Heeding the Call to Power The Network

Jason Steinberg '11 and the Career Center help ready business students for success

By: Shelley Drozd  Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:44 AM

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Jason Steinberg '11 worked with the Career Center to bring together students and young alumni from the College's accounting, business, economics and finance programs.

The spring/summer issue of Muhlenberg magazine explores the potential of The Muhlenberg Network. Alumni and the friends of the College will read stories like these that show how the strength of that network is realized through connections, collaborations and a shared community.

Congratulations are due to alumnus Jason Steinberg ’11, on his recent promotion to senior associate after three-and-a-half years at CohnReznick Capital, a leading renewable-energy boutique investment bank. Previously, he worked for three-and-a-half years as a data researcher for Bloomberg LP’s clean energy market research group.

Bloomberg was Steinberg’s first job out of college, an auspicious but hard-won career start for the business and finance double major who also took a minor in sustainability studies.

The newly-minted alumnus faced a challenging job market in 2011. The U.S. economy was climbing slowly into recovery after the Great Recession. Prospects were improving for college graduates, but they were still far from great. Competition was fierce and every advantage mattered.

Steinberg sought help through Muhlenberg’s Career Center, but still found it hard to navigate the business world he was trying to enter. As an established young professional, he resolved to blaze an easier trail for future alumni.

What up-and-coming graduates needed, Steinberg believed, was insider access to the financial industry. That belief became the Muhlenberg Business Network (MBN), a partnership between the Career Center and young alumni from the College's accounting, business, economics and finance programs.

“The Career Center was just starting to expand its career development offerings to students and alumni at that time,” says Steinberg. “MBN was formed with several alumni leaders to bolster the Center’s efforts—to identify avenues for outreach, but also to help build resources within the College.”

On-ramp to a running start

The original MBN was an alumni-to-alumni network. Now, Muhlenberg students don’t have to wait until they graduate to learn marketing skills from the experts themselves.

Case in point: Aidan Myers ’20. His declared major is economics, but he’s also considering a second major in finance or a double major in philosophy and mathematics. Or maybe a double minor—he’s still not sure.

Aidan has only completed two years at Muhlenberg, but he’s typical of the 75 percent of students who consult the Career Center each year. “We often help students think about how their majors and minors prepare them for different career paths,” says Pat Fligge, director of alumni and parent engagement at the Career Center. “Then we try to connect students with alumni who exemplify that career path.”

As a member of Muhlenberg’s Wall Street Club, Aidan learned the strategic value of networking. So when the Career Center offered him the chance to shadow alumna Catherine (Schwartz) Markowitz ’11 at the Met Council, he seized the day and the opportunity.

One opportunity led to another. Markowitz subsequently introduced Aidan to her fellow Mule and close friend Jason Steinberg, who happened to work in the finance industry.

The two clicked. Steinberg became Aidan’s coach, sounding board and staunch supporter, providing advice and practice on everything from how to send emails to how to talk professionally on the phone. He worked on Aidan’s resume and helped him connect to internship prospects.

“I did land a few interviews that went well, thanks to Jason,” says Aidan. “I knew how to talk about my experiences, research companies, then explain what they do to anyone who asked me, rather than just memorizing words.”

Steinberg’s industry perspective and tireless advocacy for students make him one of the Career Center’s most valued volunteers.

“Jason doesn’t just say, ‘do what I do’—he thinks more broadly,” says Fligge. “He helped put Aidan in the context of the professional world and understand his options. Now Aidan’s learning and doing great things.”