Alumni Impact

Empire state of mind

Network New York celebrates 20th anniversary

By Matthew Biddle

New York City skyline.

After switching majors into the School of Management as a junior, Steven Silberman, BS ’09, remembers feeling a little out of his element.

“It was daunting,” he recalls, “but I decided to attend the school’s Network New York event to see, realistically, what I might be doing in two years and how I could use my degree.”

At the event, which brings together alumni and students planning to work in the New York metro area, Silberman sat down next to footwear designer Peter Grabow, BS ’81, and in just a few hours received a crash course about the big city. Through networking with other alumni and résumé critiques, Silberman gained the confidence and insights he was looking for.

Two years later, Silberman was back at Network New York as a recent grad, sharing his career advice with students. He particularly remembers discussing the interview process he had just completed to land his first job—a success story he attributes to Network New York and the career planning class he took from Michael Paolini, senior associate director in the Career Resource Center (CRC).

“I tell everyone who will listen: That was the most important class I took at UB and, combined with Network New York, really helped me secure my first job,” says Silberman, vice president of sales and marketing at Five Tier. “I literally remember the chief operating officer saying during my interview, ‘Wow, your résumé looks amazing. I’ve interviewed a lot of students, and you’re the most put-together.’”

Network New York celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019—two decades of connecting dedicated, enthusiastic alumni with talented students to help them prepare for careers in the Big Apple. Created and managed by the CRC, in collaboration with the School of Management Alumni Association, the event welcomes about 55 alumni and more than 125 students each year.

“I tell everyone who will listen: That [career planning class] was the most important class I took at UB and, combined with Network New York, really helped me secure my first job.”
Steven Silberman, BS '09, VP, Sales and Marketing
Five Tier

“Network New York has become an annual tradition for me,” says Jennifer Rinaldo, BS ’95, MBA ’97, vice president of commercial development and business strategy at Intra-Cellular Therapies. “It is one of many ways to give back to the School of Management, which gave me so much.”

The event kicks off with a presentation about the reality of living and working in the concrete jungle. For the past few years, Kitt Pizzutelli, BS ’13, portfolio manager at M&T Bank, has shared her insider’s view of Manhattan social life, rent and other differences students can expect between New York City and Buffalo.

Then, after a student dinner and alumni social, students and alumni mingle in small groups based on industry or functional area, and alumni critique students’ résumés for design, organization and content.

“There are things about the real world you just have to experience to comprehend and manage, so having alumni share their perspectives can be incredibly valuable and important,” says Seth Vogelhut, BS ’01, senior Oracle business analyst at New York City Health and Hospitals, who has participated almost every year. “I remember it being a positive, helpful experience as a student, and now it always feels good to contribute and help as an alumnus.”

Pizzutelli seated at a table at Network New York.
Gaulin speaking at Network New York.

Kitt Pizzutelli, BS ’13, and David Gaulin, BS ’87, MBA ’88, at Network New York this year. Photos: Joe Vericker

PwC is a longtime sponsor of Network New York, and with David Gaulin, BS ’87, MBA ’88, PwC partner and leader of its Law Firm Services practice, has proudly hosted the event for many years at its midtown office. Over the years, Gaulin says he’s connected with many students and alumni, including other PwC partners who graduated from the school.

“It’s important to pay back for the advantages and opportunities I had going through UB,” Gaulin says. “The students who come out of the School of Management are very well prepared, and it’s incumbent on people like me, who are in a position to do so, to provide future leaders with opportunities to advance their careers.”

For the past several years, Network New York has also coincided with several company visits around Manhattan, during which alumni and corporate partners meet with students, share insights and deepen the companies’ relationships with the school.

Knowing the value of his degree, Silberman says he’s eager to provide internship opportunities to School of Management students—and already excited for Network New York this January.

“The whole night is about students learning from alumni, and alumni learning from students,” he says. “Students today have a thirst to succeed and move rapidly, and talking with them shows me what I should expect from job applicants.

“I look forward to Network New York every year,” he continues. “It benefits the students, and it feels nice to give back because I know UB and the School of Management played a large role in my success.”

To join your fellow alumni at Network New York in 2020, contact Melissa Ruggiero, senior associate director in the CRC, at mrugg@buffalo.edu.

New York Giants

More than 400 alumni have participated in Network New York. With deep gratitude, the School of Management recognizes those who have attended the most. Thank you for your dedication.

• Hero Alimchandani, Deloitte
• Jason Avdenko, Carlyle Aviation Partners
• Alexander Barr, Johnson & Johnson
• Lindsey Bassen, Google
• Adam Bavifard, M&T Bank
• Alex Bavifard, Bank of America
• Renee Blady, Parker + Lynch
• Mark Bruno, PwC (retired)
• Megan Charles, KPMG
• Matthew Cohen, PEX
• Blair Cowan, TD Bank
• John Cudmore, Madison Square Garden Co.
• Debbie Cutler, Debra A. Cutler, CPA, PC
• Andrew Davis, Johnson & Johnson
• Louis DiBerardino, EY (retired)
• Wayne Domnitz, Raistone Capital
• Ian Estus, Standard Diversified Inc.
• Sara Gargiulo, PwC
• David Gaulin, PwC
• Michael Gould, Lehigh University
• Peter Grabow, Hudson’s Bay Co.
• Lauren Israel, CIBC
• David Kim, NBCUniversal Media
• Steven Kreit, MGO
• Ryan Lazarus, SSA & Co.
• Ray Mathew, JetBlue Airways
• Michael Morabito, Houlihan Lokey
• Dariush Nazem, Credit Suisse
• Haochi On, Standard & Poor’s
• Ryan Osborne, Deloitte Consulting
• Jason Pan, Bank of China
• Navdeep Parihar, Amazon
• Michael Paust, Big Four Management Consulting
• Vinh Pham, Duo Security
• Joe Pizzutelli, M&T Bank
• Kitt Pizzutelli, M&T Bank
• Ritaly Rapaport, Charter Technology Solutions
• Larry Repanes, Citigroup
• Jennifer Rinaldo, Intra-Cellular Therapies
• Timothy Rogers, TR Financial Consulting
• Andrew Rosengard, Rosengard & Associates
• Steven Silberman, Five Tier
• Matthew Solomon, Center for Enlightened Business
• Taylor Teresi, IBM
• Abhishek Tiwari, EY
• Seth Vogelhut, New York City Health and Hospitals
• Dan Yanega, Amazon