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Senior Melissa Papa (Pound Ridge, N.Y.) had a unique opportunity to observe the inner workings of a French company operating in the United States through Lafayette’s externship program this January.

Papa shadowed Jodi Morgen ’97, a copywriter at L’Occitane en Provence, an international beauty and fragrance company stationed in New York. Morgan’s duties include the development of advertising, catalog, web, and promotional text.

During her Jan. 23 externship, Papa, a French major, was introduced to the L’Occitane health and beauty line and met with key players in the marketing and human resource departments.

This January, about 200 Lafayette students served two- to five-day “externships” with alumni and others who are seasoned professionals in business, the arts, education, healthcare, law, engineering, science, government, non-profits, and other fields. The students shadowed the professionals at their workplaces, learning about careers they may consider entering after college, developing professional networking contacts, and building their resumes.

“Jodie had a whole day planned for me,” Papa explains. “She discussed the brand, I attended a meeting where Valentine’s Day promotions were discussed, and we visited a company store in Grand Central. It was great to see how the daily activities turn into a final product.

“I really got a true taste of the inner workings of the business and had an opportunity to see how a French company operates in the United States.”

Morgen explains that Papa gained invaluable human resource information during her externship. She learned tips on effective resume and cover letter writing and interviewing skills.

Papa opted to do an externship to help decide on a path to pursue after graduation.

“You can’t really get a full picture of a company until you spend a day there,” she says. “I saw how the people interacted and worked in teams. This experience provides you with an idea of a company’s inner workings. It truly helps students discover what type of company they would like to work for in the future.”

Morgen became an extern host to “show that work can be fun.” “ I wake up every morning excited to go to work,” she says. “I wanted to show someone how enjoyable it can be.

“It is important for students to take advantage of these opportunities. It opens their eyes to a whole new world.”

Categorized in: Academic News