At this year’s Open House, we gave students and their families the opportunity to attend three sessions from a list of 38. We had deep dives into specific majors, a presentation on the liberal arts advantage, a discussion on hands-on learning and so much more. Every session was a hit!

One of the most popular sessions, though, was an alumni panel we held twice in a row. Six local graduates with impressive careers and fond memories of Siena talked about what they loved most about their time as a Saint, how the Siena experience led to where they are now, and much more before fielding questions from students and parents in the audience. 

Take a look at some of our favorite highlights from the session.

Siena students land fantastic jobs, many even before graduation.

All of the panelists shared how career-ready they felt throughout their time at Siena, citing internships and connections as being major factors that led them to their first or current roles out of college. Kathleen Digan, a vice president at government relations firm Ostroff Associates, told the crowd: “I actually received a job offer by phone as I was walking into a final my senior year. I remember saying, that sounds great—let me take this final, and then I’ll call back for details.” Every panelist agreed: ultimately, you get the job, but Siena gets you in the door.

There’s nothing like the community feeling you get at Siena.

Life is going to happen when you’re here, said Scott Noel, an entrepreneur (16 Handles and Ivy Spa) and public address announcer. “Having that on-campus experience at Siena means everything.” He spoke about a time in college when he faced the loss of a family member, and how everyone at Siena so deeply cared for him and encouraged him to keep going in school. “That doesn’t happen everywhere, but it does at Siena.”

You’ll remember your professors forever.

Two of the panelists—Dan Kehn, SVP of Strategy for Creative Communication Associates, a higher education marketing agency, and Hildy Marinello ‘11, an associate with O’Connor First, a full-service litigation and defense practice—both talked at length about Siena’s faculty. Dan said, “One English professor in particular was pretty challenging, but she taught in such a way that you were up for the challenge.  You wanted to do well. I still remember everything I learned in that class.” Hildy, too, said her professors went above and beyond, and that she was able to make those connections because of the small class sizes.

The alumni network is real and it’s powerful.

Francis Cocozza, the principal of Lake George Junior/Senior High School, stressed the point that Siena graduates—who are all over the Capital Region and across the world—are notably quick to help each other out. When I’m hiring, he said, he’ll look for Siena graduates. Of course, it’s up to them to prove their skills and earn the job, but he knows what to expect from Saints: professionalism, kindness, ambition and experience.

Being a values-based school, Siena teaches the hard and soft skills.

Everyone in medical school knows the material, said Maggie McDonough, who is currently in her third year at Albany Medical College. But Siena grads, she said, we know about compassion and empathy. And that’s priceless in today’s cutthroat world where everyone needs to learn from and care for each other. 


Missed the Open House but hope to visit Siena in the future? Let’s get it on your calendar. Click below to plan your visit now!