One of the foremost questions on any college student’s mind is undoubtedly: what am I going to do after graduation? Luckily for Gettysburg College students, they have a great ally in the Center for Career Development (CCD) as they explore future career options.
The CCD’s goal is to ensure that Gettysburg College students have the knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to start a successful career. They offer students assistance in obtaining internships and externships, and plan multi-day career immersion trips for students interested in a particular field.
Additionally, the CCD is in the midst of an intensive five-year campaign, the Career Connector Challenge, to help students learn more about potential careers. With the help of alumni, parents, and friends of the College, the Challenge aims to create 1,832 new career-related opportunities for students by 2014. Response to the Challenge has been overwhelming, with over 800 new opportunities offered in 2010 alone.
"The Career Connector Challenge is a great way to reengage alumni with the College and inspire them to give back to the campus community in a unique way," said CCD Director Kathy Williams. "Additionally, students are afforded the opportunity to learn from the expertise of alumni or parents and network with professionals in a particular field."
Read on to find out more about two career immersion trips that happened earlier this year.
“I was told that if you want to perform at all, you have to do it now. The business and management side will always be there,” says Smigen. “It was really helpful to hear that from someone who doesn’t know my level of talent, but is just speaking from her experiences.”
Smigen was one of a group of music and theatre arts students who traveled to New York City earlier this spring for a career immersion trip organized by the CCD, a three-day intensive program designed to give students the opportunity to learn and gain insight into careers in the arts.
Students spent the weekend at events including a reception with Carson Kressley ’91, Emmy-winning television star; breakfast with Brad Hunt ’72, president of The WNS Group; dinner with Charlotte Wilcox ’69, owner of the Charlotte Wilcox Company, and Joe Costa ’69, professional actor; and lunch with a panel of entertainment professionals. Students also attended performances of The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess on Broadway and Barber of Seville at the Metropolitan Opera.
Career immersion trips have been helping students answer questions about what they want for themselves after graduation. During the trips, students have the opportunity to network with professionals, learn about their experiences, and listen to words of advice for the future.
After attending the career immersion trip in finance and related career fields in New York City from January 17-19, senior management major Kelsey McCormick knows with conviction that finance is where she wants to begin her career.
“The trip definitely confirmed that finance is the industry I want to enter after graduation and that New York is the place I want to be,” she explains. “There are so many opportunities in the field and Gettysburg has such a great network in New York, it seems like the natural next step.”
During the trip, the group of about 25 students visited numerous sites and met with many alumni and parents. These activities included a tour of the New York Stock Exchange; a meeting at Barclays Capital with Lou Molinari P’14, investment manager; dinner with Daria Foster ’76, managing director for a mutual fund company; and a networking reception hosted by Andy Parker ’79, managing director for an investment firm.
“Over one hundred alumni showed up to the cocktail reception, which just shows how large and involved the Gettysburg community is,” says McCormick. “Everyone was eager to talk to the students and offer career ideas and advice.”
Brian Falck, director of major and planned giving at Gettysburg College, assisted in arranging the Career Immersion Trip in music and related career fields, and attributes the success of Immersion Trips to alumni willing to give back.
“Alumni like those who volunteered help get students excited,” says Falck. “We hope to find even more alumni willing to do that.”
About the Center for Career Development
The Center for Career Development's goal is to ensure that Gettysburg College students have the knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to start a successful career. It offers internship and externship opportunities, career planning and graduate school advising, job-search strategies, resume writing and interviewing workshops, and the tools to build a powerful network of professional contacts.
The CCD works individually with students to explore career options, select a major, customize a career plan, and follow it through to a rewarding future. Gettysburg's extensive career network allows students, alumni, faculty, and parents to tap into the invaluable experience and career connections of our College community.
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 enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
Article by Lindsay Preucil ’12, communications and marketing intern
Contact: Nikki Rhoads, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803
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