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For Linh Nguyen ’14, a summer internship and networking with Lafayette alumni directly led to the job he wanted after graduation.

Nguyen, an economics and mathematics graduate, interned with NERA Economic Consulting. The connections he formed there led to a position as a research associate.

Linh Nguyen '14

Linh Nguyen ’14

Job-seeking skills and networking are two of key strategies students learn through Career Services’ Gateway program.

“My Gateway counselor opened my eyes to career choices and motivated me to approach opportunities with confidence,” says Nguyen. “Gateway provided me with the tools and encouragement to be proactive and take initiative. The alumni network was definitely something I capitalized onall my interviews were initiated by Lafayette alumni.”

The payoff of Gateway and Lafayette’s overall career support is measurable. In the 2013-14 College Salary Report by PayScale, among graduates of the nation’s liberal arts colleges, Lafayette ranked second in median starting salaries. Payscale ranks Lafayette third among liberal arts colleges in net 20-year return on investment.

Gateway outlines four steps for students of any major and at any stage of the career search to prepare for life after graduation. Each step coordinates with a class year and is designed to help students explore options, gain experience, and plan for the future.

Andrew Sager '17

Andrew Sager ’17

Gateway counselors and student ambassadors help first-year students complete their “first-year roadmap,” which evaluates how their interests, skills, and talents connect to specific career fields and opportunities for graduate studies. At a group Gateway orientation session, students learn how their whole Lafayette experience can benefit their long-term goals.

Andrew Sager ’17 (Vineland, N.J.), who plans to major in biology, began his career exploration right off the bat with an internship at Cape Regional Medical Center in New Jersey.

“Meeting with my Gateway adviser for the first time was a fantastic experience,” he says. “As she became familiar with me, I became familiar with her, and I left our meeting with the goal of discovering the fields where my interests lie.”

Sophomores receive help developing a network of contacts and securing their first major career experiences. Career Services strongly encourages alumni externships (job-shadowing), which allow students to make valuable connections and observe a day in the life of someone with their desired career.

For English major Mary Brand ’16 (Whitehall, Pa.), Gateway helped her discover that her major may not be the right one for her.

“Because of externships and meetings with my career counselor, Gateway has helped me to see that I really want to go to medical school and be a doctor, even though I had not considered this career in the past,” she says.

Stacey-Ann Pearson '15

Stacey-Ann Pearson ’15

For juniors, the program helps them build their network of contacts, expand career-related skills, and focus on specific employers or graduate and professional schools. Juniors concentrate on serving internships, conducting informational interviews, and investigating schools.

Civil engineering major Stacy-Ann Pearson ’15 (Spanish Town, Jamaica) also decided that an academic change was in order. She picked up a minor in economics and interned as a credit risk analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York City over the summer.

“One of the pivotal moments in my college career was deciding my best skills weren’t compatible with my major,” says Pearson. “My Gateway counselor allayed my fears and reassured me that a change of interest is common and acceptable. The guidance and support I received was instrumental in the success I’ve experienced after transitioning into a new field of interest.”

For seniors, Gateway’s counselors and resources assist with interview preparation and help students land the jobs and opportunities they want after graduation. Seniors begin their job search, research the organizations where they hope to interview, practice interviewing skills, and participate in on-campus and off-campus interviews and career fairs hosted by the Gateway program. For those who want to attend graduate school, Gateway can help them prepare applications and prepare for graduate school interviews.

Renee Gallo '14

Renee Gallo ’14

Through several alumni-hosted externships and an internship with Yale’s Infant Cognition Center, psychology graduate Renee Gallo ’14 solidified her goal of working in medical research. She received a Post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award from the National Institute of Mental Health.

“I started Gateway focusing less on careers and more on developing skills I knew I would need later on,” says Gallo. “Along the way, I learned to network professionally and responsibly with employers and alumni. Since I knew graduate school was an interest, partially from my externship experience with a grad school alumna, my internship helped me focus on the path I wanted to take.”

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  1. This kind of counseling ought to be provided to every Lafayette undergraduate, starting with
    Freshman year. A focused long-term approach is far better than sauntering over to the Placement Bureau sometime in your Senior year after recognizing that you can’t continue to
    stay at Lafayette and if not going to graduate school, need to be doing something next year.

  2. y.m. wong says:

    Hi, Stacy,
    Great to read about you in the college’s inspiring news. I continue to tell my students to find their interest.
    Dr. W

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