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Thirteen alumni returned to campus this semester to discuss job opportunities for students seeking degrees in foreign languages and to talk about careers in the marketing, advertising, and public relations field during two separate dinner panel events sponsored by Career Services.

The first panel met Oct. 20 in the Faculty Dining Room of Marquis Hall. The diverse group of alumni represented various fields but all came from a similar background—each had majored in a foreign language.

“I was very surprised to see the diversity of jobs represented by the alumni,” says Brett Grossman ’05 (New York, N.Y.), a double major in international affairs and French. “I think that by attending the panel I got a better understanding of how proficiency in a second language can open doors professionally and socially.”

“The decision to participate in the foreign language career panel was a simple one,” says Angela Guarino ’04, a legal team associate for SEI Investments. “I hope the students who attended received my principal message of keeping an open mind to many opportunities for life post-graduation. The goal that must remain foremost in mind is ultimately to arrive at a career that leaves one fulfilled at the end of the day.”

Other alumni who attended were Katie Wyckoff ’01, quality assurance analyst, Merk & Co. Inc.; Mark Palmieri ’02, behavior specialist, Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities; Adam Andreski ’00, technical business specialist, Merrill Lynch; Edward Jezorwski ’98, asset management manager, Edward M. Jezorwski Inc.; Caron Anderson ’73, compliance and purchasing administrator, Tower Products, Inc.; and Jim Grant ’72, owner, Elephantus Slavicus, Inc.

On Nov. 9, a panel of alumni working in the advertising, marketing, and public relations field met with students to discuss career options and tools for success.

“Since I was one of the youngest alumni speaking, I broke down my discussion into three parts: how to get your foot in the door and make contacts, how important internships are, and what working in advertising is really like,” says Meredith Kirsch ’01, an account executive for Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, N.Y. “I hope the students understand that it’s very important to get started early.”

“As a former coach and mentor, I genuinely enjoy helping young people — especially as willing and able as the kids I met at the dinner,” says John Gassner ’88, director of event marketing and sales at ESPN, Inc. “To that end, I am looking forward to my externship candidates and hopefully helping them on their career path.”

“I hope that I was able to shed some light on my experience and what it takes to land a job not just at ESPN, but in general,” he adds. “Judging from the response, it seems like we achieved that goal.”

Whitney Van Horne ’07 (Paramus, N.J.) found the panel helpful in understanding Lafayette’s strong network and how it can help students obtain jobs.

“It motivated me to get my foot in the door and to start thinking about an internship or externship to start the process,” she says.

Rebecca Banchik ’05 (West Lebanon, N.H.), a double major in Spanish and psychology, attended both panels to learn about different career options and see where some Lafayette graduates have taken their education.

“The panel discussions helped me realize that the grades we receive in our courses, the papers we write, and the analyses we do are all important because they teach us a way to plan, methodize, and critique,” she says. “The content itself is not nearly as important as the skills and habits we’ve honed and learned while attending Lafayette.”

In addition to Kirsch and Gassner, alumni who attended were Jim Black ’69, senior category promotion manager, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare; Melissa McCarthy ’92, vice president of global communications, Estée Lauder; Neil Gray ’74, managing partner, Healthcare Trends & Strategies, LLC; and Michael Groff ’01, senior copywriter, Interlink Healthcare Communications.

Categorized in: Alumni