Doors to the future: Center for Career Development helps students find their way

Career Center

The campus may seem a bit quieter over the summer months, but the staff at Gettysburg College's Center for Career Development (CCD) has been busier than ever. From planning immersion trips to placing students in externships, they are hard at work helping students explore potential careers.

The CCD's externship program was in full swing over the summer, with students immersing themselves in careers from neuroscience to sales and marketing.

"When I was a student at Gettysburg, I was able to set up research experiences in labs at Hahnemann and Temple," said Dr. Ray Truex '63, a neurosurgeon at Reading Hospital in Reading, Pa., who hosted two students for a two-week period this summer. "Those experiences helped me establish what it is like to be a medical student. They really gave me a taste of the medical field."

Thorp and Truex in the OR"I'm interested in a career in medicine, so the externship with Dr. Truex was right up my alley," said Shane Thorp '14, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, pictured at left in the OR with Truex. "I got to scrub into every procedure and stand right next to him at the operating table as he worked. No matter how many questions I asked, he would always go above and beyond to ensure that I really understood. He was by far the best teacher I have ever had."

"I'm a huge believer in providing access to students. I think it provides great career trajectory and allows students first hand access into their lives once they enter the job market," said Nick Johnson '90, senior vice president of digital media sales at NBC Universal, who hosted three externs over the summer. "As a digital media executive in a traditional media company, hosting externs gives me the opportunity to provide a glimpse into a career path that a student might not otherwise consider."

Other externship venues included MasterCard, Elmwood Park Zoo, Puma, L.L. Bean, Office of Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr., Temple University Hospital, American Cancer Society, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Nets Basketball, and AT&T.

Road trips to NYC

Students watch a presentation at Barclays CapitalAlso on tap for the summer were a handful of one-day road trips. Students interested in finance spent a May afternoon at Barclays Capital in New York City with Louis V. Molinari P'13, Global Head of Capital Introductions and Hedge Fund Consulting, and his colleagues. The students were also able to see the trading floor and witness a taping of CNBC's "Closing Bell."

Other one-day road trips included a June visit with alumni working in the media in NYC (pictured below), including Brendan Ripp '99, publisher for TIME, and Brooke Engeldrum '10, sales and marketing coordinator for Cooking Light magazine. A July NYC trip focused on arts management and included a Broadway show and meeting with Charlotte Wilcox '69, owner of the Charlotte Wilcox Company, which manages Broadway productions.

Immersion in law & immigration careers

The summer kicked off with a May immersion trip that gave a dozen students a multifaceted view of immigration, the law, and public policy in locales ranging from Adams County to the Pennsylvania state capital of Harrisburg to Washington, D.C.

"I hope to one day enter public service, and with immigration being such a pressing issue in the United States today, I felt it was important to learn more about the issue," said John Carney '12, a political science major and religious studies minor. "I really enjoyed the trip and felt that I was able to confirm my previous ambitions of government work through my understanding of immigration issues and social policy."

The trip included meetings with representatives of Gettysburg-area businesses Rice Fruit and Hollabaugh Bros. Fruit Farm and Market, discussions with governmental and nonprofit immigration organizations, meetings with staff members of U.S. Senators Robert P. Casey, Jr. and Pat Toomey, and a tour of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

"I think programs such as these set the Center for Career Development apart from career offices at comparable academic institutions," said Carney. "The CCD is an amazing resource should not be under-appreciated due to their amazing networking capabilities, opportunities for career exploration and immersion, and commitment to assisting students with their potential goals."

Students on the NYC media road trip pose for a photoThe CCD is in the midst of an intensive five-year campaign, the Career Connector Challenge, to help students learn 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 career opportunities in 2010 alone.

"The Career Connector Challenge is a great way to reengage alumni with the College and allow 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."

About the Center for Career Development

The CCD'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.

Contact: Nikki Rhoads, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

Posted: Fri, 23 Sep 2011

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