Berkeley College Business Leadership Workshop Participants Visit NY Times, Meet Russell Simmons

Berkeley College Business Leadership Workshop Participants Visit NY Times, Meet Russell Simmons



Contact:  Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
201-291-1111, ext. 1-5122



The Berkeley College Summer Business Leadership Workshop participants were in for a treat during their two-day experience exploring careers in business. Their immersion included: a tour of The New York Times Building and a meeting with members of the company’s Human Resources team; a question-and-answer session with the Vice President of New York Life Insurance Company; and an impromptu chat with Russell Simmons, Co-Founder of Def Jam Records and Founder of Rush Communications, Inc. 

At Rush Communications the group was greeted by Berkeley College alumnus Adair Curtis, Vice President of Communications. Mr. Simmons, to whom Mr. Curtis directly reports, was available to meet with the group in his executive suite. 

“I went to work every day and I was passionate about what I was doing. That passion was almost like a prayer for me,” Mr. Simmons told the students. “You cannot start out at the bottom complaining. You have to just be good and do good. Success will follow.” 

The Berkeley College Summer Business Leadership Workshop allows high school students to hear from professionals who have been successful in many different fields. 

“We hope these young adults will be inspired to think outside the box and be passionate about pursuing careers in business,” said Lori Merante, Berkeley College Associate Vice President, Enrollment. 

Atalia Clarke, a senior at the Academy for Young Writers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, said that she was excited to meet Mr. Simmons and was very impressed with the entire workshop experience.

“I figured that we would be in the classroom discussing career paths and career goals, but instead we went out and visited companies and got to speak with people working at those companies about their experiences,” said Ms. Clarke, a Brooklyn resident, who is looking at forensic science, criminal justice or nursing as possible career choices.  

At The New York Times, students attended a presentation by Human Resources Associate Federico DeLima, a Berkeley College alumnus. Mr. DeLima spoke with the students about the importance of internships in providing valuable hands-on job experience and in opening doors to the business world. Mr. DeLima was hired by The New York Times after serving at the company as a Berkeley College intern.  

Jared Schulman of Oxford, CT, a senior at Oxford High School, was thrilled with the opportunity to visit some of the leading companies in New York City. He was especially encouraged following a presentation by New York Life Insurance Financial Services Professional Birdie Farrell. In speaking about her background, Ms. Farrell told the visiting students that she is a graduate of Cornell University where she majored in History, and that she is a former Olympic ice skating champion. 

“She told us that she never expected to end up in a successful career at an insurance company,” Mr. Schulman said. “It was nice to hear that you don’t have to have it all figured out before you leave college. Life can take you in a much different direction than you had planned and you can still find success.” 

A leader in business education for 80 years, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls nearly 9,000 students —including more than 800 international students — in its Baccalaureate and Associate degree programs. The College has four New Jersey locations — Woodland Park, Paramus, Woodbridge, and Newark.  And in New York there are four locations — Midtown Manhattan, Lower Manhattan in the Wall Street area, Brooklyn, and White Plains.  Berkeley College Online also offers full degree programs. Programs are offered in more than 20 career fields. The website address is


Photo Caption A: Berkeley College Summer Leadership Workshop participants gather at The New York Times building during their two-day business immersion experience.

Photo Caption B: Berkeley College Summer Business Leadership Workshop participants enjoyed an unusual opportunity to receive firsthand guidance about career selection from Russell Simmons, Co-Founder of Def Jam Records and Founder of Rush Communications, Inc.


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