By Stephen Wilson

Lafayette sophomores participated in an event exclusively designed for them by Gateway Career Center. Sophomore Surge seeks to inspire second-year students as they prepare for upper-level courses, declaring a major, more intense career path experiences, job searches, and career readiness.

The focus on sophomores is intentional.

While first-year students arrive on campus and begin actively building résumés and seeking advice on potential majors, juniors are searching for internships, and seniors are interviewing for jobs or applying to graduate programs. But sophomores seem to hit pause. Thus the need for a surge.

Following last year’s success, this year the format remained as an evening virtual event with a keynote address, 17 alumni guests, and breakout rooms on a variety of topics, including how Lafayette prepared alumni for unforeseen yet fortuitous career opportunities and how experiential programming, like internships, externships, research, study abroad, volunteer, athletic, and/or campus leadership roles, impacted their career journeys.

The keynote speaker was Tanuja Dehne ’93, award-winning corporate attorney, human resources professional, community volunteer, Lafayette trustee, and president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. She began her talk with three cleansing breaths and shared stories of taking chances that disguised opportunities for growth. 

Keynote speaker smiles in front of backdrop for program

Tanuja Dehne ’93 spoke to students about her career path

One of the stories was about entering a Ph.D. program at an Ivy League institution, not loving it, and having to make the hard decision to step away after earning a master’s degree. Another was exiting her successful career in law to follow a different calling in the green energy marketplace.

She stressed the importance of building bridges and treating people with dignity and kindness. She also emphasized the importance of flexing muscles by trying new things, like a club on campus, and letting those new ventures be buoyed through lifelong learning, as she did when she became a certified yoga instructor.

A variety of alumni, including many young alumni, from notable companies, entrepreneurial startups, graduate education programs, and social movement organizations also were in attendance to provide guidance and mentorship by sharing their career journeys and advice.

Alumni share over Zoom screens to sophomores who listenSome companies included the Chicago White Sox, Goldman Sachs, Twitter, and Morgan Stanley, and graduate programs included University of Michigan and American University.

Alumni panelists were

Wataru Ando ’18
Basit Balogun ’21
Michael Baumwoll ’09
Ayleen Correa ’19
Fanessa de la Rosa ’19
Sydney Edelson ’19
Parker Gaglione ’18
Sarina Krantzler ’20
Mosi London ’10
Aleni Mackarey ’16
Mac Maguire ’14
Nalishha Mehta ’98
Matthew Pagano ’09
Alyson Shumeyko ’14
Chris Shumeyko ’10

Seeking to help recruit talent or assist a classmate? Tap into the Power of the Lafayette Network. Join GatewayLink today.

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