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Student Externs Test The Waters In The Workplace

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July 25, 2013
With the support of several alumni hosts, 21 students shadowed professionals in government, business and nonprofit host organizations over spring break, exploring an array of career fields including the arts, business, international studies, health, law, science and technology.

“Alumni form the backbone of the externship program that empowers students to link their future courses of study to career and professional pathways,” says Andrea Lange, the assistant dean for academic initiatives who launched the program this year. She believes that students benefit from talking with alumni and seeing what career options are available early in their academic career.

So what kinds of experiences did externs have?

Marissa Seidel, a freshman interested in a dual major in history and anthropology, spent the day at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library in Delaware. She was hosted by Paula DeStefano ’95, associate registrar for Winterthur’s permanent collections. Her shadow day agenda allowed her to observe how historical objects are collected and tracked in the museum’s database, attend a departmental meeting, view the museum’s inventory facilities, and tour the museum. “My day at Winterthur was an amazing experience,” Seidel says. “It really gave me the chance to see what goes on behind the scenes of a museum. Through this externship I was able to get a better understanding of just how many people and how much attention to detail it takes to successfully run a museum.”

Sean Granata, a sophomore considering a pre-veterinary track, spent his shadow day at Lums Pond Animal Hospital with Dr. Michelle L. Crosier ’93. A dual major in biology and business management, Granata spent his first day shadowing the medical staff at the clinic, and the second day observing surgeries. 

Rising sophomores Hannah Kebede, Andrea Ritsch and Marcela Morales-Quezada are interested in careers in international relations, economics and human rights issues. They were matched with the nonprofit organization Tostan and were hosted by Elizabeth Clay ’08. Tostan focuses on women’s empowerment in Africa, and the externs were thrilled to interact with “the amazing staff” there. Their activities included touring the facility and Skypeing with employees in Tostan’s Dakar, Senegal office. 

If you are interested in becoming a host, please visit www.washcoll.edu/academics/job-shadowing


Last modified on Jul. 29th, 2013 at 12:37pm by Kristen Hammond.