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Most students arrive at Lafayette understanding that its reputation can help open doors when they start looking for a job. But not all know how alumni can help them find the welcome mat.

The Alumni Committee on Career Services has become a valuable resource, helping match alumni with students through internship and externship opportunities. Chaired by Bill Kirby ’59, the committee includes George Beres ’01, Sara Deitsch ’03, Kim Dennison ’94, Jon Ellis ’98, Peter Holran ’87, Lindsay Johnston ’74, Kathryn Lambert ’03, Susan Royster ’01, Vicki Salemi ’95, Matt Sinclair ’90, Matt Stauffer ’95, and Ashley Wesmiller ’03. Also serving are career services director Linda Arra ’74 and assistant director Rachel Nelson Moeller ’88.

“The main role of the committee is to support initiatives in the career services department and provide feedback and suggestions to help students explore their career options,” says Moeller. “It’s been up to the committee how they choose to do that.”

The department and the committee work together to connect alumni and students, bringing Lafayette to the attention of hiring managers and enhancing — and sometimes circumventing — the traditional recruiting system.

“Not only do we ask the committee to help,” says Moeller, “but we ask members to be tentacles of the larger Lafayette alumni connection.”

For example, members help connect the department with alumni who work in companies that don’t come to Easton to recruit, “selling the Lafayette experience to folks from the inside,” Moeller explains. That has become a primary objective as the five-year old group has evolved.

“We as an office are so appreciative of the time that the committee members put in,” Moeller says. “The willingness to take the message of the importance of alumni in assisting students in their career choices — it becomes a priority to the committee members.”

A new member of the committee, Sinclair first became involved with career services as a panelist during the 2005 Leopard Career Connections Day.

“It was nice to get back to campus, and I really enjoyed speaking to the students,” he recalls. “So when Rachel called and asked if I’d like to become part of the committee, she didn’t have to sell me on what the committee and the department could do for students. I had seen it in action.”

After more than nine years reporting for The NonProfit Times, Sinclair recently became editor of Philanthropy News Digest, a web publication of the Foundation Center in New York City.

“I’m hopeful that I can help students explore both journalism and the nonprofit sector,” he says. “Few of us end up in the careers we envisioned when we started at Lafayette. Learning what’s available beyond the college environment should be part of a student’s educational experience.”

Categorized in: Alumni