Leigh Mascianica Assistant Director Office: Career Services Campus: Manhattan
Member of NYIT Since: 2009
Offering advice about careers comes second nature to Leigh Mascianica, who has helped to revamp NYIT's award-winning Alumni Mentor Program. The assistant director of career services counsels students and alumni on all areas of career development and management.
"I believe career exploration involves finding and pursuing something you are passionate about, and it is wonderful to help individuals along that voyage," she says. "The most rewarding part of my job is when I receive a lovely phone call or email from a student or alum thanking me and telling me how I helped them."
Mascianica knows what it's like to go through a career change. Prior to NYIT, she worked at a direct marketing firm in Chicago, only to realize that a career in advertising was the wrong fit.
"When I stopped to do some deep soul-searching, I felt as though counseling was a great direction for me to pursue," she says.
She earned a Master of Education in Human Services and Counseling at DePaul University, where she discovered her love of career counseling, and worked in career services at Loyola University Chicago before joining NYIT.
Her priority is to create and provide services that benefit the NYIT community. Through the Alumni Mentor Program, she matches students with experienced alumni professionals in their field of interest. Mascianica and Dean of Career Services John Hyde worked together to re-launch the program in 2010, an effort that involved developing a personalized matching process, creating guides to train students in professional etiquette and communication, and providing individualized support during the mentoring period.
One year later, the program won an Alva C. Cooper Award for best practices in career development from the Metropolitan New York College Career Planning Officer's Association.
"This was a rewarding experience knowing the time and effort that was devoted to revamping and rolling out this program," she says.
Currently, Mascianica is working to expand international student career programming and to partner with NYIT departments to engage students in thinking about professional interests as soon as they arrive at NYIT.
"I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by a wonderful group of colleagues who I laugh with on a daily basis," she says. "I think a major requirement to work in any higher education setting is a very strong sense of humor. NYIT has a great cast of characters."