While campus is on break, students get jump start on future careers
Students had the opportunity to continue to learn and discover over winter break, thanks to the dynamic career-exploration programming offered by Gateway Career Center.
During the first three weeks of January, the center orchestrated three types of experiential learning opportunities: externships, Career Tracks, and networking nights. Nearly 500 students participated, exploring potential career paths, industries, and workplaces, and gaining valuable insights from professionals and making connections with potential internship hosts and employers.
“There is an expectation for today’s students to have multiple professional experiences on their résumés before they enter the workforce,” says Mike Summers, assistant vice president and director of Gateway Career Center. “Our January programming is designed to give students multiple opportunities to gain that real-world experience and build a professional network. Our programming is only possible thanks to the support of alumni, parents, and friends of the College. I am personally grateful to them for their contributions and dedication to our students.”
Externships provide two- to five-day explorations where students across all majors can shadow professionals in a variety of industries, locations, and work and graduate school environments. Alumni, parents, and friends of the College host 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.
Career Tracks has the added benefit of giving students exposure to an urban environment where they may eventually work and live. The program is made up of three- to four-day “tracks” offered in Boston, Chicago, New York City, and the Lehigh Valley. Students apply to be part of a specific track in a specific city. This year, 167 participated in tracks centered on these fields: life sciences, entrepreneurship/innovation, finance, real estate, legal, media/communications, and consulting. Each track gave students the opportunity to attend presentations, tour a variety of workplaces, ask questions, and build connections.
Five networking nights attracted more than 600 attendees, including alumni, parents, and students. Four were held in conjunction with the Career Tracks programs in Boston, Chicago, New York City, and the Lehigh Valley. An additional networking night took place in Philadelphia. Two venues of particular note: In New York City, attendees gathered at the prestigious New York Athletic Club; Boston’s event was held at Fenway Park (pictured below).