Learn where some 2021 grads are headed and how Gateway helped along the way
By Stephen Wilson
Clare Mengel ’21
International affairs and minor in government and law
Destination: Graduate School of Arts and Science–New York University
Focus: Master of Arts in international relations
Pathway: Carrying a firm commitment to school and the value in education, Mengel committed to the College women’s soccer team as a high school freshman but didn’t know what she might study. During her sophomore year on campus, a government and law course on international politics helped her find a path. Since May 2020, she has worked as an EXCEL Research Scholar on projects with Il Hyun Cho, associate professor of government and law. That work, upper-level courses, and close relationships with Katalin Fabian, professor of government and law, further cemented her future. “I hope someday to sit on a think tank that can help inform international policy,” she says.
Gateway’s role: Her career counselor, Melissa Schultz, senior associate director at Gateway, helped her find internship opportunities and navigate career platforms. Several internship opportunities were altered by the pandemic, but those losses provided her more opportunity to research alongside faculty, which has led to a publishing credit on a forthcoming Cho paper.
Josh Ingber ’21
Psychology and economics
Focus: Graduate talent program in human resources
Pathway: Ingber imagined a tamer version of The Wolf of Wall Street as he entered his first year of college and dreamt of the future. His thinking started to shift as he took a First-Year Seminar that had him visit the storied NYC location. It shifted even further as he took a psychology class on industrial organization. “It showed me how to better align my skills and my interests,” he says.
Gateway’s role: He was aggressive on day one as a student on campus. “My parents drilled into my head that I better leave here with a job,” he says. Alana Klass, senior associate director at Gateway, became a huge resource to help him cultivate his skill set and confidence. He worked to secure a summer internship his sophomore year and learned after 71 rejections that he should improve his networking skills. He struck gold on No. 72 and worked in the compensation team at Regeneron. Networking pointers from Klass made securing his junior year internship at UBS easier. “Gateway helped develop the career-seeking skills in me to show me how to do it on my own,” he says. That internship led to his new role, where he will begin with rotations every four to six months in various HR divisions. “I remember as I was looking at colleges that the tour guide at Lafayette stressed the importance of Gateway,” he says. “That advice convinced me to come here and has paid off.”
Nicole Holzapfel ’21
Focus: Applications engineer
Pathway: In her first year, the previous electrical and computer engineering major knew she wanted to work in the electronics industry but wanted to have a more collaborative and fast-paced environment than what she was experiencing in her design courses. After a trip to Gateway, Holzapfel’s career counselor shared with her the career range and success of alumni who had majored in engineering studies, and opened her eyes to the possibilities within this major. An externship during her sophomore year at Acopian Power Supplies confirmed that there were other areas of interest to this young engineer. After making the switch in majors, she took advantage of the career fair and alumni connections to secure a project engineering internship at Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., only to see the opportunity get canceled due to COVID concerns. She then began to engage with an alumnus at Lutron Electronics, a leading manufacturer of energy-saving light, shade, and temperature controls. During the career fair in fall of her senior year, she met with Lutron representatives who were impressed that she had already applied to their Construction Design and Development Program, structured for recent college graduates. Eight hours of interviews later, she is set to start her journey with Lutron this summer on a yearlong rotation through four departments, all while still living on College Hill.
Gateway’s role: As an Admissions ambassador, she makes it a point to talk about Gateway’s role in her success as prospective students and their families pass Hogg Hall. She mentions résumé help, alumni connections, career counseling, and, of course, her new job. She recounts signing up for a career chat during her first year on campus. “Gateway provides ample opportunities to students, but each of us has to take the initiative and be active in finding a path,” she says. “Nothing is handed to you.”
Sasha Neefe ’21
Chemical engineering and minor in environmental studies
Destination: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Focus: Research assistant intern
Pathway: This Marquis Fellow began doing research with Lindsay Soh, Kate and Walter A. Scott ’59 Scholar in Engineering and associate professor of chemical and biomechanical engineering, as a first-year student, and recently earned first place at a national conference for her poster on biodiesel fuels. Bound for graduate school, Neefe wanted to take a postgraduate year to work in a lab and further refine her area of interest. Last November, she attended a professional development talk given by NREL. Afterward, her professors suggested she consider investigating it as a good match. An alumnus at NREL helped her as she navigated the application process and was offered the position. In June she heads to Golden, Colo., to begin work on lignin, a byproduct of biomass processing.
Gateway’s role: She met with her career counselor, Maureen Walz, director at Gateway, many times to review her cover letter, curriculum vitae, and introductory emails. When selected for an interview, Neefe had Walz help her prep for the questions. “My professors, career counselor, and alumni network played key roles in supporting me,” she says.
Morgan Limmer ’21
History and international relations
Destination: Union Theological Seminary
Focus: Master of Divinity in Chaplaincy
Pathway: While traditional religious expression was an important part of her childhood, Limmer didn’t feel connected to it in a way that truly resonated with her. But she found better connections through coursework that had her studying history, diplomacy, and theology as well as her involvement in the campus interfaith council. A defining moment came one summer as she worked at a residential camp for youth who had experienced trauma. “Being able to deescalate children who were at the edge inspired me to see how faith could turn into action,” she says. Rev. Alex Hendrickson, director of religious and spiritual life, recommended Limmer consider a progressive seminary that could combine a love of religion with a direct action on relevant social issues. Limmer was offered a full tuition scholarship.
