spiders at cisco

Student road trips expand the Spider web

February 7, 2023


Students from the University of Richmond spent the beginning of winter break connecting with alumni and other professionals at large companies in San Francisco and New York City.

Career Services team members travel with 25-30 students multiple times a year to both cities to meet with alumni to network, tour offices, and learn what professional life is like after graduation.

Every year the Spiders on Wall Street trip takes students to key finance companies in New York, including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and J.P. Morgan. Similarly, the Spiders in Marketing and Communications trip takes students to large firms in Manhattan, including SiriusXM and Madison Square Garden Sports. Spiders in Silicon Valley takes students to visit tech companies in the Bay Area, including Cisco, C3 AI, and Salesforce.

The University of Richmond Office of Alumni Relations also hosts receptions in each city to give students an opportunity to network with alumni who work at these companies, and others in the area.

“I gained a clearer insight into what my future career path might look like,” said senior Michael Kyle, a leadership studies major who attended the Spiders in Silicon Valley program. He met with Allison Stokes, a 2017 grad who works at Salesforce as a senior solutions engineer. “This is a path that I could see myself pursuing, and I now feel that I am equipped with the right knowledge and network to be able to do so.”

The most recent visit to Manhattan for the Spiders in Marketing and Communications excursion included a visit to SiriusXM, where students met with 2010 grad Alison Rivera, who is a university recruiting senior manager at the company. Some students were interviewed live on air as part of their tour of the space.

Denise Dwight Smith, assistant vice president for alumni and career services, attends nearly every trip, and says these opportunities can be game changers for students.

“I’ve seen students be excited by the surroundings of a city they have never visited before or been thrilled by being interviewed on live radio during a tour. And I've seen alumni and parents go out of their way to make a wonderful hosting experience for our students to ensure that they get access to timely and real information,” Dwight Smith said. “The type of exchange that occurs cannot be replicated through reading a website or listening to a panel on campus. It showcases the institution’s true dedication to each student — now and for their future.”