Alumni Advice

As about 800 undergraduate and graduate students collectively make the trip across the stage, turning tassels from right to left, they will move on into the “real-world” and enter into a new stage of life. Our Alumni Association is ready to welcome them with pieces of wisdom at this transition. We hope this sage advice will inspire and guide them to success.

GOLDEN ADVICE - from Alumni who graduated between 1956 and 1974

   There is no shame in starting at the bottom and working your way up. Albert Einstein said: "The only difference between intelligence and stupidity is stupidity has no limits".
   Don't be afraid to admit you made a mistake, just don't keep making the same one over and over. Don't look back, that is not the way you are headed.
   Humility can not be faked, you will soon be found out. Always make time to help others, the rewards are always more than the effort.
   Do not be embarrassed to admit what you thought was going to be a great career is not what you really want to do, and make the change. Happiness is more rewarding than any amount of money.
   "A lie stands on one leg, Truth on two". "A slip of the Foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the Toungue you may never get over". Ben Franklin
   Congratulations to each of you and may your success exceed your dreams.
Phil Williamson1956

Develop a skill that is unique to you so that you do not need an employer to survive.  
Douglas Okun1961

Show respect for your Country and its flag.  Be proud off all that we do and have accomplished in this world.  Spend your efforts adding to the good that is done every day for the future of our Country.
Glen Vogel1961

Always be planning, take nothing for granted. Know what you love to do every day and see if it fits with your future job. And finally, know that our democracy and your parents  got you where you are today.
Albert Gubiotti1962

We're all on a journey!
1.    Always have a positive attitude.
2.   Great work ethic!  Don't look for any free handouts.
3.   Chose good friends--be around people smarter than you.
4.   Keep smiling-it opens allot of doors.
I'm 82 years young!!   Yesterday is history!!  Today isn a gift!!
Tomorrow is a mystery!    Make the best of each day!
Neil Riddell1962

Find something you like and do it well; if you don’t like what you started move on. College teaches you how to learn. When you get a job, it doesn’t even have to be in your field. You know how to learn now attack life with vigor.
Robert Curry1966

Always keep the Lord first in your search for what He has designed for you. Follow the words of Proverbs 16:3 !
William Dell1966

Be open to CHANGE because sometimes a door may close and you will be destroyed. But the next door to open may be bigger and better. I’ve had that happen. Be open to NETWORKING throughout your life. You never know who you will meet while working, on a trip, or tackling any new challenge. Build a circle of networking and when you help others, they will help you!
MarthaAnn Moses1966

Be bold, follow your passion! Be flexible in life, and remember that people count.
Gary Carsten1967

My advice to the graduating class- it’s a jungle out there- don’t go, move back with your parents- let them worry about it. But remember, if you do go, you gotta watch out for number one, but don’t step in number two!
Roger Hollands1967

Follow your dreams. Look beyond what is currently familiar to you and take some risks. I did and the results were rewarding! Best of luck to you!
R.Bruce Parmelee1968

With the terrific education you have received, look forward and make the most of it. Never be discouraged if you don't receive the job or assignment you thought you should get. Keep looking forward and always proceed with a positive attitude. The right job and future for you is in front of you and you will experience it. Keep looking and moving forward, don't look back except to be appreciative of your wonderful experiences at SUNY Delhi which will be with you forever!
Darryl Sheetz1968

I graduated with a degree in Animal Science in 1968. I took a Civil Service test as suggested by Professor Collins on a whim and ultimately retired after 31 years working as a Consumer Safety Inspector.  My point is, be willing to take a chance on a job because it could be the best decision just as it was for me. Good luck finding a job that you have a passion for, just as I did!
Patricia Vliek Frasca1968

As you leave the halls of your alma mater to conquer and succeed, always remember you are not alone. There are many ''yous'' on the same journey and even more completing their own path. So, never be afraid to smile or speak to those you meet.  It may be that sparkle of kindness needed to carry them (or you) forward at that moment.  You never know what bit of wisdom they may impart when you ''listen'' to their reply. Or perhaps it will be the start of an enduring friendship.  Always offer what you have --  your knowledge -- your help -- your love.  The world is so much the richer than any amount of money we could ever have, when we give unto others the blessings we have to share.  And the bonus is that your heart will be filled with immeasurable joy.  So, as you venture out into the world, I wish you courage and strength with the hope of receiving many blessings and much love.
Margaret Ehrmentraut (O'Neill)1969

