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Trustee Scholar Emily Fogelberg ’05 (Plymouth, Minn.) has not yet graduated and already she is taking steps toward her goal of having a career shaping public policy.

Through an externship in IBM’s Corporate Office of Governmental Relations in Washington, D.C., Fogelberg was able to shadow Christopher Caine, ’78, vice president for governmental programs at IBM. The experience strengthened her interest in international relationships and the way in which countries develop policies.

Fogelberg, a double major in history and economics & business, is among more than 200 Lafayette students who gained first-hand knowledge of the professional world in January. They served externships with alumni and other experienced professionals in business, the arts, education, health care, law, engineering, science, government, non-profits, and other fields. The students observed work practices, learned about careers they may consider entering after college, and developed professional networking contacts.

Her three-day externship included the distinctive opportunity to sit in on IBM’s worldwide leadership conference for the governmental program division. Fogelberg learned about the international team members’ public policy objectives for 2005 and heard from the Argentinean, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Belgian and North American representatives.

“I basically got to watch how a larger corporation like IBM interacts with government and influences policies around the world,” she says. “It was an unusual look behind the scenes of the upper echelons of the public policy arena.”

She also spoke with many IBM officials, including Caine, about their education, post-graduate work, and career background.

“I think Chris went above and beyond to really reach out and make this a positive experience for me. Not only did he allow me to participate in all of these great meetings, he also spent a lot of time one-on-one with me and talked to me personally about my goals and how to achieve them,” she says.

An externship host for about 12 years, Caine says providing career counseling by way of real-world experience is an invaluable tool for helping undergraduates learn the options open in their chosen professions.

“I think the externship program is a really ingenious way of giving college students and alumni the opportunity to experience each other in a way that shows how what the students are learning can be applied to real-world opportunities,” he says.

Caine believes that externships also benefit alumni who host them.

“It allows me to get a sense for what young people are learning today, what their focuses are, and how what makes them tick now is different than when I was there 30 years ago. It’s also a window into the caliber of students coming out of colleges like Lafayette,” he says.

“[Fogelberg] is able to make choices about how she wants to allocate her time over the next year and half and she knows exactly why she is going to make those choices, which is a testament not only to her and her family, but her foundation and the infrastructure that allows her to do that.”

Active in volunteer programs, Fogelberg is coordinator of Landis Community Outreach Center’s Equi-librium, a program providing horse-assisted therapy, and Best Buddies, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment. She is a team leader for Alternative School Break Club, a student group that travels to various locations in the United States and abroad to perform volunteer work, and helped organize Holla Back, a campus-wide voter awareness program.

She also is extending herself academically this year through a senior honors thesis that examines the nature of the economic relationship between the European Union and the Mercosur region of South America, which includes the countries of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Ute Schumacher, visiting assistant professor of economics & business, is one of her thesis advisers.

Previously, Fogelberg examined the economic struggles of post-colonial Jamaica with Schumacher in an EXCEL Scholars research project.

She is a member of the German Club, Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, and a cellist in the orchestra and Chamber Music ensemble. During a study abroad experience in Germany, she volunteered at Kita Vauban, a kindergarten in Freiburg. Fogelberg has been a peer tutor and lived in Lafayette’s German House.

Selected from among Lafayette’s top applicants, Trustee Scholars like Fogelberg have distinguished themselves through exceptional academic achievement in high school. They receive from Lafayette an annual minimum scholarship of $7,500 (totaling $30,000 over four years) or a grant in the full amount of their demonstrated need if the need is more than $7,500.

Categorized in: Academic News