Lafayette students test out career options with January externships

Members of the Lafayette community welcome students to preview potential careers

By: Margaret Wilson 

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Over winter break, more than 200 Lafayette students tried potential careers on for size, shadowing members of the broader Lafayette community in their chosen fields to learn more about the day-to-day of professional life. 

The world is wide open for Lafayette students, and thanks to the externship program through Gateway Career Center, students can move toward achieving their professional goals with more certainty than ever. 

Over the January 2024 break, 216 students participated in externships across the country, taking two to five days to shadow Lafayette alumni, parents, and friends in fields ranging from medical science to nonprofit and finance. The externship program gives students the chance to experience daily operations of their potential careers and allows them to make informed decisions about their future after graduation.  

According to Alexis Leon, assistant director of experiential learning, the externship program isn’t only a path to job opportunities—it’s also a way for Lafayette students to take advantage of a unique chance to build connections with the College community.  

“[The externship program] is one of our premier programs for which Lafayette stands out among our peer institutions and with students. I love reading in this year’s feedback how students chose the College knowing this program existed and the reputation it has among students,” Leon says. “I also love when I hear similar stories from alumni, who will mention the program without any prompting and speak to how beneficial it was for them as an undergrad. Having that history and continued support is incredible, and is illustrative of the College’s community at large.”

“The majority of our hosts are alumni, and it is their continued support, as well as the support of parents, that makes this program possible,” Leon continues. “They are acutely aware of the skills our current students can bring to the table, and they are uniquely positioned to affect change for their externs and their future alumni network. They are building the Lafayette community in real time!”

From companies in our own backyard to headquarters in major cities, students and hosts spent these externships learning from each other. Here’s a look into their experiences.

Touchstone Theatre

Bethlehem, Pa.

McKenna Graf ’26 and Sam Beedle pose outside of Touchstone Theatre.

Host: Lisa Jordan, managing director and Sam Beedle, community liaison 

Extern: McKenna Graf ’26

Touchstone Theatre is a not-for-profit theater located in Bethlehem, Pa. Founded in 1981, Touchstone commits itself to the presentation of original theater works, as well as educational programming centered around nurturing the creative voice and training the next generation of artists.


New York, N.Y.

Doug Prusoff ’12, Victor Hernandez ’25 and Goodness Obadofin ’26 pose in front of a light up LinkedIn logo sign

Host: Doug Prusoff ’12, account executive

Externs: Victor Hernandez ’25 and Goodness Obadofin ’26

The world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn connects the global workforce. Founded in 2003, LinkedIn’s diversified business model includes Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions, Sales Solutions, and Premium Subscription products. Aiming to make professionals more productive and successful, LinkedIn hopes to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.  

Olympus Corporation of the Americas

Center Valley, Pa.

Elle Lansing ’26 and Charlize Cramer ’24 stand near a sign that says

Host: Krista Ortwein ’05, director, corporate social responsibility

Externs: Elle Lansing ’26 and Charlize Cramer ’24

A leading global medical technology company, Olympus Corporation of the Americas delivers innovative solutions, precise manufacturing, and advanced technology to health care professionals. Committed to making people’s lives healthier, safer, and more fulfilling, Olympus is passionate about technology that helps detect and treat disease.

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Broad Clinical Labs

Cambridge, Mass.

Nicholas Kolker ’25 and Luca Gianakopoulos ’25 stand with Dan Goodman ’20 outside near the sign for The Broad Institute

Host: Dan Goodman ’20, clinical laboratory lead

Externs: Nicholas Kolker ’25 and Luca Gianakopoulos ’25

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is a nonprofit research organization that brings together researchers from MIT, Harvard, and affiliated hospitals to better understand the causes of disease and improve results for patients. Broad Clinical Labs, a subsidiary of The Broad Institute, provides a range of research and clinical services, including sequencing of genomic data and analysis, to clients and partners around the globe. For over 10 years, Broad Clinical Labs has been the largest producer of human genomic information in the world.

Institute of International Education

New York, N.Y.

Dina Azar ’25 and Lydia Braasch ’24 walk outside with their host

Host: Roxanna Kobziar ’08, assistant director, Fulbright student and scholar programs, Europe and Eurasia

Externs: Dina Azar ’25 and Lydia Braasch ’24

The Institute of International Education (IIE) is a nonprofit organization that implements global education initiatives across borders, conducts research, and promotes the international exchange of ideas. Founded in 1919, IIE administers 200 programs and initiatives. One of the largest initiatives that IIE administers is the Fulbright Program, on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Led by the United States government in partnership with 160 countries worldwide, the Fulbright Program is an international educational and cultural exchange program that allows students and scholars to teach, study, or research internationally.

One Financial Services

Allentown, Pa.

Jack Morrone P’14 and Joseph White ’25 pose in front of the One Financial Services sign

Host: Jack Morrone P’14, principal and co-founder

Extern: Joseph White ’25

With LPL Financial-affiliated advisers, One Financial Services offers independent financial guidance, strategies, and advice through personalized care and attention. Offering a complete range of services in the areas of retirement, estate, special needs, education, and taxation, their team represents decades of experience and the highest qualifications for financial professionals.  

Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia, Pa.

Courtney Campbell ’25, Jeremy Frankel ’24, and Anna Gonella ’25 sit at a Phillies press table in front of the Phillies logo

Host: David Buck ’86, executive vice president

Externs: Courtney Campbell ’25, Jeremy Frankel ’24, Anna Gonella ’25

A major league team in the National League East Division, the Philadelphia Phillies have won two World Series championships. Founded in 1883, the team has played numerous venues before settling at Citizens Bank Park in 2004. 

By Gateway Career Center
Gateway Career Center