February 22, 2018
As a budget analyst in New York City's Office of Management and Budget, Sam Berger '15 takes his job seriously.
"The basic goal of my position is to ensure city agencies are being good stewards of taxpayer funds by spending within their means," Berger said. "Going to work knowing over 8 million people are counting on you is a challenge in and of itself, but it provides a lot of motivation to make sure I'm doing my best work."
Berger assists in the development of four financial plans each year in which agencies have the opportunity to submit initiatives for new programs. They then take their recommendation to the mayor.
"Our almost $86 billion expense budget is more than most states-and it has to be balanced," Berger explained. "I try to always remember the taxpayers when I do my job-how is what I'm doing making sure that the city is spending its budget to serve our residents?"
Though his economics coursework in the Sigmund Weis School of Business gave Berger the knowledge he needed to begin his career, he credits SU's other guiding principles with giving him the intangible skills necessary to succeed.
"The central tenets of a Susquehanna education—achievement, leadership and service—are three of the most important things that anybody can learn and live by," he said. "To achieve by always doing your best work, to lead by example and with empathy, and to serve the community in your own way is the recipe for building model citizens of our own communities and the world."
Berger recently returned to campus to participate in Break Through, a professional development event for students that connects them with alumni who help with career advice, internships and even jobs after graduation.
"Giving back to SU in any way I can is the best way to show my appreciation for everything that it's given me," he said. "I've gained lifelong friendships, a wealth of knowledge and incredible opportunities for personal growth, and any way that my experiences can help current students, I'm happy to do my part."