva University created opportunities that I never dreamed of,” said Yosefa Schoor, of Monsey, New York, who hopes to attend medical school. Read the rest of this entry…

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Meet the Musmakh: Rabbi and Physician Eytan Cowen Cares for Others’ Well-Being, Inside and Out

Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and the Yeshiva University community will celebrate the ordination of its largest class of musmakhim [ordained rabbis] at its Chag HaSemikhah Convocation on March 23, 2014. The record class of rabbis represents an internationally diverse group, hailing from five continents and more than 50 North American cities. While most will remain engaged in either full-time post-semikhah Torah study or religious work—Jewish education, the pulpit, outreach or non-profit work—many will pursue careers in other professions, including medicine and law.

In the weeks leading up to the celebration, YU News will introduce you to several of these remarkable musmakhim

Rabbi Eytan Cowen of Toronto, Ontario, did not set out to become a rabbi.

20140220_RIETS_Eytan_Cohen_028He always knew that he wanted to help others—but he interpreted that desire as an imperative to care for their physical well-being. So, inspired by his parents’ altruistic example, he attended the University of Toronto and went on to graduate from medical school with a specialty in naturopathic and integrative medicine. An active member of Hatzolah Toronto, Cowen maintained a solid learning schedule in the Kollel Dirshu as he devoted the next 10 years of his life to building up his practice in Toronto, together with his wife, Sy Syms School of Business graduate Caroline Sarah Bitton, and their children.

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EMBA Program at Sy Syms School of Business Travels to Israel for In-Depth Study of Entrepreneurship

A behind-the-scenes tour of the Knesset and frank conversations with the leaders of companies including high-tech startup Given Imaging, integrated energy giant Delek Group and Recanati Winery were just a few of the unique learning opportunities for students in the Executive Masters of Business Administration program at Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business during one jam-packed week of field study in Israel this summer.

EMBA Israel trip 1

EMBA students on a site visit to Elbit Systems, which develops, manufactures and integrates advanced, high-performance defense electronic and electro-optic systems for customers throughout the world.

The trip, from July 1-9, enabled students in the program’s Management of International Business course to shape their own learning experience so that it provided maximum exposure to the topics that were of most interest to them, with an overall aim of understanding the specific opportunities for global arbitrage offered in Israel. That meant arranging their own on-site visits with government and policy-setting bodies, globally-oriented Israeli companies, the Israeli presence of foreign-based multinational companies and academic institutions. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Announces the Appointments of Moses Pava, Michael Strauss and Avi Giloni to School of Business Leadership Team

Dr. Moses Pava

Dr. Moses Pava

Dr. Moses Pava, Alvin Einbender Professor of Business Ethics and professor of accounting at the University’s Syms School of Business, has been appointed director of Syms. In his new position, Pava is responsible for both the undergraduate and graduate programs and will be reporting directly to the provost’s office. Pava, who earned his doctorate at New York University’s Stern School of Business in 1990, has been with the business school since 1988. He has chaired the accounting department for many years and has served as chair of the Executive Faculty Committee. He has published numerous books and articles on business ethics and corporate accountability and is an expert on Jewish business ethics.

Michael Strauss

Professor Michael Strauss

Professor Michael Strauss, entrepreneur-in-residence and clinical professor of management at Syms, has been appointed associate director of student advising and administration at Syms where he has taught business courses for several years. Strauss (MBA, Baruch) is a veteran of both large and small companies, having served in senior management roles at several companies including American Express. He is currently CEO of an advanced start-up company that he founded several years ago, BSafe Electrix, Inc. He is also chairman of Sherwood Consulting Group, Inc., and serves on several boards and advisory boards.

Dr. Avi Giloni has been appointed as associate director for academic research of  Syms. Giloni has been with Syms since 2000 when he earned his doctorate from New York University’s Stern School of Business.  He has chaired the Information and Decision Sciences Department since its inception. His research is in robust forecasting, optimization, stochastic system design and their applications to supply chain management. Giloni has published papers in top-tier journals, including Management ScienceProduction and Operations Management, and SIAM Journal on Optimization.

Dr. Avi Giloni

Dr. Avi Giloni

“The new leadership team is committed to the growth of the Syms School of Business on both the Beren and Wilf Campuses,” said said Morton Lowengrub, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “Its focus will be on academic excellence, high quality teaching, and providing students with a user-friendly environment where they can gain the qualitative and quantitative skills they will need to succeed in a highly-competitive business world. The Syms School of Business is committed to the ongoing task of re-imagining undergraduate education.”

