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An externship at NBC in New York City helped Emily Goldberg ’05 (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Michael Canterino ’07 (White Plains, N.Y.) refocus their post-graduate goals.

They spent two days at NBC headquarters with Will Wermuth ’98, observing first-hand the many components that comprise broadcast news and entertainment.

Goldberg and Canterino were 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, healthcare, 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.

The students toured the studios, talked with human resources representatives, went to a taping of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” and spent an afternoon at MSNBC learning about news programming. They also had meetings with the “Today” show’s Matt Lauer, NBC’s director of operations, and guest relations specialists.

“I was interested in doing the externship to find out what I might want to do when I graduate and this was a great way to see several different aspects,” says Goldberg. “I was thinking maybe I should do news, but after I saw the ‘Today’ show I was in awe of it and thought maybe I should sway that way, towards news entertainment.

“I think I’m a little more focused on what I want to do because of the externship.”

Until the January externship and his February declaration of his English major, Canterino’s only goal was getting good grades and taking the next class.

“Since the externship, I have been working toward [long-term goals] and getting to where I eventually want to be,” he says.

Wermuth’s aim for the externships was for the students to see as many different components of NBC as possible and to open their eyes to the myriad of different areas of the company.

“Because of Will’s studies at Lafayette, you’re able to see him coming from the same place as you and you can see how he was able to succeed and work his way up to where he is now,” Canterino says.

More than simply showing the students that the sky’s the limit when it comes to their career goals, Wermuth hopes that Goldberg and Canterino gained an understanding of the importance of networking.

“In this industry and a lot of industries out there, that’s how a lot of people become very successful. It’s not just meeting people, but getting a lot of exposure,” he says. “That’s why this externship experience is especially great because in a short amount of time the students are able to meet with different people, ask a lot of questions, and hopefully if they’re smart, keep in touch.”

Goldberg and Canterino say the importance of networking was not lost on them.

Canterino learned that getting a job “is more about who you know, staying in contact with people, making your presence known, and having great people skills.”

Goldberg agrees that participating in the externship is the first step in the networking process.

“Submitting an application, I am one of 10,000 applicants and no one would know my name or even consider me a job candidate,” she says. “The externship has increased my chances of getting an interview and taking that first step.”

Wermuth’s motivation for participating in the externship program extends back to his experience as an extern.

“It was one of the most valuable experiences I had as a student and I wanted to return the favor,” he says. “It is also a way for me to stay in touch with the Lafayette community. I must admit, I was fairly selfish when they were here and asked as many questions as they asked me about what’s new at Lafayette, about the new buildings, the scene on campus, and other insider information you wouldn’t get from a publication.

“And for me, being in a position to hire people, it’s great to see that Lafayette is still turning out quality students.”

Goldberg is a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha government and law honor society, the Pi Alpha Theta national history honor society, Delta Gamma sorority, and Hillel Society. She is chief researcher for a Community of Scholars project with Donald L. Miller, MacCracken Professor of History, an orientation leader, and has participated in intramural sports and performed in the College Theater productions of subUrbia and The American Dream. She is a graduate of University School of NSU.

Canterino is a photographer for The Lafayette and a member of Lafayette Activities Forum’s music committee.

Categorized in: Academic News