Student perspective: top 5 reasons to #StayinCNY

By Kathryn Banzer, Sophomore at Syracuse University

Last Friday, I left the comforts of the SU Hill to venture out to the city of Syracuse. Courtesy of SU Career Services, seventeen other students and I had the opportunity to meet with Syracuse alumni and professionals who work, live and play in the CNY area (CNY = Central New York). Our tour included visits to O’Brien & Gere, Eric Mower and Associates, KS&R and to the Tech Garden to meet with the Downtown Committee. In between all of the networking and exploring, we dined at Lemon Grass – one of the finest restaurants in Armory Square.

Our group at O'Brien & Gere

This experience opened my eyes to the job opportunities, living options and social activities available in the CNY region. All of these factors make it an attractive place to settle down after graduation, although it is typically overlooked. Prior to this event, staying in Syracuse past May 2014 didn’t cross my mind, but after exposure to the employment, food and fun available in this city, I am reconsidering. I’ve narrowed it down to the top five reasons to #StayinCNY.

1. Chance to work for some of the country’s leading companies

Eric Mower and Associates, O’Brien and Gere and KS&R are all top-notch companies that rank very highly in their respective fields. In all of these workplaces, you’ll find a refreshing environment with a young staff and plenty of SU pride. Each of these businesses is growing and will prosper in the years to come.

2. Cheap(er) rent

Once May rolls around, recent grads are packing their bags and heading to the nation’s largest cities. With this comes an entry-level job and an expensive (yet tiny) apartment on top of those student loans! The cost of living is significantly lower in CNY, where you can live in a newly renovated apartment downtown or in one of the spacious surrounding suburbs for a much lower price. With the extra cash, one can enjoy…

3. Delectable food and chic shopping

Dessert at Lemon Grass!

In Armory Square alone, almost every ethnic cuisine is represented. From Italian to Japanese and Mediterranean, you can’t go wrong! Especially delicious is Lemon Grass, an upscale Thai dining establishment that serves authentic food, presented beautifully.  And who could protest a little post-meal shopping? The downtown area is chock-a-block with stylish boutiques and shops. Want more? The Carousel Mall is only a bus ride – or Creek Walk – away.   The Downtown Committee, a nonprofit, professional management organization, is also instrumental in ensuring that the region maintains a strong image while continuing to grow and develop.

4. Events, events and more events!

Although the weather can be gloomy and snowy for a significant chunk of the year, Syracuse still finds ways to entertain. Whether it is the New York State Fair in late August, the Guinness Syracuse Irish Festival in September, an SU basketball game or even an event at the Everson Art Museum, there is always something happening.

5. Location, location, location

Syracuse is only a short flight or few-hour drive from metropolitan centers like Toronto, New York City, Boston and Philadelphia!

Many thanks to SU Career Services for coordinating this event and an extra special thanks to Shannon Feeney and Kim Brown for showing us around and providing us with advice. #StayInCNY was a success!

Why #stayinCNY?

By Shannon Feeney and Kim Brown

Photo of Syracuse's Clinton Square by Steve Sartori

Next week, Career Services will host our very first Downtown Tour, introducing a group of 20 undergraduate students to what it’s like to call Central New York (CNY) home. We still have a few spots left for this very exciting opportunity! On the fence about signing up? Don’t be! Stop by Career Services today to secure your spot for April 13th. Here’s why.

Our Downtown Tour will begin with a ride to Armory Square on the Connective Corridor bus. You’ll get to tour and visit some of Syracuse’s top employers: O’Brien & Gere, KS&R, and Eric Mower and Associates.  You’ll hear about job opportunities in Syracuse from alumni who chose to stay here after graduation and will discuss all of the exciting ways that CNY is growing.  In addition, you’ll enjoy a delicious, free lunch at Lemon Grass, one of Armory Square’s most upscale restaurants. The day will wrap up with a visit to the Tech Garden to hear about all of the affordable (and really nice!) housing options in Syracuse, as well as all of the great festivals our city is known for, from the Downtown Committee.

So why do people choose to #stayinCNY? We thought we’d pose the question on Twitter, to drum up some excitement about our Downtown Tour. While the hashtag (and title of our blog post) is short, the list of responses we got to our question was very, VERY long!

We (Shannon and Kim) are both SU grads who didn’t grow up here, but chose to make Central New York our home after graduation. We both had huge smiles on our faces as we saw the responses pour in, many of them with similar reasons to the ones that kept us here! CNY Central’s Michael Benny even turned #stayinCNY into a news story! Thanks Michael!

Here is just a sample of the tweets that came in, but there are many, many more – so be sure to click on #stayinCNY to see them all!

@erobinso4444: My family and friends are still here, I love the area, and there are lots of things to do within 1 hr of the city #stayinCNY

@nwenderlich: I chose to #stayinCNY b/c I was embraced by the community and felt I could make a positive change. Syracuse has become my home.

@amandaseef: I left for 2 yrs and came back to #stayinCNY. Best decision of my life. Good mix of rural and city, tight communities. Love it!

@erintochelli: I chose to #stayinCNY b/c of all the places and things here! Armory, SU, Greek Fest, Beak & Skiff, Jazz Fest, Zoo, NYS Fair, Beaver Lake etc

@bsio: I choose to #stayinCNY because I can have a direct impact on making the region great

@jamierwhite: I chose to #stayinCNY bc we can customize/share our experiences, and unlimited potential of the area

@danklamm: I chose to #stayinCNY for the career opportunities, sense of community, and low cost of living. By deciding to #stayinCNY, I was able to pay off undergrad loans quickly and get out of debt, giving me more mobility later.

@michaelbenny: After 12 yrs it is home! I think it decided 4 me. Great job, great life.#stayinCNY I recall thinking I’d be here 2 years!!

@kristysmorol: I #stayinCNY because you can find almost anything here. you may have to search for it, but it’s always there

@syrarts: Where else could we find the huge range of affordable arts & cultural activities that we’ve got here? #stayinCNY

@gregmunno: Why I #stayinCNY: Diversity, access, people. Everson to Green Lakes, SU to Skaneateles, Armory to Ithaca. It’s all here for the taking.

@lpavlus8: I choose to #stayinCNY bc of the beautiful fall foliage, the affordability & the opps to make noticeable changes in the community.

Students: we hope you’ll consider joining our Downtown Tour on April 13th after reading through those and all of the other great responses. Remember, space is limited for the event, so be sure to stop by Career Services ASAP to sign up!