In 2010, the Career Connector Challenge tasked the Gettysburg College community with creating more career opportunities for students. The goal? Add 1,832 (the College was founded in 1832—see what we did there?) opportunities by 2015.
Our alumni, parents, and friends came together and not only met, but exceeded the original goal, creating nearly 3,000 new career opportunities—so we raised the bar. This time our community was tasked with creating 5,000 total.
Now we’re excited to announce the total number of opportunities created was over three times that of the original goal, with over 6,067 new externships, internships, job shadows, and networking dinners offered to our students. Great job, Gettysburg!
Read more below about one alumnus—Jack Duffy ’79— who was instrumental in helping us exceed our goal.
In his over 36 years with AT&T, Duffy has taken on a variety of roles—from serving as vice president of marketing to working in customer service operations. In his current role, he leads the program management of the 2016 political conventions. What’s remained consistent is Duffy’s unwavering commitment to creating connections for Gettysburg students and alumni.
“I was the first college graduate in my family—financial aid made it possible for me to attend a school like Gettysburg,” said Duffy. “This is my way of paying it forward.”
Duffy has spoken to students on campus, attended networking dinners, and hosted multiple job shadow and externship opportunities over the years. He has also enabled 55 young Gettysburg College alumni to be hired into AT&T's highly selective Business Sales Leadership Development program.
This past summer, Duffy hosted a four-day externship for ten Gettysburg students. The students spoke with leaders from different divisions within the company, allowing them to get a taste for the different careers available to AT&T’s employees. They also toured the Global Network Operations center, which serves as the command-and-control center where data and voice traffic is monitored 24/7. It’s experiences like these that expand our students’ worldview and help them navigate the process of finding a rewarding and successful career.
Several students shared the impact the externship had on expanding their network and helping them learn about different aspects of the business world.
Porter heard about the externship from peers who participated in previous years. One of her friends completed an internship at AT&T and ended up working there full-time after graduating.
“I have not yet decided exactly what I would like to do following graduation. The AT&T externship enabled me to speak with employees in various departments. It gave me a more comprehensive view and insight into potential fields of business.”
“I’m a mathematical economics major, and I want to go into business for a corporation, so I was interested in learning more about how a big corporation operates and about the career opportunities available. We heard from an assistant vice president of inventive science, and it was interesting hearing about the different projects they’re working on. Externships in general help with networking and making connections, especially since there are so many alumni who want to help you network.”
Caroline Jaeger ’17, Organization and Management Studies major and Business minor
The AT&T externship was Jaeger’s very first networking experience. She shared her takeaways in the video below.
Neptun has a passion for both economics and music and never misses an opportunity to learn about something new.
“This is an incredible opportunity for me to be able to see the working world from this unique perspective—I know about AT&T as a consumer, but now I’m able to experience it from the business standpoint. I previously completed an internship with OpenLink on Long Island through another alum, so I’m trying to experience bits and pieces in a variety of fields. Even though Gettysburg is small, the network isn’t about quantity but quality. Our alumni network is strong—it makes me want to give back once I have the ability to.”
As a sophomore, Blair is exploring different fields in both science and business. She heard about the AT&T externship through her resident assistant who previously completed (and recommended) the experience.
“As a Health Sciences major, I was looking to experience a different field to see if I’d be interested in maybe marketing or human resources. I’ve never had an experience like this, so I really like that we get to see a day in the life of different people who work here. Jack Duffy said he will do whatever it takes to help us find opportunities, even if it’s not in business. He just wants to give back to the school—that’s something that’s important for students to think about. At Gettysburg we have the support of people who went to the school years ago.”
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.
Contact: Carina Sitkus, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803
Posted: Wed, 21 Oct 2015
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