Syms continues to pursue accreditation through the AACSB International and has recently received the approval of New York State for its Executive MBA program to be launched next year. The MS Program in Accounting, which has now graduated its second class and is growing in both in quality and numbers, will continue to be under the directorship of Dr. Joseph Kerstein. The Syms School also welcomes Dr. S. Abraham Ravid as the Syms Professor of Finance.

Pava, Strauss and Giloni will work with faculty, students, alumni, the Syms School of Business Board of Overseers, prospective employers and the liberal arts programs to increase synergies with the other undergraduate units of Yeshiva University.

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A Message from President Richard M. Joel

We recently announced a series of exciting steps at Yeshiva University to further advance education for our undergraduate students. Our priority is to offer each student in every realm of study the finest education and preparation for their successful future. The crucial next step in our advancement is to create a unified undergraduate faculty. This will allow us to deliver an even better education and, ultimately, better futures for our students and graduates. Faculty unification will also help us streamline the way we deliver student services and create a less cumbersome administrative structure on both undergraduate campuses. We recruited Professor Lawrence Schiffman as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education to work with the faculty and deans to guide this process.

Permit me to focus on the implications of these advancements for our business students.

The Syms School is alive and well and its faculty are key partners in building a stronger undergraduate future. As we move forward in refashioning undergraduate education, our commitment to preparing our business students for successful careers remains a central goal. We will achieve this through a number of steps over the coming period of time:

  • The course offerings and requirements for next year remain unchanged.
  • We proceed energetically to complete our process of accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
  • The faculty moves forward in strengthening academic offerings and building on all the opportunities that a unified undergraduate faculty will make possible, specifically in economics and mathematics, but in other disciplines as well.
  • We increase cooperation among departments.
  • We emphasize academic and career advisement to business students, focusing even more actively on provision of internships, mentoring, and assistance with job placement.
  • We broaden our programs of alumni involvement in order to increase interaction between Syms alumni and current students.

Throughout this process, we will be working with students and alumni to solicit input and assistance.

Let me summarize the foundational principles that have served to guide us as we embark on the process of reimagining undergraduate education at Yeshiva University:

  • To create a unified undergraduate faculty to better serve our students on the Beren and Wilf campuses.
  • To greatly improve the interaction between faculty of similar disciplines.
  • To create intellectual and academic opportunities to foster greater interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • To provide all the first-rate opportunities presented on each campus to students on both.
  • To reorganize undergraduate faculty to better integrate the business programs, and arts and sciences offerings.
  • To centralize student services and activities to maximize the quality and efficiency of these offerings and to ensure, where appropriate, greater consistency of academic policy.

The bottom line should be clear. Preparation for success in the world of business is a key focus of Yeshiva University’s educational future. Yeshiva University should be a choice destination for the young men and women seeking the finest education in Torah Umadda and positioning themselves for maximum success in business careers. Syms is a proud part of our past and present, and a prouder part of our future.

Richard M. Joel

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Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalist Share Keys to Business Success at Career Development Center Panel

Yeshiva University’s Career Development Center hosted a lively panel with seven members of the venture capitalist and startup world. The event, titled “Working in Venture Capital and Startups,” was held on Monday night, April 11 on the Beren Campus with panelists: Simi Blaustein, High Line Ventures; Melody Koh, Time Warner Investments; Chris Paik, Thrive Ventures; Francesca Romano; Cross Commerce Media; and Ben Siscovick, IA Ventures. Two successful Yeshiva University graduates, Alex Taub, of Aviary.com, and Zev Lapin, of Bucket Ventures joined them on the panel.

From left, panelists Blaustein, Koh, Lapin, Paik, Romano, Siscovick and Taub.

Michael Strauss, entrepreneur-in-residence and adjunct professor of management at Sy Syms School of Business, led the discussion. He began by asking the participants to describe their typical day.

“There are no typical days in startups,” said Taub, whose company produces free online design tools and received startup funding from Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com and Spark Capital.  He said that while his official day begins at 10 in the morning and ends at six, the actual hours are closer to beginning at seven and finishing at 10 in the evening. “You have an always-on mentality,” explained Taub.

