Alum gives back, helps students find their passion



For any recent Gettysburg graduate, the future can seem uncertain - which is why Fred Reimer '07 is trying to bring clarity to that chaos. Reimer's experiences at Gettysburg helped him find his passion in energy, and now, Reimer is hoping to give back to Gettysburg and inspire a new generation of students.

Currently a global product manager at OpenLink Financial, LLC, a leading provider of energy, commodities, trading, and risk management (E/CTRM) solutions, in New York. Reimer is responsible for product management of software solutions for the trading and logistics of oil, liquified natural gas (LNG), bio-fuels and other energy commodities, and his work has taken him all over North America, South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Reimer also manages a team that includes several Gettysburg alumni: James Adams '10, Rob Dalto '10, Jonathan Koury '09, Kerry McKenna '10, Ben Sufrin '08 and Kevin Wagner '09. This summer, Nevena Todorova '11 joined the ranks of Gettysburg alumni at OpenLink.

Reimer remembers how early he felt the need to get involved at Gettysburg. Although he was a member of the lacrosse team, by the end of his freshman year Reimer knew that there was more he could do. With the wide range of student opportunities Gettysburg offered, Reimer knew he would find something he liked and dove in head first. Reimer ran for treasurer of Student Senate, joined the newly re-chartered Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and even founded an Irish Club. By the fall of his sophomore year, Reimer was deeply involved in making Gettysburg College a better place.

For example, Reimer helped spearhead the push for a college sustainability proposal from Student Senate, created to make the school carbon neutral by its 200th birthday in 2032. Today, that effort has turned into a full-fledged Student Senate committee dedicated to supporting sustainability initiatives on campus.

Kevin Wagner '09 at Batu Caves in Malaysia while traveling with OpenLinkReimer also worked with his brothers to establish the Phi Delta Theta Haunted Mansion as a seasonal tradition on campus. All the proceeds from the event go to Adams County Youth Services every year. After becoming president of Phi Delta Theta at the end of his sophomore year, Reimer helped cultivate a lasting relationship between the chapter and its alumni - a connection that would last long after he graduated. With an economics degree with honors from Gettysburg, Reimer set out into the real world - but never forgot his academic roots.

Built for Chaos. That was the motto Coach Henry Janczyk gave to the lacrosse team during Reimer's senior year. It's not difficult to understand how this recurring theme inspires his current approach to life.

"When I see a gap, I try to fill it. When I see chaos, I try to bring clarity," said Reimer. "I'm really passionate about getting to students in their early years at Gettysburg so that they can use their time at Gettysburg to focus their efforts and be competitive in the job market."

When he saw a gap in the connection between alumni and professors, Reimer sought to close that gap and maintain meaningful relationships with faculty members. Working closely with economics Prof. Brendan Cushing-Daniels, Reimer is fully dedicated to working collaboratively and helping students cultivate their skills.

Coworkers Jonathan Koury '09, James Adams '10, and Fred Reimer '07 in Rio de Janeiro, BrazilFor Reimer, his passion is for energy and commodities trading and logistics, a field he discovered at Gettysburg and wants to bring to current students. Oddly enough, Reimer found his inspiration during an internship on Capitol Hill.

"Although I immediately found out that I didn't want to go into public policy, I did realize that I wanted to pursue energy since it drove a lot of important topics," said Reimer.

While the trial-and-error model worked for Reimer, he knows there's a better way. Reimer wants to help students find their passion as early as possible, allowing students to take advantage of the opportunities and resources at Gettysburg while they can.

On a recent visit to campus, Reimer met with students at the Center for Career Development, answering their questions and helping them make their next career move. After all the opportunities Gettysburg gave him, Reimer is giving back to current students. For those students looking to go out in the real world, Reimer gave a few tips for how current students can be more competitive and market themselves before and after graduation:

  • Gain as much technical knowledge as possible with coursework. Courses in computer science, math, physics, and economics all develop problem-solving capabilities.
  • Use your spare time to learn something new and connect with others, both on campus and beyond, who share your interests. Reimer recommends blogging, both writing and following other blogs, as an easy way to globally engage in intellectual discussions.
  • Take advantage of national networks, such as Greek or honor societies, provided to you through organizations that you're a part of at Gettysburg. That can help you increase your network by hundreds of thousands.
  • Experience is a crucial aspect of any resume. Internships and experience abroad, especially in Asian countries, stand out to employers.
  • Don't worry about having to work for free if it gives you an experience in a field that you want to pursue. Connections and revelations made during internships or travels abroad can be priceless.

Reimer hopes to help students realize that they have the power to change their direction. "Make the change yourself," Reimer said. If there is one thing Reimer has learned from his time throughout Gettysburg and after, it's that "better things can come out of challenges and obstacles."

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

Contact: Katie Lemanczyk, assistant director of web communications & marketing, 717.337.6812

Posted: Mon, 31 Oct 2011

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