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More than 275 Lafayette students are taking advantage of an unusual opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the professional world during interim session (Jan. 2-20). They are serving 2-5 day externships with Lafayette alumni and others who are experienced professionals in business, the arts, education, healthcare, law, engineering, science, government, non-profits, and other fields. The students are shadowing the professionals at their workplaces, learning about careers they may consider entering after college, developing professional networking contacts, and building their resumes.

Students from a score of states and more than a dozen foreign nations are serving externships with about 200 alumni, parents, and friends in 20 states and the District of Columbia. One student is Danielle Sliva ’07 of Monroe, Conn. A neuroscience major, she is scheduled to explore the field of medicine, shadowing Robert Siegel ’77, a physician at Oncology Associates, Inc., in Hartford, Conn., and a member of the faculty of the University of Connecticut.

Another student is Andrew Stella ’08 (Midland Park, N.J.), who plans to major in economics and business. He will shadow Thomas Orrechio ’90, a principal in the fee-only wealth management services firm Greenbaum and Orrechio, Old Tappan, N.J. Tomas Bielskis ’07 (Siauliai, Litihuania), a mathematics-economics major, will delve into the world of management consulting with Steve Delahunty ’87 in the McLean, Va., office of Booz Allen Hamilton. Erica Lynes ’08 (Yardley, Pa.), who plans to major in chemical engineering, will shadow William Koch ’68, global director of process safety integrity of Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., at the firm’s headquarters in Trexlertown, Pa. And the list goes on.

“The experience broadened my horizons,” says mechanical engineering major Nurrani Alli ’06 (New York, N.Y.). Alli and psychology major Caryn Donohue ’06 (Garden City, N.Y.) served an externship with Vincent J. Petitto ’89, manager of customer operations of Pfizer, Inc., New York City.

Biology major Jenna Kelly ’07 (Bethlehem, Pa.) says, “It’s not often you get to have hands-on exposure to actual job positions.” Kelly, Cara Hueston ’07 (Clintondale, N.Y), and Laura Danberg ’06 (Hockessin, Del.) shadowed physician Carmela PanĂ© ’78, associate director of the neonatology department at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J. “It’s always been one of my dreams to be a doctor, and watching Dr. PanĂ© interact with people made me want that even more,” Kelly says.

Veteran newspaper reporter and editor Alan Finder hosted English major Amanda Finkelstein ’07 (Syosset, N.Y.) in an externship at the New York Times.

“I’m trying to convey to [students] an honest and truthful sense of the positives and negatives of the business,” says Finder, who is the father of Lauren Finder ’08 (Ridgewood, N.J.).

“When I was in my early 20s, after college, a number of reporters and editors were extremely nice to me,” Finder says, explaining that a former Times sports editor was especially helpful, spending nearly two hours talking to him about “how the world of journalism worked. He said, ‘There’s only one thing I want to ask you to do in return. When you get to be in the business, I want you to extend your hand to the next generation.’”

“I have always been intrigued by language,” Finkelstein says. “I felt the externship would help me learn more about a field that revolves around the use of language and its role in the communication of ideas.”

For stories about externships and internships, go to Lafayette LIVE and click on Enhancing Learning.

Categorized in: Academic News