The Big Apple Panthers came together once again for the FIU Worlds Ahead Tour in New York City. The venue for the 2016 edition was the Refinery Rooftop, nestled on the top floor and outer-deck of the Refinery Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. This was a truly unique experience, with high-definition flat screens displaying still shots of the beautiful Miami campus and on-campus offerings. Those images, coupled with the beautiful NYC weather, elicited nostalgic feelings of being back in South Florida. Upon entering, waitresses offered attendees a fine selection of red and white wines, and hors d’oeuvres including tuna tartar, shrimp skewers, and buffalo chicken sliders. There was also an open bar and a rustic food spread upon wooden boards of artisanal cheeses, cured meats, fresh fruit and crudités. To keep the FIUNYC Panther crowd entertained, DJ Troubles played his unique blend of current and classic hits, while sketch artists delighted attendees by creating digital caricatures using only an iPad.
The centerpiece of the majestic rooftop view was the Empire State Building, illuminated in Panther Blue for the entire city to see. The packed house was a celebration of FIU’s achievements and a superb networking event, with leadership from Miami, in addition to Boston, Washington, DC and Greater New York-based alumni and friends. FIU President, Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg, brought great news of the University’s latest achievements, such as being named to the Forbes “America’s Best Employers” List (34th nationally, #2 in Florida) and leading all Florida colleges and universities with the highest passage rate on the Florida Bar Exam. Rosenberg also shared a glimpse at the future by introducing the 2016 Maldonado Scholars, a group of students from the FIU College of Business in NYC visiting various firms and corporations where FIU alumni are employed. Among the Maldonado Scholars was Carlos Consuegra, who shared his “goal to work in investment management” and that he would “definitely come back to network!” Attending his second Worlds Ahead Tour was FIUNYC Panther Nemanya Kos ’12, who seeks to grown his hospitality industry experience into a leadership position. “I come to these events to make connections and meet fellow New York FIU alumni.” First time attendee Maria Sabando ’11 works as a consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers and “certainly plans to come back.”
In his welcome remarks, FIUNYC Panther-in-Chief Cedric L. Bess ’99 reminded attendees about the network of Big Apple Panthers waiting for the opportunity to engage with those alumni new to the Greater New York area. As FIU continues to expand its reach nationally, it is imperative that its alumni connect with one another within their current city. The Greater New York area has more than 3,000 alumni, and with a variety of programs and events, the FIUNYC network is here for them year-round.
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Click here to see all the photos from the event.
By Whitney Dumeng ‘10, FIUNYC Network Leader