Students pursue career interests over winter break

Immersion trips, networking dinners, and job shadowing opportunities offer valuable experiences.

For many Gettysburg College students, kicking back and relaxing during winter break was only part of their plan. The other part was preparing for their careers by taking advantage of over 250 career-related opportunities offered by the Center for Career Development (CCD) between the fall and spring semesters.

The opportunities were made possible by supportive alumni, parents, and friends through the Career Connector Challenge. The Challenge, which began as an intensive five-year campaign in 2010, aimed to create 1,832 new career-related opportunities for students by 2015. The College has exceeded that goal and has added 3,000 new and meaningful opportunities for students. Now, the College embarks on a new challenge: add 2,000 more career-related opportunities by 2015.

Read on to learn more about the opportunities that have been offered thanks to the Career Connector Challenge and find out how you can help.

Three-Day Immersion Trips to NYC and DC

For students looking to spend a few days completely immersed in a particular industry, the CCD offers Career Immersion Trips. Two were offered over winter break.

Digital Media in New York City

NYC immersion trip

Twenty students interested in learning more about digital media traveled to New York City Jan. 14 to 16. They met with alumni including NBC Universal VP of Digital Media Sales Nick Johnson ’90, A&E Account Executive Ethan Heftman ’99, Fortune Magazine VP of Sales Brendan Ripp ’99, Dan Reiss ’91, Sr. VP of Promotions and Marketing at Turner Broadcasting, and Heyman Associates President and CEO William Heyman ’74. The New York trip also included a dinner at Harding’s, a restaurant owned by alumnus Spencer Slaine ’10, where they met with young alumni in the digital media field.

Politics and Government Service Post 9/11 in Washington, D.C.

DC immersion trip

For students who wanted to learn more about working in politics and government, a trip to the nation’s capital was just the ticket. Fourteen students participated in panels on government service, politics, the media, and intelligence issues. They also toured the Pentagon, and the group met with alums including Tyler Yingling ’07, Navy Legislative Affairs Office; Justin Brower ’10, Legislative Assistant U.S. House of Representatives; Steve Mahinka, P’10, Partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP; and Keith Masback,’87 CEO, U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.

Job shadowing and networking opportunities

For a one-day glimpse into a potential career, students can take advantage of job shadowing opportunities. Offered every January during winter break, job shadowing provides one-day experiences in which students shadow alumni or parent volunteers in the workplace as they go about their day's work.

This year, students shadowed at companies including the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Va.; AT&T Operations in Bedminster, N.J.; NorDx Laboratories in Scarborough, Maine; Liberty Mutual in Weston, Mass.; and Reading Hospital & Medical Center in West Reading, Pa.

Of her day spent shadowing David Nathan P'12, Manager, Economics in Media Relations at AARP, S. Marie Ball ’17 said, “Hearing directly from professionals in a field I’m interested in about what they’re looking for when they hire people – that was one of the best parts of the day.”

Ball also appreciated the opportunity to shadow a number of AARP employees during the day, as well as the number of professional contacts she made, “I walked away with a stack of business cards,” she said.

Students were also able to spend one evening of their winter break at a career networking dinner, often focused around a specific industry. These dinners – held in a number of locations throughout the North East – gave students the chance to connect with Gettysburg alumni and parents, build their professional network, get advice on looking for a first job, and ask questions of professionals in a variety of careers.

This January, 237 students participated in job shadowing and networking dinners.

Can you host a networking dinner? Provide a summer internship? Allow a student to shadow you or a coworker? Let students talk to you by phone about your own career? Whether you can give an hour or a summer's worth of time, there are students who would like to tap your expertise and experience. Contact the Center for Career Development at or 717.337.6616 to get involved.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Nikki Rhoads, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

Posted: Fri, 24 Jan 2014