If going on to a 4yr school be sure you know the yearly expenses (school, room and board and personal) and a 4yr campus atmosphere is considerably different then a 2 yr school.  Good luck in the future.
Terry Belz1970

The poem Desiderata is the most comprehensive advise for a life time
June Minter1970

Build a solid, dependable character and work ethic. Value your personal relationships and be thankful for opportunities that come your way.
Gail Benjamin1971

When writing an article or column write like you speak, it has worked for me covering Major League Baseball.
Ed Michels1971

   I graduated in 1971, 53 years ago my major was Food Service Management. I spent 44 years working in College University Dining Services. I would offer the following advise to you as you graduate this Saturday May 18. Before you leave Delhi take a walk down Main Street Delhi visit the shops enjoy the people.  View the mountains. When you are having a stressful day at work, take a break. Remember the beauty of the Delhi village and Mountains. You will feel better! 
   On the night before graduation Steve Levine and I decided to visit Professor Humpries (our Public Speaking professor). We drove to her home (we had no invitation) went to her door and she inviting us in and said would you a like beer (Drinking age was18).  What a special evening that I remember to this day.
   I would suggest you make contact with Professors you have had, have a conversation  with them before you leave Delhi.  These people can be very helpful in obtaining jobs, promotions and just being helpful to you. Here is my story of a Professor who helped my in my career.  Mr Willard Frisbee was my Food Service Management Professor. Mr Frisbee suggested to me  consider a career in College and University  Dining Services,  He hired me in the Dining Services at Delhi where I worked for four year. Then he recommend for a position at SUNY Oswego. I spent 40 years as Director at Oswego. We had a great team and a excellent program. I owe my career and success to this person. 
   I tell this story so maybe you can find a Professor that can help you in this way. I graduated 53 years ago, Mr. Frisbee and I exchange Christmas cards yearly, I have a picture of us both on my desk in my man cave.  Finally Mr. Frisbee and I will be having lunch in Delhi next month. These are my stories, all are true. I loved Delhi. I'm sorry if I have gone on too long.  Congratulations and have a great day on Saturday.
Craig Traub - 1971

Never stop being curious and never stop learning new things and never forget DELHI!
Kathy Nazzaro1972

Dear future alumni:  As a proud Alumnus of  50 plus years , you all need to remember the College, Teachers and connect with the Alumni Association. Keep in touch with your classmates  and the memories  of Delhi.  I'm sure they will brighten your day. Every time you wear something that says SUNY DELHI you'll be amazed by the people you will meet along the way who remembers Delhi!  Take care be safe.
Stuart Silverstein1972

You only have one life to live, make it count. Your education and people you meet along the way during your time at Delhi will give you a good foundation to build on. Work hard and take something positive away from every experience. Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort level. If you only do what you know, you will never do to much. Remember to enjoy the ride and don't give up on your dreams, because dreams do come true.  Good luck, class of 2024.
Jim Esterly1973

Your first job may very well not be your "dream job" but take it anyway and stick it out at least a year. You will learn something from even a job you don't like and it may open a door to a job that's perfect for you.
Brenda Hay1973

   Whatever job, career, or business you head into give it 100%. You will find that there will be "bumps in the road", so just go with it.
   Also, you may find that what you may have all planned out may vary or even steer off into another direction. Don't be afraid to check it out or go with it. It just may be something better. Mine did and I have no regrets.
   Just give it your all because people will remember you for that alone.
Dana Mockovciak - 1973

When you leave the campus for the last time as a student you will think you have found your calling but wait, many opportunities open up. Keep an open mind to find a career and not just a job.
Wayne Schulz1973

Do what you love. Follow your passion. Network. “You never know who’s in the gym”. What I mean is you never know who is seeing you at your best—or worst. Make sure you are acting in a way that will impress. No matter where you are—out to dinner, at a football game, or a night on the town. 
Charlene Wago Decker1973

