June 23, 2024

Serene Nest

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How Binghamton’s EY Student Leaders Program gives business students an edge

4 min read

Breaking into the field of healthcare administration can be daunting. But for Eric Galinkin, a sophomore at Binghamton University’s School of Management (SOM), it’s a challenge he’s eager to take on.

Galinkin credits the EY Student Leaders Program (EY SLP) with helping him build connections, sharpen critical skills and create opportunities to make that professional goal a reality. The program, which includes 85 students like Galinkin, is sponsored by Ernst & Young and is entering its third year at Binghamton. It’s designed for SOM students with exceptional academic performance, a commitment to the community and demonstrated leadership behaviors.

“I’d say it’s been invaluable for me in building leadership skills that I might have not otherwise gained, given me plenty of networking opportunities and also provided me with some lifelong friends,” said Galinkin, a business administration major and co-president for the EY SLP. “It’s also helped me create a connection with faculty beyond the classroom and work on unique projects that further my career interest in healthcare.”

Among those projects is an independent research study on healthcare management, which Galinkin worked on with Associate Professor Rory Eckardt and SOM Dean Shelley Dionne. He also volunteered as a student intern with United Health Services alongside its senior director of facility management.

The program includes students incoming from high school and those currently in SOM. With five focus areas — empowering future leaders, academic excellence, community engagement, mentorship and global opportunities — the EY SLP cultivates students’ leadership abilities in a way that brings out the best in themselves and others.

“It’s a transformative experience that equips students with the skills, knowledge and networks they need to become future leaders in the field of business,” said SOM Career Services Director Olivia Pasquale ’12, MPA ’17, who oversees the EY SLP. “If you’re a student with big dreams and a passion for making a difference, this program could be your first step toward becoming a true catalyst for positive change both now and in the future.”

For SOM student Nicole Feibel, co-president of the EY SLP, leadership courses and tech-upskilling sessions taught by EY professionals have been some of the program’s standout experiences.

“This program has immersed me in diverse career paths and facilitated valuable connections with professionals spanning various industries,” Feibel said. “I have truly been able to expand my knowledge beyond my typical coursework, which has been incredibly valuable.”

Focus areas prepare students for leadership roles

All students in the program are required to meet specific academic standards, such as maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher, as well as other program components, to remain eligible and attain honors designation at graduation.

Here’s how this competitive program uses its five focus areas to prepare students for leadership roles:

  • Empowering future leaders: The EY SLP empowers students to become a generation of leaders by providing them with hands-on experience, mentorship and networking opportunities. Participants get to work closely with EY professionals on real-world projects, gaining valuable insights and skills that will prepare them for future careers.
  • Academic excellence: The program fosters academic excellence and life-long learners, and to stand out in this competitive program, students are also required to add at least two additional tech courses to their curriculum and an additional written course requirement. First-year students undergo tech-upskilling courses to help them acquire new technical skills or enhance existing ones to stay relevant and competitive. These courses are typically taught by professionals or SOM alumni and are exclusive to the EY SLP.
  • Community engagement: In addition to professional development, the program strongly emphasizes community engagement and social impact. Participants are encouraged to get involved in their communities through volunteer work and other activities that make a positive difference. This focus helps students develop a sense of social responsibility and leadership. In the past year, EY SLP students volunteered at Owego Free Academy to assist high school students with college preparedness activities, wrapped toys for the YWCA of Binghamton and volunteered at events in the local community such as “Paws for a Cause.”
  • Mentorship: Peer and professional mentorship are cornerstones for participants’ growth and development. First-year students are paired with upperclass mentors, which fosters a sense of community and support. This allows them to learn from each other’s experiences, share insights and navigate challenges together. As students move up in the program, they are paired with a professional mentor at EY. These mentors offer insights into various industries, career paths and leadership strategies, helping students refine their goals, develop essential skills and make informed decisions about their future.
  • Global opportunities: The program offers students the chance to connect with peers from around the world. Through domestic and international trips, workshops and other activities, students gain exposure to different cultures and ways of thinking, enhancing their global perspective and cross-cultural communication skills.

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