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Erin Vanacore ’02 twice studies in Spain before working in business development in New York City — by Jess Wason ’11

The enthusiasm of Erin Vanacore ’02 is infectious, as is her refreshing outlook on life, so it’s easy to see why she entered the hospitality industry after graduating from Lafayette. But after working in restaurants and bars across the country for three years, she decided to leave it all behind to go abroad. “I am a total travel bug,” she admits.

By joining the School for International Training as a group leader, she was able to travel to the Spanish Basque country.

“It is such a great program for graduate students because you can learn about global policies and hopefully achieve some sense of global change,” she says. Students choose from 30 different countries where they can gain their master’s degrees or other academic certificates.

Erin has always been interested in other cultures. As a student at Lafayette, she majored in international affairs and minored in Spanish.

“I loved all of my Spanish classes, especially the higher-level courses that were literature focused,” she says. “I was able to relate more to my professors.”

Erin studied abroad in Madrid in her junior year. “I feel like going abroad is a crucial part of the college experience,” she says. “It helps a person grow and learn so much about themselves as well as the culture they immerse themselves in.”

After her experience with the School for International Training, Erin returned to New York City, where a friend forwarded her resume to Clarity, a staffing agency. She went in for an interview and was hired on the spot. Now working as a business development associate, she’s been with the company for three years and loves her job. “I identify new business, do a lot of research on companies, and entertain clients,” she says.

Erin remembers two people in particular who made her experience at Lafayette the best it could be.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do after graduation, but I knew that I loved international affairs,” she recalls.  “Professor Michelle Geoffrion-Vinci was my favorite. In fact, I still keep in touch with her — she was in the city [last year] and we met up. I would also have to credit the whole Spanish department. [Director of International and Off-Campus Education] Michael Jordan was also a phenomenal part of my development at Lafayette. He was full of information and was such an inspiration.”

The world traveler still finds time to return to Easton every year.

“I come back to Lafayette for Homecoming every year because the club field hockey team, which I started, has an alumni game,” she said. “It is so much fun to come back and see how much Lafayette has changed.”

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