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Amanda Nardo ’08 writes about her shadowing experience with Vince Petitto ’89, senior manager of customer operations

During the interim session, Amanda Nardo ’08 (Mahopac, N.Y) spent two days with Vince Petitto ’89, senior manager of customer operations at Pfizer in New York City, as a part of the externship program offered by Career Services. A total of 74 students participated in externships at 39 business firms, government agencies, and other organizations in nearby New York City this January.

  • Our Proximity Advantage: New York City internships, externships, and career networking are part of the unique Lafayette student experience

For many seniors the thought of graduation elicits both notions of excitement and anxiety, excitement in the sense of embracing the independence of the “real world” and anxiety in not knowing exactly what you will be doing in the “real world.” For me, it was no different. Graduating with a degree in psychology many would presume the next step to be graduate school. However, I was not about to jump into grad school with no real passion or direction. Pressure began setting in as more and more of my friends who were economics & business and engineering majors signed job contracts. I decided I needed to take advantage of every opportunity in order to figure out a plan for my future.

Lafayette has an extensive externship program that gives students the opportunity to gain exposure to a variety of career fields with alumni. With a strong science background and a desire to work closely with other people, I opted for an externship with Pfizer pharmaceuticals firm. My host, Vince Petitto, really helped make the most of the short time we had together. He was able to introduce me to several colleagues in different areas of the company. This was truly beneficial as I was able to meet people with diverse academic backgrounds and degrees as well diverse roles and responsibilities within the company.

Leaving the externship, I was much more hopeful about my future job search. I was able to see that my undergraduate degree was not going to dictate my career path and that my first job was most likely not going to be my last. I gained valuable insight into the pharmaceutical industry and made contacts that were enthusiastic about their own jobs and willing to help in my future job search.

My externship with Pfizer made me think that I could enjoy a career in the pharmaceutical industry and I am highly considering that option upon graduation. I would definitely recommend the externship to future students who are looking for exposure to the workings of a major corporation. The program provides a great opportunity to students who are trying to gain real-world experience and may not have had the resources to do so otherwise.

  • Career Services
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