Congratulations! SUNY Delhi provided the best college education I could imagine! I know you will feel the same! I graduated with two AAS degrees in three years…which was unheard of at that time. In Veterinary Science & Equine Science! I’m proud to say that my LVT veterinary career, purchasing career & pharmaceutical career were the highlights of my life! Thanks to my honors degrees at SUNY DELHI!
Dale Maureen Bizzari1974

Whether you are employee or a business owner, to stand out in the crowd is imperative to success, a couple simple rules to live by are, always give "them" a little more than they expect, whether they appreciate it or not. Be available, always return phone calls at the earliest opportunity, and never be late to an appointment, ever.
Larry Lyne1974

Work hard. Keep your head up and eyes and ears open. Throw away or get off your smartphone. It is actually a dumb phone.
Mark Miner1974


SILVER ADVICE - Advice from Alumni who graduated between 1975 and 1999

Congratulations Class of 2024! Yes you made it and should be proud of that! I know from my all nighter's studying for exams and class that this was not an easy task to accomplish! Take this moment in and give yourself sometime to take it all in and plan for your future! You have at least 40 years to work so take a breather! Most importantly never give up on your dreams! Pick a career that you will find rewarding and enjoying! For me it was starting my own business! Ayear after I graduated I started my own trucking company and that was my passion and my dream was fulfilled! I started the business in 1977 and owned it until 2013! Unfortunately my health would not let me carry on or I would still be open till this day! Best of Luck to all of you on your future endeavors!
Kenneth Coon Jr.1975

Don't worry if you do not get the perfect job right away. If you can get a position that has something to do with your degree, you can use it towards your resume and learning education, until you can build up to the position you really want. I was a Architectural student and ended up most of my career in the structural steel field, which I enjoy very much.
Albert Portner1976

I also retired from SUNY Delhi a year ago. My words of wisdom are STAY liquid and good luck 
Mike Buel - 1977 and 1991

No matter what, never get too used to making large sums of money.  I have worked for some of the largest companies in the world.  Offices close, companies get bought out, economies collapse. Being solid financially,  open minded in your career path, and never getting too full of yourself, will allow you to morph as needed. Be humble, strong,  take pride in your work.  Integrity,  honesty,  and a good work ethic will help you succeed!

What you envision your career to look like, most likely will take turns, and forks. Always move forward,  if you're hindered, find a new path. Never take the low road in order to succeed.  The person you step over today,  may be your boss in the future.  You will be lead to the place you are meant to be. The things you think have no value in one position,  may years later become invaluable to you future.  The person you meet along the way at the bottom,  might be the very person who hands you the gold ring in the future.
Roger Frank1978

While you apply for jobs and wait for responses, always work on new skills. Take any job that earns cash and always keep learning.
Stephen Napolitano1980

Look for the career that you want. Look for the job that you want. Be open minded, there’s lots you can do to grow what you’ve trained for but also apply to other aptitudes. Get a job, start somewhere, set goals. See the big picture, not only what’s portrayed. Make the world a rationally better place!!! Best of luck!! You’ve got this!!
Margaret B1981

When you walk into your first job, stand tall and be proud of your collegiate accomplishments. Be modest and look at that as your next step in your life’s adventures.
William Ellsworrh1981

Take full ownership of your career.   If you are not advancing at a pace you believe to be earned, then move on to another organization. If your goal is to become wealthy, then you must be an owner.  Employees rarely become wealthy.
Start saving for retirement as early as possible.  Make this a priority.  If your company offers a 401k match, take full advantage of that match.  It's free money. Go for 10% of your salary minimum.   Partner with a financial advisor right away.
Dave Carlson1982

Dear Class of 2024,
Life is like an improv class.  You make things up as you go and must figure out the motivation for your next action.  Stay positive and stay motivated.  Best of luck!
Grant Miller - 1982

Hello, hard to believe I've been a LVT for 42 yrs! Graduation from Delhi was the first step. Next, keep learning! Our field is ever changing, and that's what makes it such a great career. Find a mentor early in your career. You may change jobs , but with each change, you'll have learned something to make you an even better tech. Good luck!!
Kathryn Rainforth1982

