Over winter break, a large number of Colgate students were given the opportunity to experience a day in a professional environment through their participation in “A Day in the Life,” an externship program sponsored by the Center for Career Services. Students are matched with Colgate alumni and parent volunteers and shadow these professionals, experiencing a typical day in their work environment. This program has existed at Colgate in its current form for about ten years; as an informal program, it has existed for nearly twenty. The program continues to succeed, drawing in students from each class year. This year, Career Services worked with 198 sponsors and was able to make 145 successful matches with students.
In general, sophomores are given preference in “A Day in the Life,” as it is the goal of Career Services to provide opportunities for students to explore potential career paths before they ultimately decide on career goals. After students fill out an application with their preferences for match-ups and their goals for participating in the program, as well as send in their resume, Career Services works to pair as many students as possible with professionals. Students are given the chance to explore a wide range of professions, as students are paired with professionals in fields such as the media, law, medicine, business and the non-profit sector.
“This program truly highlights the diverse options offered by Career Services,” Assistant Director of Career Services David Loveless said.
Junior Lauren Marks was one of many students to participate in the Day in the Life program. She was paired with a Colgate alumna who works at the MTV Networks office in New York City in the Public Affairs department. The alumna Marks was paired with not only shared her own experiences at MTV but also set up interviews and meetings with employees in other offices at MTV.
Reflecting on her experience with the program, Marks said, “I thought it was a great program. It really gave me a good idea of what working in the media industry is like. I didn’t know what to expect, but I not only learned what they do in Public Affairs, but also in all of MTV.”
This program not only provided her with an idea of the inner-workings of MTV but also gave her networking opportunities for summer internships and for potential jobs after she graduates.
David Loveless remarked that, although formal evaluations of the program by both students and the professional with whom they were paired are still forthcoming, informal feedback on the program has been “wonderful.” Because this program has yet again proven to be successful, Career Services will certainly be offering this program again next year.