The Northeast Association of Student Employment Administrators (NASEA) has named Carla Kentoffio, a senior psychology and English double major at Stony Brook University, Student Employee of the Year for the State of New York. Kentoffio was recognized for her hard work and extraordinary accomplishments as student manager of Student Staffing Resources for the Faculty Student Association (FSA).
“There are so many students who feel that their time spent working on campus is only worth the dollar amount they make for it,” said Kentoffio. “But you also create the opportunity to meet people who have so much to teach you and who are great references in the future.”
Kentoffio is the second FSA student employee to be selected as Employee of the Year by NASEA. In 2010 Laura Agudelo, a business major, was named employee of the year for the entire northeast region.
“Ms. Kentoffio and Ms. Agudelo can serve as role models for how student workers can differentiate themselves as invaluable assets to employers in an increasingly tough and competitive job market,” said Karen Clemente, a student employment coordinator at SBU’s Career Center.
“Success depends on gaining access to opportunities and embracing the right attitude to learn while working,” said Warren Wartell, director of FSA administrative services and human resources. “People become more adept by applying the skills they learned in school, at their jobs or their internship experiences to their careers.”
According to Wartell, both Kentoffio and Agudelo developed career skills that have helped them to excel in their positions as student managers. Wartell said that both women have identified and innovated new ways of getting things done that mutually benefitted the employer and fellow student workers. In addition, they have shown great initiative, enthusiasm and determination in their endeavors — skills that have helped them to become what he calls “superstar employees.”
Clemente says that it is more important than ever for college graduates to seek out and obtain a range of work experiences during their college careers, especially with the evolving job market.
Students can take advantage of the resources available to them at Stony Brook to explore and identify their preferences, aptitudes and dislikes. Students looking to be successful during and after college should take advantage of employment and learning opportunities and prove themselves to their employers by facing challenges in the workplace head‐on. In turn, this can generate a host of references that can be used in job searches to gain a valuable edge.
One very helpful facilitating resource is the Stony Brook Career Center, which offers resume review seminars and networking for students throughout the school year. “Facilitating the connection between students and employers is a critical component of the Career Center’s mission to help students,” said Clemente. “When students establish a relationship with the Career Center early in their college career, they have taken the first step to having a positive professional life after Stony Brook.”
The Career Center offers walk‐in appointments for resume reviews on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 1 pm to 4 pm and on Friday from 1 pm to 4 pm with an appointment. Students can also register on ZebraNet, the Career Center’s home for resume templates, internship and job opportunities, and job preparation tips. To access ZebraNet, log on to www.career.sunysb.edu.