Imagine you and a few of your peers having a conversation over dinner with highly-accomplished alumni from an industry of interest to you. The Career Conversations Series is a chance to have all of your questions answered without the pressure of a formal networking event.

Select Columbia College students have the opportunity to interact with Columbia College alumni from different industries in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

Visit our Events Calendar  or LionSHARE for upcoming events. 

Upcoming Columbia College Career Conversations Speakers

There are currently no CC Career Conversations scheduled. Please check back soon!  

Recent Columbia College Career Conversations Speakers

February 13, 2017: Entrepreneurship

Stephanie Nass (CC’13) developed her passion for entertaining when she was in high school in France. She earned her BA in Art History from Columbia College and a degree in professional culinary arts from the International Culinary Center. Today, Stephanie is known as Chefanie: a professional chef who brings her creative sense to the table. She has thousands of social media followers and shares entertaining tips with major brands from Vogue to Tory Burch. In 2014, she founded Victory Club, a supper club that hosts bi-monthly art-inspired meals all over the world, and following on this success, she launched Chefanie Sheets a pastry decorating supply company. She also consults for food businesses on social media content and strategy.


November 1, 2016: Marketing

Jenny Fernandez (CC ‘98) is a North America Marketing Director at Mondelēz International.  She is a highly experienced Marketing business leader with over 11 years of Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) experience working on Core Marketing, Innovation, P&L management, and driving all phases of brand equity as well as identifying, developing and retaining high performing talent. Jenny has a strong track record of leading strategic business turnarounds in North America and Asia Pacific, while demonstrating her strengths in building global brands, driving innovation, and developing strategic plans to deliver results. Prior to joining Kraft, Jenny worked in management consulting at Accenture focusing on the Retail and Manufacturing industries with clients such as J. C. Penney, Nordstrom, Toys ‘R Us, Sara Lee Corp., Miller Brewing Co., Big Lots, Pepsi Bottling Group, and Staples.

Jenny has undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Operations Research from Columbia University and her MBA from Kellogg-Northwestern.  She is a mentor, volunteer and active alumna.  She is originally from New York City and resides there today.

November 9, 2016: Non-Profit

Join us to hear from Jerelyn Rodriguez (CC’11), Co-Founder and CEO of the The Knowledge House. Rodriguez founded the organization in 2014. Previously, she coordinated STEM after-school programming at Beyond Z and was the Bronx Field Director for Reshma Saujani’s 2013 campaign for New York City Public Advocate. In 2011, Jerelyn joined Students for Education Reform (SFER) as the National Program Director, organizing and coaching college students in 35 states to advocate for education reform. Prior to SFER, Jerelyn worked in the public school system, teaching and designing student programs. Jerelyn has recently spoken on panels at SXSW, the New York City Social Innovation Festival and NASA’s SpaceApps Challenge. She is on the leadership council for South Bronx Rising Together, a founding Datanaut at NASA, a fellow at Camelback Ventures, and has recently been honored as one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 in Education. Jerelyn has a degree in film studies from Columbia University.

November 15, 2016: Finance

Join us to hear from Oleg Ilichev (CC 04). Ilichev is the head of investments and business development for Argo Digital, a software development, innovation, and venture capital division of Argo Group, an international publicly traded insurance and reinsurance business. In his role, Oleg is responsible for sourcing and vetting internal and external product and venture investment opportunities in FinTech, as well as outside digital partnerships. Prior to this he was a Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the US Operations of Argo Group and before that a divisional CFO of Argo’s Excess & Surplus Lines segment where he was part of a leadership team that repositioned that business over 3 years.  He joined Argo Group as a Director of Corporate Finance, responsible for global corporate finance and corporate development transactions and analysis, including internal financial analysis, add-on M&A activity, business development, and special projects for the CEO and CFO.

Prior to joining Argo Group, Oleg was at Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, a middle-market private equity firm, where he worked on a number of the fund’s growth capital investment opportunities, including coverage of Harbor Point Limited, and before that at Bear Stearns’ Financial Institutions Investment Banking group where he assisted with coverage of Argonaut Group, Argo Group’s predecessor company.

In 2007, Oleg founded Five Boroughs Foundation of Photography, a non-profit focused on bringing photography education to youth worldwide. A few of his personal VC investments include The Meatball Shop and Storelli Sports.

Oleg holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Columbia University, an MBA degree from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and has attended several executive education programs at Harvard Business School.

Additional Columbia College Dinner & Discussion Speakers

Check out some of the alumni who have recently participated in the Columbia College Dinner & Discussion series:

  • Lisa Carnoy, Head of Global Capital Markets for Bank of America Merrill Lynch

  • Pei-Sze Cheng, Investigative Reporter at NBC 4 New York

  • Edmund Griffin, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University and Attending Psychiatrist at NY Presbyterian Hospital

  • Poppy Harlow, CNN Correspondent

  • Matt Hill, Senior Vice President of Global Sports and Entertainment Consulting at GMR Marketing

  • Robert Kolker, Contributing Editor at New York magazine and the New York Times bestselling author of Lost Girls

  • Emeka Ofodile, Senior Director of Marketing at ESPN

  • Matthew Wang, Director and Deputy COO of Evercore’s investment banking business

  • Sheena Wright, President and CEO of United Way of New York City

  • Mischa Zabotin, Head of International Banking for Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc.