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Stefano Verdesoto: Grant allows for best newcomer experience… EVER.

Thank you, EACE! Grant allows for best newcomer experience… EVER.

Do you remember your transition between school and the working world? I do… mostly because I am living it right now! Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the EACE annual conference for the first time, and I honestly cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for the opportunity. Because I found myself in transition during registration season, I did not fully know whether I would attend the conference or not. Either way, I decided to register and mapped out my route from Buffalo, NY to Pittsburgh, PA (a short three and a half hours, believe it or not!). I felt ready, but I sat down and thought to myself, “How the heck are you going to afford this, Stefano?”

Although I found myself in the middle of a grueling round of phone, Skype, and on-campus visits for multiple positions across the country, I still considered myself “unemployed.” Ouch. This did mean, however, that I would do research, conduct outreach, and figure out alternative tactics to make my conference experience happen (Airbnb, anyone?!). During one of my Public Relations committee conference calls, I mentioned to the team that my attendance to the conference was in jeopardy. It hurt to say it, but unless numbers added up and a miracle came about, I just could not commit. Then, one of the committee members mentioned the EACE Professional Development Grant, a brand new opportunity to help members defray the cost of professional development programs. “Thank you!” I said, and I rushed to apply.

After filling out the user-friendly form and recording and uploading a video explaining why I deserved the EACE Professional Development Grant (it is somewhere on YouTube, just ask!), I hit “submit” on my application and hoped for the best. Later that week, the career services gods smiled down on me, as I found out I received a grant, which would allow me to partially fund my trip to Pittsburgh! What once felt like an uncertain period of my life, slowly turned into a clear picture (Dusquene Incline and all!). It all felt real.

My three days in Pittsburgh rocked! Informative, fun, and inspiring sessions energized me! My all-time favorites included “Stop the Boredom Now!” by Dia Harris from Johnson & Johnson and Nicole Thomas from RAVE! Seminars, as well as Mark Rhoads’ talk on hiring foreign students, who joined us from McCandlish Holton Immigration Practice Group. I also really enjoyed the evening at Uptown, where a huge group of members gathered to chat, share a drink (two, actually), and bust some moves! Although I tragically lost the raffle’s Fitbit (there is always next year!), I felt great about my donation to the Boys and Girls Club. Also, as a foodie, I made sure to enjoy some local spots during my time in the city. My all-time favorites included Meat & Potatoes, Primanti Brothers, and Church Brew Works!

Dinner at Primanti Brothers with part of my new team from Hofstra. Fried pickles - YUM!

Dinner at Primanti Brothers with part of my new team from Hofstra. Fried pickles – YUM!

My award-winning #EACE selfie at the top of the Duquesne Incline! #bragalert

My award-winning #EACE seflie at the top of the Duquesne Incline! #bragalert

Learn more about the Scholarships, Grants, and Awards EACE offers.

unnamedStefano Verdesoto is Hofstra University’s newest team member, where he will work with External Relations at The Career Center.  Born in Ecuador, raised in New York City, and educated in Buffalo (GO BULLS!!!), he now resides in Long Island.  Follow his journey on Twitter and Instagram @gsverdesoto.  
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