Career Discovery Week is a time for NYC sophomores to explore the job world and engage in the discovery of different career paths. As a part of career week, WHSAD students explored the corporate job world at Vornado Realty Trust. Students enjoyed presentations from Vice Presidents and Recruiters while they also toured one the Farley building, one of their big projects under construction.
On Thursday, Feb 11, the sophomore class took a trip to Vornado Realty Trust company. Senior Vice President, Josh Glick discussed the history of Penn Station and the company’s main objective for the future plans of 2 Penn plaza in a presentation. Vornado is a real estate company whose main focus is on transforming New York City’s buildings and growing its dominant position on NYC offices and Manhattan high end retail. What Vornado wants is to build high quality, aesthetically pleasing buildings that fulfill the needs of their clients or tenants. Examples of buildings they own are, 1 Penn plaza, 61st Ninth Avenue, and Crowne Plaza Hotel.
The main inspiration for the redesign of the Farley building is a college tech campus. They are trying to make the building more inviting and liven it up to attract more people. More greenery is what I saw vornado mostly inject into the plan.
Reinventing buildings is an important target of Vornado. Vornado’s expertise regarding sustainability, from their design concept, the build, reconstruct, and maintaining the appearance of buildings to the way they operate, is what sets them apart from other companies. The first part of the project is redesigning the Farley building. (Include picture) The main goal of the plan is to rehabilitate and develop the existing Farley building into a state of the art subway station. The adaptive reinvention of the Farley building forms the cornerstone of the Pennsylvania station. Governor Cuomo’s plan is to completely transform the city’s busiest transportation station into a world class facility for the 21st century.
What Vornado wants for future plans of 2 Penn Plaza is a new glass facade and skylight. They want to demolish the old interior of the building and rebuild in order to give it a new, established look. The glass facade gives tenants a beautiful view of the city while doing work. An idea that they have, as Glick describes, is to build “the bustle”, an exterior box that leads tenants from inside the building to the outside. From the interior to the bustle, it goes from 60 square feet to 100 square feet. The bustle gives tenants an opportunity to do various things or even have events because of the larger space. Tenants can get away from their work offices and come to 2 Penn to in a way relax and concentrate without all the “noise” from an office.
What I particularly liked about Vornado is their focus on designing a “green building.” By reconstructing buildings it gives them the opportunity to implement new ideas that they could not before. By making buildings more ecologically friendly, the advantages extend farther than finances and the ecosystem. It benefits people on a social level.
Vornado designs in the way that most benefits its clients and tenants. In the end, what the client wants is the most important thing. The expected time of completion of the project is October, 2022.
The second half of the presentation took on the more practical side of the job world. Two of the company’s recruiters, Joe O’Dowd and Susan Cocchiaro, broke down the most important steps to take and exactly how to go about procuring a job. I was really thankful for this as we were getting first hand information from the people on the other side of the table. They explained resumes, networking, and interviews.
For resumes, they stressed the importance of spelling and grammatical accuracy. Accuracy is very important, as Joe explained, because your resume serves as representation of what you would do at that company. If you’re making spelling errors on your resume, then what will you do when writing an email to an important client? Consistency is also an important component. If you put a period at the end of one line, put periods at the end of all of them for example.
Networking was also covered. They informed us about something called elevator speeches and addressed the importance of first impressions. You’d basically have 30 seconds or less (however long it takes someone to ride an elevator) from the time the elevator doors open on one floor and close on the next, to make a good impression. Being direct and precise is a great trait to have and showing that in a first impression will convey great candidate qualities, or even just how eloquently spoken a person you can be, which is useful even outside the job world.
Then, we discussed the dos and don’ts of interviews. The most important thing I took away was researching the company before you go in. Susan said she never hired someone who didn’t know about the company prior to the interview. She also said it’s the first question she usually asks. For example “What do you know about this company?” Joe and Susan also shared something I would never have thought of: it’s ok to ask the interviewer questions after the interview, as a matter of fact, it’s encouraged! This serves to show how engaged you were with the conversation and further develops your attractiveness as a candidate.