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Students make connections with alumni in media, communications, entertainment, and the arts. It’s our proximity advantage

Hop a quick bus from campus to Manhattan and you’re in.the media and communications capital of the world, mingling with alumni who work in the career fields you’re targeting. It’s one of the College’s “networking nights” in New York City.

Dozens of students recently made connections with 40 alumni in media, communications, entertainment, and the arts. The grads were from ABC News, NBC’s Today Show, MTV Networks, Discovery Communications, Highline Media, Better Homes & Gardens, Columbia Artists Management,, M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment, numerous public relations firms, and others.

Lafayette’s proximity to New York City’s professional, educational, and cultural resources is “a very attractive feature,” says Karen Ruggles ’08 (Easton, Pa.).

“Just this week a recent alumna at CNBC contacted Career Services about a short internship opportunity, which several students were able to do because New York City is so close,” she says. “Lafayette is a short bus ride to New York (and just as close to Philadelphia), making accessibility to city life and benefits that much easier.”

Kameisha Jerae Hodge ’11 (Washington, D.C.) agrees wholeheartedly.

“I’ve received an internship at MTV this summer, working in New York City,” she says. “I’ve only been there three or four times, and I think this will be one of the most meaningful experiences I will ever encounter. D.C. gets to be old news after a while because I’ve lived there on and off my whole life. New York, though, is fast paced, and in the movies, that’s where all the magic happens.”

Meghan Baker ’07, who’s now in sales at ABC Family in Manhattan, took full advantage of Lafayette’s closeness to New York City during her senior year. As an intern with NBC Universal, she worked for the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Dateline NBC, Weekend Today, Meet the Press, and The Chris Matthews Show.

A correspondent for Lafayette’s first-ever, undergraduate-run, live telecast of election-night coverage in November 2006, which Ruggles coordinated as student producer (view the telecast), Baker is now helping with election coverage at ABC News and ABC News Now (see more).

“I also attended the alumni communications night in New York,” says Baker, who balanced her academics and career exploration with Division I athletics as an all-Patriot League runner on the track team. “Prior to this I held an externship with an alumnus, Chris Meredith ’02, who at the time worked at Disney/ABC Family, and was offered a job at ABC Family. It was great feeling to know I had a job that started two weeks after graduation. I am grateful to career services for setting this up for me and more than willing to help out current students who are looking for job and internship opportunities.”

Lafayette’s proximity to New York “allows for interviews, research, and internships,” says David Mendell ’90 of MRM Worldwide marketing. “It’s a tremendous benefit.

“One of the reasons I chose Lafayette was because I wanted a living experience that was different from New York City, but I didn’t want to be particularly far away from it either,” adds the Manhattan native. Like Baker, he’s glad to share career experiences and insights with students in New York and on campus.

“Nothing replaces face-to-face interaction and the ability to ask questions in an informal setting,” he says. “On a separate note, these events are a great way to meet new talent that could potentially wind up in my industry or even my company. I have been pleased to make introductions for students I met this winter.”

Hodge, an aspiring writer, says, “At Networking Night I learned so much more about the industry that I’d like to create a career in. I also had the opportunity of meeting lots of new people who were once in my position as a freshman English major.”

Ruggles, an English major who hopes to work in film production, also appreciated the chance to network.

“I was able to ask relevant questions in a very specific manner,” she says. “Many of the alumni were very advanced in their fields with great advice accompanying their smiling faces.

“It was encouraging to see graduates from many years ago still connected to Lafayette,” she adds. “It was overwhelming to see the branches of Lafayette’s family tree reach out in such a heartfelt, generous manner. In addition, it was great practice, not only in feeling comfortable approaching and talking to people in my desired career field, but also hearing feedback as to which of my skills are most marketable to potential employers.”

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