Innovative program gives students a valuable, insider perspective on what it’s like to work in a particular industry and city.

Over the January break, students have an opportunity to participate in a career-exploration program that provides insight about professional life in several vibrant urban environments. These experiences give students a valuable behind-the-scenes look at specific industries in targeted locations to help students better understand the opportunities available there. Students also have the opportunity to build connections with the alumni, parents, and friends of the College who work in those locations.

Career Track Booklet and Financial Aid Application Form

The Career Track booklet contains track descriptions and directions on how to apply.  You can access the booklet by clicking the link below.  Application deadline is Noon on November 1, 2019

Career Track 2020 Booklet

You may apply for financial assistance through grants provided by the Development & College Relations office. These grants, made possible by the generosity of our alumni,  help cover a portion of your traveling and housing expenses (maximum amount awarded is typically $300).

Be aware that grants are awarded on a receipt reimbursement basis after the Career Track is completed, so plan accordingly when making your selections.

You can begin your application by clicking the link below.   You will be asked to submit a budget of approximate expenses.  You must submit this form by NO LATER than December 9th!

Career Track Financial Aid form  is now available!  

General Information

What is a Career Track?

An innovative program gives students a valuable, insider perspective on what it’s like to work in a particular industry and city.  Students are given the opportunity to explore an urban environment and learn about the industries and career paths available there over a three-to-four day period in January.

Students must select a specific location and track that’s of interest.   Each track can accommodate approximately 15 participants and students should apply to one to two industry track.

Career Tracks can also include a common day experience for students in each city/region, alumni panels, professional development, and a half day  visit to an employer.
Each day participants will rotate to different employers and organizations to provide a broader look at a particular industry. Each employer visit will provide new industry knowledge and include a variety of activities.


Who are the Career Track hosts?

Career Tracks are offered to students by alumni, parents, and friends of the College volunteer their time to share their expertise with students. Our volunteers hold various professional roles in companies and industries that align with each specific track.  Students have the opportunity to ask professionals questions to better understand the field they are considering as a possible career.

When do the Career Tracks take place?

All Career Tracks are scheduled during the first three full weeks of January break.

For 2020, these are the weeks of January 6th, 13th, and 20th.  Career Tracks occur in selected geographical locations and contain 2-3 industry tracks.

For January 2020 the Career Tracks are scheduled as follows:

  • January 6-8, 2020 Lehigh Valley: consumer products/innovation track, legal track, real estate track
  • January 13-15, 2020 Boston: financial services track, technology/innovation track
  • January 20- 22, 2020 New York City: financial services track, media/communications track, technology/innovation track
  • A copy of the Career Track booklet containing full program and track descriptions is available by clicking here.

Who can participate in Career Tracks?

The Career Tracks program is open to all students of all majors and all classes. However, if you are applying to participate in an Externship, please keep the weeks offered by the hosts for those Externships in mind BEFORE applying to the Career Tracks that interest you.

Why participate in Career Tracks?

The benefits you receive as a Career Track participant are invaluable.

  • Exposure to a specific industry and career path: This will help you determine if it’s the right fit for you. You will spend time at a broad range of employer sites.
  • Gain Knowledge: Some tracks may include Human Resource professionals who can offer skill development and insight about recruiting cycles and processes for their particular industry or organization.
  • Networking – you will have the opportunity to attend a networking reception with other students, parents, alumni, and employers to build your professional contacts and deepen career knowledge.
  • Explore a city or region: Experience time in a particular city where you can envision working and growing your career.
  • Build Connections:  Track volunteers are  successful alumni, parents, and friends of the College, who can give insight and support to benefit your future career ambitions.

What am I committing to if I am selected to participate?

By submitting your application, you are agreeing to accept the Career Track opportunity you selected and honor the commitment. Therefore, be sure to plan carefully and thoughtfully to be sure you are available the week of the event and consider travel expenses.

The Career Track program is competitive. If you apply for a Career Track and are awarded one, participation is required. Failure to participate will be considered negatively in any future applications.


The Career Center recommends that students applying to the January Externship Program, or are planning on studying abroad, to carefully consider those dates associated with your departure or the Externship experience before applying to a Career Track.

The pre-scheduled dates for the Career Track program will not change.

There is a possibility a conflict of dates may occur, so applying to only one program will allow for flexible scheduling should an Extern host’s availability change.


How will I get to and from my Career Track?

You are responsible for all travel planning and expenses, meals and housing connected with the Career Track. In some cases, employer hosts do provide breakfast or lunch. Students are encouraged to connect with each other and double up in hotel rooms, stay with family/friends, etc to keep lodging expenses to a minimum.


How will I pay for my Career Track expenses?

If your ability to cover travel costs is restricted, you may apply for financial assistance through grants provided by the Development & College Relations office. These grants help cover a portion of your traveling and housing expenses (maximum amount awarded is typically $300). Applications for financial assistance will be available after November 1, 2019 and may be accessed by clicking here

Financial Assistance is awarded on a receipt reimbursement  up to $300.00 is awarded  after the Career Track is completed, so plan accordingly when making your selections.

How do I apply to participate in Career Tracks?


  1. Resume
  2. 500 word original essay that addresses your answers to the following questions:
  • Why are you interested in doing this Career Track? Discuss your two selections.
  • What do you hope to gain from the experience?
  • How do you plan to prepare for and make the most of your experience?

Submit your essay, resume, and top two choices for the Career Tracks.  (Note:  space is limited and we cannot guarantee a first choice selection) by FRIDAY, November 1st at 12pm (NOON) through CAREERSPOT.   You must submit all itemsDO NOT PROCRASTINATE.

To find the Career Tracks program, search for the employer ‘Lafayette College Career Track Program’. 

Industry tracks will be set up individually, by track and location.  BEFORE you apply, verify that the industry track(s) you are applying to is in the location (city) you desire.

Helpful hints for preparing your application

  • Read through your options and choose two of the locations and industries of most interest to you.
  • Only completed Career Track applications submitted by the due date will be considered.
  • Your essay is a very important component of the application. Spend an appropriate amount of time gathering your thoughts. Only one essay is required per student, but discuss your two selections.  Essays must be typed, double spaced with your name on each page. Essays from previous years cannot be resubmitted; you must write a new one each year.

IMPORTANT: Please respond to prompts within one cohesive 500 word essay, NOT a short answer format.

Essay may not contain any portions of a previousLY submitted essay YOU USED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE EXTERNSHIP program in prior years. This is considered a violation of Academic Integrity as defined in the Student Handbook.

  • Your resume should be written in professional manner that effectively communicates your education, skills, and experience. The Career Center advises having your resume reviewed by your Gateway counselor for the program.
  • The Career Center performs the final review. The Track hosts receive the selected students’ resumes.
  • Contact the Career Center with any questions throughout the application process. We are happy to help you in preparing the best application materials possible.

What will happen after I apply?

By November 22nd, you will receive an email indicating if you have been accepted. If you are accepted, you are required to attend one of the Orientation Meetings. Orientation Meetings will be held at 12:15PM and 4:30PM on Monday, NOVEMBER 25th and Tuesday, NOVEMBER 26th.

At this session, you will receive valuable advice on how to make the most of your experience. Please note: Applying for a Career Track means that you are making a commitment to this experience. Once ACCEPTED, participation is mandatory.

Who should I contact with questions?

Contact The Gateway Career Center: 610-330-5115,