Students gain competitive edge with real-world career experiences Twitter
By Katie Neitz
Gateway Career Center’s January externship program provided Lafayette students with real-world career exposure and experience over winter break. These valuable two- to five-day explorations enabled students across all majors to shadow professionals in a variety of industries, locations, and work and graduate school environments. It’s an opportunity for students to investigate a career path, build a professional network, and showcase their skills to potential internship hosts or employers.
The program’s success depends on the generosity of alumni, parents, and friends of the College who host the students and give them a taste of what day-to-day life is like in their particular field of work or study. This year, approximately 190 of them hosted 310 student participants. In addition, the program receives support from the Alumni Association Externship Fund.
“During these experiences, students are immersed in the host’s daily activities, which allows them to gain a better understanding of a field, ‘test-drive’ the occupation, and evaluate whether or not this may be a potential career for them,” says Melissa Schultz, senior associate director of Gateway Career Center, who coordinates the externship program. “For our hosts, it can be a meaningful way to support a Lafayette student in a very personal way and leave a lasting imprint on their professional path.” (For more information about the College’s externship program, visit Gateway Career Center).
From construction sites to medical offices to courtrooms to sports arenas, students gained exposure to a variety of environments. Here’s a look at a few of their experiences.