Gateway & Career-Related FAQs

Why should my student start in the Gateway program in the first year?

The earlier students begin exploring possibilities and participating in experiential learning opportunities, the more confidence they will have when determining their plans beyond Lafayette. The Gateway Program offers students guidance on finding meaningful experiences.

How much time will it take to participate in the Gateway program?

There is not a specific amount of time required of students who participate, however the more students take advantage of the various opportunities offered, the more confident and prepared they are for making career decisions. Gateway students are provided a Gateway Roadmap which outlines the workshops, programs, and activities they should participate in each of their four years. When students sign up for the Gateway Program, they are making a commitment to remain engaged.

How does the Gateway program address the individual needs of my student?

The Gateway Program is designed to treat students as individuals with their own ideas and goals. One of the key components of the program is that every Gateway student is assigned a counselor to work with for all four years at Lafayette. This allows the counselor to develop a personal relationship with your student that includes an understanding of their career goals, interests and skills.

What is the career development process?

Choosing a career direction is a process, not an event. The Gateway Program guides your student through deliberate steps to explore options, gain experience, and plan for the future. Learn more about the process here.

How can the Gateway program assist my student in choosing a major?

A Gateway Counselor will work with students to help them identify their interests and skills as they relate to college majors, as well as provide guidance on how majors sometimes connect to careers, but often do not. Our Gateway Counselors are all qualified to administer interest inventories that are helpful in identifying potential majors, and will assist students in considering all of their options.

Why is it important for my student to do an Internship?

Engaging in at least one internship while at Lafayette is an ideal way for your student to sample a career option, gain valuable experience, develop skills, and establish important networking relationships. In addition, many employers look primarily to their interns when making full-time hiring decisions. Students on the graduate school track are also expected to have engaged in experiential education beyond the classroom. Internship supervisors are excellent sources for letters of recommendation either for employment or graduate school.

What help does the Gateway program provide if my student wants to go to graduate or professional school?

Individual graduate and professional school counseling, as well as workshops and programs about the application process, are offered in conjunction with the Dean of the College office. Students have access to Lafayette Alumni for advice on the graduate and professional school process through panels, externships, and our exclusive GatewayLink program – an online mentoring and networking community for students and alumni to connect.. Graduate school materials are available in the Career Center office and in Skillman Library. Lafayette faculty, including department/program graduate school liaisons, are valuable sources of information.

What is the Career Center’s role in helping my student find a better job after graduation?

We are committed to teaching your student the skills necessary to conduct an effective job search, and we provide guidance each step of the way, even after graduation. Our goal is to have them well prepared for the future career transitions they will likely face. We develop relationships with employers and alumni in order to connect Lafayette students with the best possible opportunities. We offer a number of career fairs and networking events, as well as coordinate on-campus interviews in order to facilitate the process.

What are employers looking for in hiring an employee?

According to NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers), in addition to industry-specific skills and experience, there are eight Career Readiness Competencies that employers consistently cite as highly important in the search for new hires.  These competencies prepare students for success in the workplace.

Eight Career Readiness Competencies

  1. Career & Self-Development
  2. Communication
  3. Critical Thinking
  4. Equity & Inclusion
  5. Leadership
  6. Professionalism
  7. Teamwork 
  8. Technology

Lafayette students can develop many of these in a variety of ways, in and out of the classroom. Encourage your student to get involved through activities, community service, and internships/research.

What is my role as a parent in my student’s career planning process?

The college years are a time of exposure to new ideas and increased knowledge of potential career options. See our tips on how to encourage your child.

What if my student chooses not to participate?

Programs and services offered by the Gateway Career Center are open to all students. Each student is assigned a Gateway Career Counselor who is available to support students throughout their time at Lafayette. While students are not required to utilize the Gateway Career Center resources, we encourage them to leverage this valuable benefit consistently throughout their Lafayette experience. Following graduation, our Alumni Career Coach provides career-related support to members of the alumni community.