Ramaz Holds Annual Alumni-Senior Career Showcase


On Thursday, December 13th, the Ramaz Upper School hosted its annual Alumni-Senior Career Showcase. The program is an opportunity for seniors to learn more about some of the different career paths undertaken by Ramaz alumni. Seniors had the chance to hear from around fifteen alumni of the Upper School, each of whom spoke about how he or she wound up working in his or her respective industry.

The Ramaz Upper School has historically held an alumni career showcase for members of its senior class. Typically, the showcase is divided into two sections: two thirty minute sessions with an alumnus/career specialization of the student’s choosing and a moderated panel featuring all alumni. Additionally, seniors are given time after the panel to talk to an alumnus of their choosing over lunch. Moreover, Senior Grade Dean Rabbi Yigal Sklarin noted that seniors often remember the showcase as “the most valuable and enjoyable program of the year,” so expectations among seniors were pretty high.

Seniors had mostly positive things to say about their individual sessions. Michael Perl ’19, who attended a session by Neil Goldman ’04, noted that the presentation he heard was “interesting and inspirational.” Goldman works as a talent producer for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “Simply speaking, his job is to prepare celebrities before they are interviewed by Colbert,” said Perl. Perl was inspired by Goldman’s decision to pursue his “dream job.” “Neil told us that when he graduated college,” said Perl, “he had two dreams jobs: to work for the NBA and to work for a talk show. He told himself that if he applied to work for both, then he would have a decent chance of getting an offer from one of them. And he was right! He got a job working for Letterman, and now he’s a senior production member for Colbert.”

Seniors appreciated the freedom to select sessions that particularly interested them. For instance, David Gad ’19, who is interested in business and entrepreneurship, chose to attend a session conducted by David Parker ’00. Parker is the CEO and Co-Founder of Yumble, a subscription-based website that delivers healthy and fully prepared meals specifically designed for kids every week. “I loved hearing from Parker,” said Gad. “Aside from discussing the logistics of managing a start-up, Parker also spoke about his backstory. I found his motivations for pursuing entrepreneurship pretty inspiring. Also, the fact that his company was on Shark Tank only made it more cool!”

Following the two thirty minutes sessions, seniors made their way down to the auditorium for the alumni panel, which was moderated by Instagram personality Claudia Oshry ’12 (otherwise known as @GirlWithNoJob). The seniors seemed to be less impressed with the alumni panel, with many noting that it was fairly repetitive. “Some alumni were given more time to speak than others, and towards the end I felt like I was just hearing the same thing over and over again,” said Tom Shemia ’19, whose mother, Sara Shemia ’92, represented the fashion industry during the showcase. Students did, however, enjoy Oshry’s moderation of the panel. Rebecca Douer ’19 said, “Even though Claudia only moderated for the half of the time, I thought she was really funny and engaging.”

Overall, seniors seemed to appreciate the annual Alumni Career Showcase. Aside from affording seniors the opportunity to hear about how and why alumni became involved in their respective fields, the showcase also allowed students to learn more about the necessary requirements to work in a particular industry. Hank Shalom ’19, who is interested in the business of fashion, noted that he “did not know how complex the fashion industry was before the career showcase,” and that Ms. Shemia’s insights really opened his eyes to “details about the fashion industry” that he was not aware of beforehand. As seniors prepare to enter in to the professional world, surely the career showcase will come in handy to those who took the time to network with those alumni who inspired them.