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Six English graduates returned to campus last month to provide career information, advice, and direction to students.

Sponsored by Career Services, the forum was geared toward English majors, but was open to all students. About 30 attended the event.

The speakers were Ellen Beal ’81, publisher at Berlitz Language Services, Princeton, N.J.; Jennifer McMahon ’86, adjunct assistant professor of English at Hunter College, New York, N.Y.; Scott Lackey ’74, senior vice president of Della Femina Rothschild Jeary & Partners, New York, N.Y.; Missey LaBov Dweck ’93, talent agent with Don Buchwald & Associates, New York, N.Y.; Ron Leir ‘70, reporter with The Jersey Journal, Jersey City, N.J.; and Joe Cox ’68, headmaster, The Haverford School, Haverford, Pa.

Anthropology and sociology major Jennifer Bennett ’03 attended the forum because she wanted to learn more about publishing as a career option.

“It allowed me to see that there is a publishing industry out there that is not involved in producing the everyday novel; there are those who are committed to producing educational material,” says Bennett, who gained experience in manuscript editing and formatting as an EXCEL Scholar with Andrea Smith, assistant professor of anthropology and sociology. “It gave me a better, more informed perspective of what the publishing world is like, and in some ways has allowed be to broaden my horizons as far as my career search goes.”

“It helped to solidify my sense that majors like anthropology & sociology and English are multi-functional and that they teach you more than just writing and grammar, but also presentation, persuasion, research, and probably most importantly, communication skills, just to name a few,” she adds. “And these skills can be used in a wide variety of professions. You don’t have to just go into the area your degree is in — you can make your degree work for you, like having an English degree and going into the field of talent scouting and advertising.”

“As a non- English major attending an English-alumni panel, it was great to hear everyone’s story — where they started from, where they are now and how they got there, and the interesting ways that their Lafayette education played a role in helping to get them where they are today. I may not want to go into any of the fields that were presented, but it was great to see the different paths people choose and how the same type of education allowed people to pursue many different careers.”

Categorized in: Academic News