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An externship gave Marquis Scholar Jenna Cellini ’06 (New City, N.Y.) some valuable perspective about her career plans.

She spent three days in Brooklyn, N.Y., at Novita Communications, which markets tile, learning how design and business elements might play into a career in architecture. Danielle DeVita ’04, an account executive for the firm, hosted the externship. Christine Abbate ’85 and Dania Ahmad ’98 also work at the company.

Cellini, who is pursuing a B.S. in civil engineering and an A.B. with a major in art, was 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.

Cellini helped DeVita with job responsibilities such as promoting the firm and contacting magazines with material about Novita’s product lines. She also worked with a designer to create a tile display that will be exhibited at a national conference.

“I really wanted to get some alumni connections outside of school — to see them in the workforce,” she says. “But I also wanted to diverge a bit from other jobs and internships I’ve had. I’ve been doing a lot for engineering, so I wanted to do something on the art side, to see the design side of my majors.”

Cellini, who hopes to one day become an architect, says past positions — her last job was at a construction site — focused on the technical and structural components of engineering and did not offer a chance to practice decoration or understand the business end of an company.

“At Novita, I was able to see how people interacted with each other, certain protocols, how you are supposed to act, and the work ethic present in an office situation,” she says. “I feel like when I get that future office job, I won’t be blown away by the expectations — I’ll understand what’s expected of me. Also, this experience has shown me a lot about the importance of deadlines.”

DeVita, who began working at Novita in September, says she benefited from the externship as well.

“Since I’m new, playing the teacher role helped me to better understand my responsibilities,” she says.

As a sophomore, DeVita obtained an externship at Novita through the Office of Career Services.

“I was a double major in economics & business and Spanish, so my experience showed me a whole new world of career choices. Just from being here a few days, I found out I loved it and wanted to pursue that career. I kept in touch with the boss and worked here during my school breaks.

“Because of the great experience I had, I wanted to be on the other side of the externship. I wanted to give a student the same opportunity I had. It’s nice to offer someone a connection whether they’re looking for an externship, internship or job.”

Cellini is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, and Society of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. She is a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and vice president of the Panhellenic Council. She also is one of four Lafayette students who will study art and architecture in Spain for 10 days in May following final exams through the new Rothkopf Scholars program. She graduated from Immaculate Heart Academy High School.

Categorized in: Academic News