The Forum at Nazareth was a buzz of conversation at a Homecoming & Reunion 2016 weekend Career Breakfast as alumni gave small groups of current students tips on networking, getting the most out of your college experience, finding jobs, and crafting careers.
Lindsey Spector ‘11 of the U.S. State Department, who guides social media managers at embassies and consulates around the world, shared networking tips, promoted the semester in Washington, D.C. opportunity, and offered to organize dinners for students with other alumni in the nation’s capital. “So many people helped me when I was in college,” Spector said as she gave her personal email address to international studies major Sabata Harley ‘17.
Ben Stracuzzi ‘13, an environmental scientist at LaBella Associates, said pursuing leadership roles at Nazareth helped him quickly land a job. As president of the student government, he served on a strategic planning committee for the College and met and impressed LaBella’s president. Stracuzzi encouraged students to seize chances to improve their interpersonal skills, because a combination of technical and communications skills is “a solid combination for success.” He also recommended that students stretch themselves: “I took advantage of whatever I could do to expand my career knowledge, get myself out there, and do things that were uncomfortable.”
Lauren Berger ‘12, an outreach and education specialist for Restore — Sexual Assault Services, said participating in and holding leadership roles in college clubs/groups that she was passionate about, such as the student newspaper (now the Golden Gazette) and Lambda Association, gave her experiences and skills that made her more attractive to employers.
Emily Lobenski ‘08, ‘10G, a literacy specialist, studied in Wales and was one of several alums who encouraged everyone to study abroad.
Linda Sharkey ‘71, Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert on global leadership development and organization development, encouraged today’s students to do multiple internships and to have a strong liberal arts foundation because they’ll likely have multiple careers.
Dale Mason Cochran ‘71, agreed. She was a sociology major and psychology minor who has become a successful businesswoman, running multiple airport newsstands and bookstores. “Don’t fear changing jobs or going into another field.”
T.C. Pellett ‘98, who owns a marketing and advertising business, encouraged students to reach out and seek internships at places they’d want to work. “You’re only limited by where you’d like to go — and somebody else’s time.”
Marisa Geitner ‘92, ‘96G, president and CEO of Heritage Christian Services, pointed out that you don’t have to know everything, but you have to be ready to continually learn new things, as she does, to do your best work. “Take initiative. That’s what differentiates you. Build an online portfolio.”
Students’ heads swirled with ideas and encouragement as the event concluded. “I definitely want to study abroad,” said Jessica Kromer ‘20, a music therapy major. “I had it in my mind, but hearing that from people made me want to do it more.”
Sabrina Joseph ‘18, a biology and toxicology double major, appreciated new connections to environmental companies and government agencies. “Adulting is right around the corner,” she said. “This is awesome.” She was struck by the attitude of alumni and can imagine herself in that role in the future. “They really want you to be connected and to help you. That’s Nazareth.”
T.C. Pellett ‘98 (left)
Dale Mason Cochran ‘71