Two-thousand nineteen was a banner year for all things Magner: The Magner Career Center recently achieved 15 years of helping students succeed on their career paths, and the center’s founder, Marge Magner, celebrated the 50th anniversary of her graduation from Brooklyn College.

This year, the Brooklyn College Magner Career Center celebrated its 15th anniversary, which happened to coincide with the 50th anniversary of its founder’s graduation from the college. To commemorate the occasions, the center hosted an event on campus with founder Marge Magner ’69.

“Fifteen years have passed so quickly, and I’m so grateful that half of all students at Brooklyn College have utilized the Magner Career Center in some capacity,” says Magner. “We want every single student at the college to have access to the center because it provides the resources, help, inspiration, and confidence they need to succeed in their career aspirations. The goal from the beginning was that we would be the community whose chief value was service to others.”

Magner is a founding member and general partner at Brysam Global Partners, chair of Accenture’s board of directors, chair at Gannett, Inc., and a member of the board of directors of the Brooklyn College Foundation. She has been named to Fortune’s list of Most Powerful Women in Business (2001–2004), Forbes’ list of the World’s Most Powerful Women (#19), and U.S. Banker’s list of the Most Powerful Women in Banking (#1). She graduated from Brooklyn College in 1969 with a bachelor of science in psychology and holds a master of science in industrial administration from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management.

She came up with the idea for the Magner Career Center when the college reached out to her; their hope was to tap into her business acumen to discover innovative ways of helping students realize their potential. Magner envisioned something that was measurable, meaningful, and lasting, yet would be flexible enough to evolve. She assessed the needs of students and found tremendous opportunity to prepare them for their professional lives beyond the college.

Since its founding 15 years ago, the center has had tremendous success in providing thousands of Brooklyn College students an edge in the job market. The center is an invaluable nexus for expert academic, career, and internship counseling services—including resume and cover letter review, mock interview sessions, access to career workshops, and job and internship fairs. Since 2011, the center has had over 1,500 alumni involved as mentors, speakers, and internship providers. More than 800 alumni have engaged on campus at Magner career events in the last five years, and since 2007, over 900 alumni have served as mentors. The center also has relationships with over 2,500 employers who actively recruit at the campus, offering employment and internship opportunities. About half of those internships are paid; competitive stipends supplement the others. More than $2.5 million has been awarded to over 725 students thanks to the generosity of donors, alumni, and friends.

“We work with employers and alumni to create opportunities for current students seeking the guidance and experience they require to become world-class candidates for their chosen career paths,” says Director of the Magner Career Center Natalia Guarin-Klein. “We realize that these students will be future alumni. We cultivate long-standing and far-reaching relationships with them in the hopes that they, too, will become donors and mentors. That is, after all, the center’s core value, exemplified by our founder, Marge Magner.”

Moving into the next decade, Guarin-Klein would like to expand the Magner Career Center to provide staffing dedicated to each of the five schools at Brooklyn College. She would also like to implement follow-up tracking of students and alumni. “There are a lot of opportunities to be had,” says Guarin-Klein. “Colleges nationwide are realizing the importance of career centers in attracting potential students and fostering positive relationships with them long after they graduate.”

Magner Center Student Successes

Emile Cruz ’14, manager, editorial/creative strategy for Nickelodeon

Cruz graduated with degrees in journalism and creative writing. She received a stipend in 2013 to participate in an internship at VH1, where she was an editorial intern. She stayed with Viacom, interning again for MTV as a news intern and continuing as a freelance copywriter. She was promoted to coordinator, editorial/creative strategy and eventually to her current position.

Jan Kristof Louis ’13, ’15 M.S., high school admissions counselor for the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE)

Louis graduated from Brooklyn College with a bachelor’s degree in childhood, bilingual, and special education. He also received his master of science in bilingual school psychology  from the college. He used his stipend to student teach at a middle school. Kristof has worked for NYC DOE for close to five years as a teacher and now as a counselor. During summers, he is assistant director of the Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program.

Shahana Hanif ’14, director of organizing and community engagement for the New York City Council (NYCC)

Hanif graduated with a dual degree in women’s and gender studies, and television and radio. She used her stipend to intern at a nonprofit that supports those with developmental disabilities. After graduating, Hanif worked in, among other places, CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities where she was a public housing organizer. After, she was a community organizer for the Bangladeshi Women Organizing for Social Change. She has been with the NYCC since 2017.

Polina Ferd ’14, medical student at Jefferson Medical College

Ferd graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in biology. She used her stipend to intern at the pediatric hematology/oncology clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College. While at Brooklyn College, Polina volunteered for the Global Medical Brigades and was an EMT student/volunteer for Emergency Care Programs, as well as a Research Assistant on campus. Before attending medical school, Ferd was a clinical research coordinator for the University of Pennsylvania. Polina completes medical school in 2020.