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AIV Puts State Government on Full Display

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cutting-edge legislation, heated debates and nonstop intrigue – just a typical day in Albany, NY. And that excitement took center stage for St. John’s students during the recent Alumni Insider’s View…New York State Capital program. 

“This program continues to grow,” said Elisa Douglas ’05C, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations. “The students go up to Albany and meet with alumni politicians, lobbyists and other professionals, people who are directly involved in our state government. It’s rare for students to benefit from such a tremendous networking opportunity, which is why AIV is so special.”

As in years past, the program consisted of three panel discussions, featuring influential alumni speakers. This included major politicians, who all commented on how they used their St. John’s degree to get where they are today.

“St. John’s is the perfect institution for young people today,” said Hon. Peter J. Abbate, Jr. ’72C, who represents District 49 in the New York State Assembly. “Over the years, I’ve watched the University grow, and it’s gone from a metropolitan campus to a worldwide institution.

It’s become even better than it was in my day, and I find it exciting to speak with today’s students. AIV seems to get better and better every year.”

Panelists discussed what it’s like to live and work in Albany and also shared personal advice for how to excel in the world of politics. 

It’s become even better than it was in my day, and I find it exciting to speak with today’s students. AIV seems to get better and better every year.”

“Unfortunately, today’s economic situation isn’t so inviting for young people,” noted Patricia Reilly ’74C, ’75G, a consultant/lobbyist with Bolton-St. Johns, LLC in Albany. “Remember, though: 50 people may say ‘no’ to you, but there will always be someone who says ‘yes.’ You’ve got to keep a good attitude and remember that you have a great background coming from St. John’s.

The day also included a tour of the New York Capitol Building and the Court of Appeals, followed by a networking reception at the University Club of Albany. Students enjoyed the opportunity to mix and mingle with the day’s panelists, as well as other alumni living in the area.

“I know I want to be in New York City politics, whether it’s now or one day in the near future,” said Louis Romero ’14G. “To hear so many wonderful stories – to learn what motivated our alumni – was really inspiring and will definitely help me as I begin my career over the next couple of years.”

For other students, like Garrett Omi ’15Ed, simply experiencing such an influential city had a tremendous impact.

“I’m not specializing in any sort of law or politics – I’m an Education major,” he explained. “But being here, touring the Capitol, it’s opened my mind to so many new opportunities and possibilities.  And hearing reassuring words of wisdom from so many successful alumni has really put me at ease as

I get ready to graduate next year. It’s definitely been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, one I’ll never forget.”