No matter what field of employment you choose, strive to be an expert at what you do. Explore YouTube videos to learn the specialized vocabulary needed to fully understand and convey your knowledge. If manufactured products are involved, visit the company’s website to familiarize yourself with model numbers, variations, and applications. Perhaps buy one on E-bay and study it inside and out. Good luck!
Don Hulle1983

Have fun...ALWAYS!  Short and long term goals for your life will make you wealthy in both mental health and financially.  Keep your eye on the prize and never quit!!!
Richard Scinta1983

Best of Luck Class of 2024.  The Sky’s the limit, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and make an immediate impact. Your generation will have a lot to offer and I look forward to it. Congratulations to you all!
Bill Foster1984

In a business networking environment, it's customary to introduce yourself on "what you do," which is work related instead of "who you are," which is personal.  You will be remembered more from stating something personal and memorable which is more important, compared to your work responsibilities.  The key is developing a relationship first, which makes it easier to transition into a business discussion.
Fred Wilson1984

CONGRATS!!! Show passion in everything you do!
Work hard and have fun! Persistence! Persistence!! Persistence!!!
Jeremy Wladis1984

Work hard and believe in yourself despite what anyone else says. Don't believe the jeks who try to put you down. I am a career state employee and an advanced level engineer. You can do it. Good luck.
Tammy Germiller1985

Work hard , be flexible, and have integrity.
Merry Ingraldi1985

Life does not come with a set of directions, the best way to succeed in life is to create your own path. Be willing to go out of your comfort zone and continue learning and growing. Stay true to yourself and go after your goals!
Andrea Capone - 1986 and 2023

Being technically competent in your field is a good objective but the most important thing is to build professional relationships based on trust.
Peter Tantalo1986

Always continue working hard and never let anyone tell you that you cannot succeed. Success is only earned through hard work and perseverance.  There will be bumps in the road but do not let them stop you. Slow down to readjust when you hit those bumps and your path ahead will be much smoother. Stay focused on your goals and you will achieve all of them!! 
Michael Emmerich1987

Congratulations to the class of 2024!  What an accomplishment. Your experience at SUNY Delhi will be used as a platform for your further higher education and/or all endeavors. Personally, I used my campus and educational experiences to help me shape my further education and sets the tone for future work/life experiences. You will remember your time at SUNY Delhi for years to come and will make you it more well rounded. Congratulations on a job well done!  
John Hobika1988

For my fellow AAS (Arch Tech) alumn, congratulations! Be sure to sketch every day for at least 15 minutes. The skills I learned at Delhi I still use today. Use your lineweights in your drawings to make them legible. Be sure your construction documents are clear, concise and correct. Remember that your skill and time are what is being compensated for by the client. I suggest you create a work journal to track what you did and for how long. Never stop learning
Patrick Grimmick1995


PEER ADVICE - Advice from Alumni who graduated between 2000 and 2023

Keep your head up and plow forward, People said it was impossible, but at the age of 40 I went back to College and received my Nursing degree. Believe in yourself!
Douglas Lawrence2005

When looking for your first role out of school, make sure you set yourself apart somehow.
- Most people apply online and do nothing else. If the company is physically by you, get dressed and go with a resume in hand. Ask for the hiring manager. If in-person isn't for you, try and find out who the recruiter or hiring manager is, and send them a note. 
- Limit ChatGPT usage. Too many people are using it. The problem is that AI-generated content sounds similar, and those hiring will think you’re lazy, especially if there’s a mistake.
- If you haven't already, educated yourself on how debt works: If you can't pay your credit card in full every month, don't use one.
David Vazquez2012

To the class of 2024:
1. Embrace and support diverse voices. Every story adds value. Make time to hear voices that aren’t your own. Practice taking perspective.
2. While it’s important to listen to others, don’t lose your voice. Your experiences are unique. To quote Carla Harris, "Nobody can be you as good as you can be you." So be you! Be you without apology or shame.
3. Allow yourself to feel deeply. Grieve, celebrate, laugh too hard, smile too big. This is what make life rich.
4. Make it a choice to pursue joy. Life is often hard. Do what brings you joy, even if you're not perfect at it. Enjoy the process.
5. Look for inspiration in the small, everyday moments. Life's little wonders are everywhere.
6. Remember the golden rule. Help others, be kind. Kindness creates waves of change that reach farther than you can imagine.
7. Stay curious. Keep exploring and challenging yourself. Life is about feeling different emotions and seeking new adventures. The older we get, the less opportunity we have for "firsts." Keep seeking firsts.
8. Build resilience, but don’t let it harden you. Think of the dandelion, enemy to all dads with perfect lawns. But it’s the first to bloom for pollinators, its roots dig deep, and it makes delicious jam. Be persistent. Be strong, and gentle.
   Live boldly, love deeply. And keep going.
Ericka Ericson2013

