Alumni Spotlight: Jeremy Toulon ’12, MSW ’14

Meet Jeremy Toulon, a two-time Binghamton alumnus and the Director of Student Transition and Success here at Binghamton University! Learn about his career path and how he found his passion for working in higher education.

  1. What is your job title and what are your responsibilities at work?

Director for Student Transition and Success at Binghamton University. In my role, I provide strategic and financial oversight for a number of institutional programs. These include; First-Year Experience, Success Coaching, Transfer Student Success, Emerging Leaders Program, and the Speaking Center.

  1. What was your major/program at Binghamton and how did you know that it was the right choice for you?

I entered the university as a transfer student directly into Watson, hoping to be a Mechanical Engineering major. After 3 semesters, I decided to change my major and opted for Africana Studies, finishing my bachelor’s in 2012. I then went on to complete my Master of Social Work degree in 2014. The shift occurred after participating in a summer internship, where I organized and instructed a middle school classroom on STEM fundamentals. Helping students learn these concepts was a great experience and I returned to campus that fall with the intention of exploring “helping” professions. After spending the semester researching, I landed on Africana Studies, providing me with a broad range of options post-undergrad.

  1. What advice would you give to a student who is exploring different career options and is not exactly sure what they want to do?

I highly recommend having informal conversations with the people in the fields you’re interested in. Especially seeking out recent grads/junior-level professionals who have just entered the space, usually through Linkedin, and ask to connect for a 15-20 minute conversation. Inquire about their pathway to that point and what their experiences are like. Once your choices start to become clear and you’ve figured out the general direction you would like to go, you can then seek out more senior professionals, this will give you an idea of what your future in that career can look like.

  1. What activities/clubs/organizations were you involved in at Binghamton?

The National Society of Black Engineers was the most influential SA organization I joined as a student. The social connections I developed during that time still exist today. NSBE also afforded me the opportunity to attend multiple regional and national conferences. I would hone my networking and professionalism skills at these conferences and look back on that time with thanks. I also attended events/meetings for BSU, CSA, BAMS, and others.

  1. Did you participate in any internships? If yes, how did they help you develop skills or interests in your career area?

I mentioned my first summer internship earlier, that was the summer of 2010. I later was an intern/volunteer with the Crime Victims Assistance Center (CVAC). This was my first experience adjacent to social work and would be a driving factor toward me pursuing an MSW. My role was mainly to serve overnight on the crisis phone line. This provided me with some of my first professional experiences being of help to others. Managing the crisis line was and still is a serious task, being able to handle a call coming in for a variety of serious situations gave me tremendous experience working with others, managing resources, and helping clients navigate systems.

  1. How did you break into your career field?

The summer after my first year in graduate school I was selected as the Program Manager for the Fulbright Summer Institute at Binghamton University. This program hosted 25 German undergraduate students on campus for a 6-week program. My role was to execute the planning of all extracurricular activities, which included a week in New York City, exposure to the history and culture of Upstate New York, and support of student acclimation to life on campus. I really enjoyed seeing the students enjoy the trips, lectures, and experiences we planned for them and at that point I knew working with college-aged students was the path for me. From there I assumed a supervisory role over student workers with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) on campus during the following semester, cementing the sense of fulfillment I gained from helping students.

  1. What advice would you give to students interested in your career?

Education is an amazing and extremely fulfilling career path, but it’s also a vast one. Much like mechanical engineers can work in a variety of fields, so can educators. So if you are thinking of going into education consider what aspects of the field appeal to you and what don’t. For instance, knowing that classroom teaching isn’t for you is important, but you can still pursue careers in student support, operations, and alike. My recommendation would be to find a population/age range and then consider what aspects that stage your skills lend themselves to.

  1. How did your coursework at Binghamton prepare you for your career?

My time as an Africana Studies student deepened my understanding of cultural, social, and historical dynamics, which are critical in addressing diverse student needs in educational settings. Social Work equipped me with practical skills in counseling, program development, and stakeholder engagement. This education was vital in developing my ability to design and implement holistic student support initiatives that address academic, personal, and career challenges.

  1. What does a day in your life look like at your job?

A typical day might start with reviewing communications and/or attending strategic meetings to plan and adjust programs. Midday could involve direct interactions with students through Success Coaching and/or attending professional development sessions to maintain a pulse on student needs and community engagement. Afternoons are generally dedicated to administrative tasks such as managing the department’s budget and overseeing department operations. Additionally, the director analyzes program effectiveness data to ensure goals are met and encourages collaborating with various departments to integrate support mechanisms across the university. 

  1. What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job as a Director for Student Transition and Success is likely the profound impact one can have on students’ lives, guiding them through pivotal transitions and helping them achieve their academic and personal goals. My position offers the opportunity to innovate and implement new strategies that can make a lasting difference in the educational landscape, influencing not just current students but future cohorts as well.

  1. What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

This role also involves navigating institutional policies and collaborating with various departments, which can sometimes result in bureaucratic hurdles or conflicting priorities. Overcoming these challenges requires strategic thinking, flexibility, and a strong commitment to student advocacy to ensure that all students receive the support they need to succeed.

  1. What skills are involved at your job?

Knowledge of Higher Education and Best Practices

Leadership/Personnel Management

Strategic Planning

Communication and Interpersonal Skills




  1. What would you recommend to a current Binghamton student who is looking to develop these skills?

Look for opportunities to volunteer, if beyond volunteering, explore internship options. Seek out leadership opportunities, within your interest area. Develop your soft skills; written/verbal communication and how to authentically interact with others in a professional setting. Engage in peer counseling/mentoring programs if available, or participate in community service activities that put you in direct contact with diverse groups of people.

  1. What resources did you use when applying to jobs and what advice would you give to students currently in the job application process?

Resources: Fleishman Career Center, Professional Associations, Online Job Boards (beyond Indeed/LinkedIn, speak with professionals in your field on the correct boards), Mentorship (Seek out someone you can trust to provide you guidance and feedback).

The process: Tailor each application (if you find you don’t have time/energy then you may be submitting too many applications), Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and professional, showcasing your educational background, experience, and involvement in relevant projects and organizations. Stay informed about the latest trends and challenges in your field. Attend campus events, seminars, and workshops where you can meet professionals in the field. These can provide both learning opportunities and connections that might lead to job leads or mentorship.

  1. Is there any other advice you would like to share with Binghamton students?

Always be open to learning and seek out opportunities for professional development, even after landing your first job. The landscape of your field will be continually evolving, so staying informed about the latest research and best practices is key to long-term success in the field. Additionally, maintain the professional relationships you build along the way and continue to expand your network as these connections can be invaluable throughout your career.

By Valerie Stracquadanio
Valerie Stracquadanio Senior Experience Consultants