On the weekend of April 10, 2009, InteRDom met hundreds of Dominican-American students at the 3rd National Dominican Student Conference held at City College in New York, New York.
Despite the rainy holiday weekend, this year’s Conference attracted close to 300 students. Students eagerly attended the workshops and presentations that revolved around the 2009 theme, “Transitioning Students Into Professionals,” The forum offered students a glimpse into the working world after college and provided them with the tools to combat stereotypes and learn business norms and etiquette guaranteed to facilitate the interviewing process and the transition into the workforce.
This year’s program featured a keynote address by Jay Hershenson, Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations at the City University of New York, and workshops led by high-ranking and knowledgeable Dominican professionals. Secretary of State Alejandro Santos of the Dominican Republic was amongst the prominent Dominican professionals that attended the event.
InteRDom team members were present all weekend, meeting with students and stressing the importance of internships in their career plans. Internships provide a perfect transition for students between school and the workforce, offering students real work experience without the pressure of the current scanty job market.
Alicia Alonzo, InteRDom Coordinator, participated in the workshop entitled “Business Etiquette” on Saturday morning, along with Ramón Rodriguez, Founder and President of Blue Arena Corporation, and Ingrid Tineo, Assistant Director and Career Program Coordinator of the Starr Career Development Center at Baruch College. The three gave a dynamic presentation during which they discussed behavioral norms in the working world, differences in etiquette between cultures, and internship and job searching basics. They also provided other helpful tips about interviewing and résumé and cover letter writing.
This year’s conference was organized by DominiCUNY, a joint intellectual effort between the current Dominican student leaders and alumni of the City University of New York (CUNY), which was recently formed in order to strengthen its bid to host the conference. The DominiCUNY leadership set an excellent example for Dominican students from all around the United States to unite forces in order to accomplish their goals.
“I hope that the students that attended the conference will be able to walk away with the networking and resources that will allow them to make better decisions,” said Harry Melo, an alumnus of Baruch College and one of the organizers of this year’s conference, “and have the confidence to make those decisions knowing that they are possible and that help is out there.”
InteRDom’s participation in the Conference is part of the efforts that GFDD and its sister organization in the Dominican Republic, FUNGLODE, make to strengthen collaboration with the Dominican descendants and professionals living in the United States and abroad.