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Melanie Strano: Discovering Her Potential

Newsletter, Profile, Alumni



January 10, 2019

Melanie Strano: Discovering Her Potential


Since October of 2017, Melanie Strano has been working in a job that, by her own admission, she would have been apprehensive about approaching a year or two earlier. But she landed it through some good old-fashioned hobnobbing and networking and by following the path the Career Center laid out for her.

“I was almost nervous to apply,” she said. “It was a big technology firm.”

Strano received a B.S. in business in 2017 and spent the summer of the previous year working with New York Cares through the Jaggar Community Fellows Program. It wasn’t the sort of work she saw herself doing as a career, but it put her on her way to working for one of the biggest corporations on the planet.

“As a business major, my plan wasn’t to go into a not-for-profit,” she said. “Even though it seems like something really simple, I was able to take away something much greater. We were leading groups of maybe 50 people who had just gotten out of work. That’s the perfect opportunity to talk to people, get to know what they do. That network and that experience I can really take with me anywhere.”

With New York Cares, Strano oversaw groups of midcareer professionals from such industry leaders as BuzzFeed, Google, IBM and Morgan Stanley, getting to know them and learning about their work while supervising them in painting classrooms and cleaning up parks. When it came time to recruit students for IBM’s Consulting by Degrees two-year training program for entry-level consultants, Strano was a natural.

To her credit, Strano had also already established a relationship with the Center for Career and Professional Development, which oversees recruitment for the IBM training program. She had taken the Prep for Success seminar as a sophomore and had built strong relationships in the office. Once she’d applied to IBM, she went through résumé workshops and mock interviews and even discussions about how to dress for the interview. When it came time for the actual interview, she discovered that she already knew some of her future co-workers.

“Because Adelphi is such a small school, I knew some of the alumni that came back,” she said. “I was in business fraternities with them and they recognized me, so I had that on my side.”

For a Brooklyn kid, Adelphi proved a perfect transition from home into the business world. While earning her degree, Strano kept busy as captain of the cheerleading team, vice president of fundraising and philanthropy for Sigma Delta Tau, campus relations chair for Delta Sigma Pi professional business fraternity, an Honors Society member and being active with a number of other campus organizations. Today she’s fully staffed at IBM, working in digital strategy and analyzing ease of user experiences.

“Long Island was a perfect little spot,” she said. “I could just hop on the train and be home in an hour, but I could also live my life on campus. I really think that’s how I was able to be so involved on campus. It was the perfect combination of going away for school and being able to stay home.”


For further information, please contact:

Todd Wilson
Strategic Communications Director 
p – 516.237.8634
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