Gateway’s role: Having worked in the Gateway office since a first-year student, Limmer sees the team members, like Rochelle Crozier, assistant director, as friends. Naturally, she turned to those friends for help with her personal statement and curriculum vitae. “They have always been helpful with the technical details,” she says. “As well as pointing out what options I had for a future career based on my interests.”
Allie Goldberg ’21
English with a concentration in writing
Destination: Northwestern Medill School of Journalism
Focus: Master’s degree in integrated marketing communications
Pathway: Some English majors can struggle at graduation with the question of ‘what next?’ But Goldberg stemmed that off during her first year on campus when she went to Gateway and asked for a list of career options for English majors. With that list in hand, she dove into her major and added an art minor. This creative drive, whether expressing herself on the page or on the canvas, feeds her personality and has propelled her toward marketing. She witnessed a similar story as she attended a Chip Bergh ’79 lecture and saw how he leveraged his Lafayette degree. She uses her marketing chops as a senior interviewer in Admissions by selling “the college she loves” to prospective students.
Gateway’s role: In addition to the list of potential jobs, a Gateway counselor passed along a list of alumni in New York City in various industries. Goldberg used that list to network with many alumni and better understand pathways and industries that helped her feel confident in her next steps.
Emily Cotter ’21
Focus: International Professional Rotational Enrichment Program (IPREP)
Pathway: During a winter break, Cotter joined a few other students for an externship at Evonik’s Allentown, Pa., facility, where she had the opportunity to tour the plant and speak with a variety of engineers and experienced professionals. She must have impressed them as human resources reached out and asked her to apply to their 12-week summer professional enrichment internship program. Sadly, COVID-19 shortened and made that experience virtual. Still, Cotter used the time to network with Lafayette alumni from across the country. During her internship, she learned of the IPREP program and was well prepared to make a good impression. She now enters a two-year program that has her spend rotations at various sites in the United States and Germany. Her first stop is none other than Lafayette … Indiana.
Gateway’s role: At the urging of the professors in her major, she became active with Gateway during her first year on campus. It began with making a solid LinkedIn account. It soon became regular drop-ins to ensure her résumé was ready. Today, she sends “stress emails” to Laura Wallace, assistant director, who helped her with applications, responding to emails, preparing for interviews, conducting mock interviews, and more.
Erica Beatson ’21
Destination: National Institutes of Health
Focus: Postbaccalaureate researcher in William Douglas Figg Sr., PharmD, lab at the National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Pathway: Learning as a child about her father’s kidney cancer and ultimate transplant, Beatson became interested in a medical career. Fast forward to her pre-med program at Lafayette, where she had two externships with David Albala, M.D., ’78, a noted urologist. Add to it her lab and research role with Khadijah Mitchell, assistant professor of biology and Peter C.S. d’Aubermont, M.D., ’73 Scholar of Health and Life Sciences, an honors thesis, and coursework in London on health care policy. As she sought a research experience prior to medical school, she wanted a lab focused on the production of new treatments and found it at NCI.
Gateway’s role: Every year she has made sure to meet with her career counselor, Melissa Schultz, who has steered her toward specific coursework and alumni connections in addition to assisting with the application process for NCI, including interview tips and revisions to cover letters.
Emma Piascik ’21
Psychology and English
Destination: M&T Bank
Focus: Management development program
Pathway: Piascik first noticed opportunities at the bank on CareerSpot and saw that representatives were going to be on campus recruiting students with specific majors—not hers though. She met with her career counselor, Laura Wallace, who told her about the large Lafayette presence at the bank and then helped connect her with an alumna. Piascik spoke with that alumna several times prior to applying and interviewing. In the management development program, Piascik will work with the employee experience team and help implement a customer experience model in the mortgage division. One week every month will be dedicated to leadership training for the new cohort.
Gateway’s role: She began her involvement at Gateway during her first year because she “wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life.” Two externships during her sophomore and junior years helped her narrow down her options and provide her with some hands-on networking skills. Wallace helped create connections with alumni in the HR field and then watch for career opportunities, as well as assist with cover letters and interview responses.
Maura DiGuglielmo ’21
Focus: Staff geologist, Level I
Pathway: DiGuglielmo likes to have a plan. During her junior year, she wanted more clarity on what she would do after graduation. Thanks to the relationships she built at Gateway, she knew they could help. She met with her counselor and then a second counselor who had a degree in geology, who encouraged her to use GatewayLink to connect with alumni with similar backgrounds. It helped DiGuglielmo see a number of geology alumni working in a range of industries. Thanks to the platform she spoke with several including three alumni at Langan… which led to an externship … which led to a first internship … then a second … and finally an offer. She will be primarily focused on due diligence, which will involve working outside in the field using knowledge from her classes on hydrogeology and sediments as well as in the office working on Phase 1 ESA reports, a skill she honed in an engineering capstone course.