Never be afraid to ask for help! Always offer your help to others if you can.  Great nurses depend on other great nurses to succeed.  Keep learning,  and always remember why you started your nursing journey.  Your "why" will guide you when you need it most.
Lauren Pihlaja2017

You can do anything you set your mind to. Keep on pushing through. Education is vital success, so keep on pushing through and accomplish all of your dreams and goals. 
Samantha Fazzingo2018

Congratulations! This is a major milestone in your lives.  Your hard work and dedication paid off! You deserve this moment of honor. Embrace it and be proud of yourself.  No one can take this away from you! Onwards and upwards!!
Amou Sewell2018

Carpe Diem! Congrats to the Class of 2024! 
Morgan Wilson2019

Never give up on yourself, no matter how hard things seem. You’ve survived every bad day so far, you’ll do it again :) 
Haily Conroy2020

The quality and effort invested in your education directly correlate with its outcomes. Simple answers suffice; often, you underestimate your capabilities.
Josh J2020

As you are embarking on this next chapter of life, and closing the doors of your current chapter. Take a moment and embrace all you've accomplished. Some of you may be continuing school, some of you may be moving to a different state and some of you are going to be starting and accepting your full time jobs. Take all you accomplished in and thank your parents, friends, family, professors and most of all yourself for getting through some of the hardest years. Don't take anything for granted, this is your time to relax before you start your career. If a certain job doesn't work out for you, there is something better out there to better suite you! One step at a time and you will do amazing things.
Anastacia Guarneri2021

Life will hit you fast, but you are more prepared than you think you are! 
Brianna Thomas2021

Work hard and move up in your career as far as you can. It’ll pay back before you know it. I didn’t do this and it’s definitely hurting me now.
Thomas Clarke2022

Give yourself some grace, it will all workout.
Arlette Rodriguez2022

Dear Class of 2024,
Congratulations you did it!!!! Now that you got that degree that you worked so hard for buckle up for the real world. It might be a bumpy ride but hey don’t give up. Believe in yourself, you are way more brilliant than you think you are. So, go get your dream jobs and show the world what you are really capable of. But don’t forget to give yourself the credit for making it 'til here. When you walk down that stage remember that all the hardships was worth it. And if no one told you this today, I want you to know I am proud of you. I wish you best of luck for your future and a lot of good prayers sent your way. Enjoy your day you deserve all of it. LOVE YOURSELF AND BE PROUD OF YOURSELF.
Maham Arif2023

Keep looking for more after graduation. Don’t let receiving a degree cause you to think your life ends at that accomplishment. Look to increase your income by learning more skills beyond your degree, and invest for your long term future. You’re getting into the real world after graduation. 
Bababukunmi Babalola2023

When seeking a higher education, there will be curve balls thrown left and right. No matter how many balls or who the pitcher is never give up. Get back up, dust yourself off, refocus and keep pushing through. 
Attiyah Powell2023

Class of 2024, First of I would like to congratulate all of you on your big accomplishments. As you get ready to enter the real world, don’t be afraid. Be confident, be brave and believe you can achieve anything you put your mind to. You should always show respect to others and be kind. Congratulations again!
Mavenson Therneus2023

NEVER STOP LEARNING! And to do this, you must ALWAYS be willing to LISTEN! People have a way of teaching us important lessons but we must be silent long enough to hear them. 
Lisa Tropea2023

This is advice I received decades ago from my 8th grade teacher in a K-8 school: "if you want the moon shoot for the stars."
My personal advice is: in this country, if you are willing to sweat, anything is possible.
Edwin Griswold College Foundation Board 2024


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