Strauss asked the participants what they thought was the most important skill. Nearly unanimously, the answer was passion.

“It’s a pure meritocracy,” said Taub. “Investors don’t care about your GPA… they care about your passion.”

The panelists also discussed how they decided to invest in startups. Blaustein said that a good part of his time is spent evaluating teams before he decides to invest any money. “We’re looking for companies that have complementary skill sets,” he explained.

Lapin, who began his startup while an undergraduate at YU, advised students that “any skills you don’t have, your co-founders should have.”

Siscovick, whose multimillion dollar firm, IA Ventures, specializes in investing in new forms of data storage and retrieval, said that breaking into the venture capital world isn’t easy. “The supply and demand of the market are skewed,” he explained. “Every venture capitalist has a different story and there’s no one path.”

The close to two-hour presentation ended with a lengthy Q and A session moderated by Brian Maruffi, director of the Ira Rennert Center for Entrepreneurship at Sy Syms.

“Many students appear to have an entrepreneurial mindset from early on in their career at YU,” said Laurie Davis, director of counseling and programming at the CDC. “Several have even started small ventures while in Israel or even high school.”

Yehuda Silbermintz, 20, a junior who is working on his own startup, found the event “essential” for him. “You need to know your business in and out and be able to answer every question.”

Jeremy Hodkin, 20, a sophomore, who, along with fellow YU student Zachary Deutsch, is launching a web-based startup, said “the best part of the night came when we met individually with the panelists. I got emails and business cards!”

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Career Development Center Offers Students Opportunities, Resources to Connect with Wide Range of Employers

Two down, two to go.

Sarah Clyde, a Stern College for Women senior graduating in May with a shaped degree in computer science, had four job interviews in the last two weeks. All of them were with employers she met at Yeshiva University’s annual Career Fair, organized by the Career Development Center, on April 1.

CDC Career Fair“The Career Development Center always stresses how networking can get you in the door for an interview,” Clyde said.  “The Career Fair is like a mini-interview and networking event. Once you make that personal connection with the recruiter, you’re more likely to be called in for an interview.”

This year’s Career Fair offered students the opportunity to meet and engage with more than 45 employers across a variety of fields, including medical technology, publishing, Jewish communal work and finance.  According to Sarah Rosen, director of alumni and employment relations at the CDC, that wide range of options is carefully cultivated by the Center throughout the year.

“We try to make this event available to a diverse employer base,” said Rosen. “The diversity is important because we can expose students to employers they may not even realize they would be interested in. The fair gives students the opportunity to hone their skills with different types of employers.” Clyde agreed, offering similar advice to other students: “Don’t only approach the companies you came specifically to see. Take a risk and start a conversation.”

For some employers, the Career Fair was their first encounter with the student body of YU. “This is our first time here and we’re excited,” said Robert Zyzynski, a recruitment intern at the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board. “We’re looking for students who have open minds because at our agency we really need people who can consider all options. We heard about this recruiting opportunity and we jumped on it.”CDC Career Fair

For others, like Spreemo, a healthcare technology organization, the fair represented the chance to tap a tried-and-true labor market. “I’ve been involved in three businesses in the past that have recruited from YU and always had good experiences,” said Pamela Harpaz, the company’s chief financial officer. “That’s what we’re here for.”

Jared Schuler, a talent acquisition associate for Scholastic, Inc., was similarly impressed by a current public relations intern at the company who is a student at Stern College. Her work at Scholastic has made the publisher interested to learn more about the student population at YU. “It’s our first time one-on-one with this school,” said Schuler. “We wanted to come and see what they’ve got.”

The CDC prepared students for the fair with informational materials and workshops about revising resumes and the art of the personal pitch. Jonathan Scheiner, a senior studying Management of Information Systems at the Sy Syms School of Business, thought that both discussions helped him present himself more effectively. “I think the companies I spoke with today were very receptive to my pitch, and I think looking them in the eyes and smiling was a big part of that,” he said.

Clyde is already on her way. However, she will continue to seek the guidance and feedback of the CDC as she advances her job search. “The CDC has years of experience dealing with both students and employers,” she said. “They know what employers might and ask and where students fumble on interviews. It can only help to sit down and have a conversation with an advisor.”

To learn more about the Career Development Center at Yeshiva University visit www.yu.edu/cdc.

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