Gateway’s role: The reassurance of her counselors time and time again helped DiGuglielmo to see that jobs in geology were possible. The same reassurance helped her to network effectively and learn how much “alumni are willing to help.” Alana Klass even helped create some Plan B options in case DiGuglielmo’s dream plan at Langan failed to materialize.
Brooke Paccione ’21
Civil engineering and minor in environmental science
Focus: Water resources engineer
Pathway: Paccione dove in early and wasn’t afraid to get in over her head. Case in point, the internship she obtained during her first year. While she had to work hard, it gave her the CAD and GIS skills to stretch even further. She then followed the Gateway model, nabbing an externship and a junior internship, all at Kleinfelder. She still attended career fairs designed specifically for civil engineers. But she had already found her place at Kleinfelder, where she will work with water—waste, storm, ground, and surface—designing layouts, conducting studies, and completing permits.
Gateway’s role: She took advantage of all the resources and opportunities as they helped with cover letters, résumé building, and mock interviews. But more important, her career counselor, Melissa Schultz, “helped build my confidence, believe I was qualified, and pushed me to try.”
Basit Balogun ’21
Destination: Goldman Sachs
Focus: Engineering analyst on the algorithm team
Pathway: Balogun isn’t the typical programmer who quietly settles in the background. He has been a career exploration and networking powerhouse as he has harnessed his innovation and entrepreneurial mindset, sharpened at the Dyer Center, and combined it with his capacity to stretch. He went on three Career Tracks over the course of two years, exploring innovation opportunities in New York City and Boston. Those adventures helped introduce him to key alumni who have helped him build his network. He completed several externships and an internship at WorkRails, which he describes as a “pivotal moment.” His goals were clear: Find the right company type, size, structure, and location. While fielding several offers from top companies, he feels he found a perfect fit at Goldman Sachs.
Gateway’s role: One word captures the support and guidance from his career counselor, Alana Klass: clutch. Over and over she has come through for him, especially navigating some immigration related challenges. “She is always checking in with me,” he says, “which illustrates the care and commitment they have toward all of us.”
Maggie Pohl ’21
Destination: Duke University
Focus: Doctorate in physical therapy
Pathway: During her first year, Pohl met with a career counselor to talk about the steps she needed to follow to become a physician’s assistant. That conversation led her toward necessary classes and a shadowing opportunity. But as the goalie on the Lafayette women’s soccer team, Pohl was drawn to physical therapy. An externship with an alumna in pediatric PT helped Pohl confirm that interest. Her role as an athletic peer mentor at the College helped further reinforce that she wanted to build more consistent and personal relationships with clients. A second internship, this time with an alumnus who worked for the professional soccer club in Atlanta, Ga., made clear she wanted to remain involved in the sports industry. Despite COVID, she found a way to rack up 80 hours of shadowing, a crucial component to a successful application. Success came easily as she chose Duke among several offers.
Gateway’s role: The externships they lined up were fantastic as well as the advice on classes, but the small stuff stands out. “I used rooms at Gateway for all of my graduate application interviews,” she says. “It was nice to have the privacy and secure WiFi connection so I wouldn’t stress about Zoom freezing up during an important conversation.”
Irwin Frimpong ’21
Electrical and computer engineering
Focus: Logic design engineer
Pathway: At the annual convention and career fair of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Frimpong networked with professionals and lined up an interview. He also spoke with other new hires at the company and former ECE alumni. What helped him land the role were his many project examples. He cited his internship at Johnson & Johnson, where he combined agile methodologies with software testing and process design as part of the Quality Systems team. He also cited the many labs and projects from his ECE professors, including his leadership of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) software team on Lafayette’s FSAE formula electric vehicle senior capstone project, along with the FPGA-based projects and processor design in his Digital Circuits classes.
Gateway’s role: Frimpong remembers being told to treat Gateway as his fifth class, so he did, meeting with his career counselor during his first year and returning regularly. From résumé help to highlighting projects in his cover letters to interview prep to connecting with alumni, he stayed busy and engaged.
Renna Thomas ’21
Destination: Drexel University
Focus: Doctorate in physical therapy
Pathway: During an externship where Thomas followed a family medicine physician, she realized that short annual visits weren’t how she wanted to build patient relationships, so she began to explore other options in her pre-med career. In summer of that year, she shadowed a physical therapist and liked the more personal connection built as a patient recovered. That experience led to 120 hours of shadowing a variety of physical therapists from general orthopedic to home health. While accepted into several PT programs, her love of Philadelphia and the relationship she built with current students and staff made Drexel the best fit.
Gateway’s role: Thomas worked with the team in health professions to help guide her, which included connecting with alumni who work in physical therapy and reviewing application essays. Over and over alumni reminded her of the value her Lafayette degree will provide with its broad base in liberal arts, which can help her relate to the many people she’ll treat.
Special events and features celebrate this year's seniors