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Young Alumni Share Skills for Success at Program for Sophomores

Bethlehem, Pa., November 03, 2005—Moravian College is pairing small groups of sophomores with recent alumni to learn skills for making the most of the college experience during its Sophomore Success Program. The program gives students an opportunity to gain insight in a wide variety of disciplines by directly interacting with an alumnus who is currently working in the student’s field of interest. Students can choose from a list of presenters who graduated with the same or a similar major.

The sessions that were presented during September and October are followed by general sessions on “Resume Writing” (November 2), “How to Get an Internship” (November 7), and “How to Prepare for Graduate School” (November 21). Those students attending all three workshops will receive a certificate of achievement at the college’s Annual Etiquette Dinner in spring.

“The Sophomore Success Program was developed to assist in increasing student engagement and in decreasing the sophomore slump that some students experience. With an emphasis on career exploration, the program gives sophomores insight into some of the things that they can do to be more successful at Moravian—and after they graduate,” said Warren Hilton, director of Career Services at Moravian. “Last year, nearly half of the sophomore class participated. This year, we decided to personalize the program toward individual student majors, which came at the suggestion of last year’s participants.”

The major topics explored throughout the program are the importance of internships and field studies, networking with alumni and other professionals, the benefits of being involved on campus, the value of paying attention to world affairs, the merits of building an effective resume, and how to be academically successful.

The program is proving beneficial for students who attend the program. Sophomore Rebecca Angstadt, a math/accounting major gained a greater sense of urgency and is now planning ahead to gain work experience rather than waiting until her senior year. “Speaking with the alumnus affirmed for me the importance of starting the internship and job search process earlier rather than later. I realized that it’s important accelerate my timeline and line-up an internship after my sophomore year and begin job searching my junior year.”

Psychology major Caitlyn Collazo ’08, attended the psychology/sociology session. “I really appreciated the fact that an alumna would take the time to come back to campus and share her personal career story with us. I especially found it useful when she pointed out what she wished she had done differently,” Callazo said. “I’m starting my career planning early by a taking careful look at internship opportunities that will enhance my learning experience.”

A group of talented young alumni representing a wide variety of disciplines participated in the program sessions. Students interested in business attended the first session in September with Jason Kwiatkowski ’03, a pharmaceutical sales representative with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Other presenters included Geoff Deen ’04, a senior analyst at PharmaStrat Inc., who discussed the business arena. Amanda Shirk ’04, the human resources coordinator at Genesis Rehabilitation Services explained how industrial and organizational psychology applies in business situations.

Geoffrey D. Hood ’00, assistant district attorney, Montgomery County District Attorney's Office offered insights into the field of law and political science.

Lisa Montafia ’04, an assistant scientist, Clinical Trial Operations, Division of Drug Development and Safety, McNeil Consumer and Specialty, Pharmaceuticals, and Josh Reichart ’03, a data management specialist with Charles River Laboratories, Preclinical Services, spoke to interested students about pursuing careers in science.

Scott Heydt ’02, a teacher with the Central Bucks School District and Erin Mensel ’03, a 2nd grade teacher in the Kennett Square School District talked about careers in education. Jaime Marks ’04, a Ph.D. candidate at Penn State University discussed her experiences in graduate school with a focus on psychology and sociology.

Rori Franges’04, an art consultant with the Monsoon Art Gallery explained about careers available to those interested in art history. Chris McGinnis ’03, a graphic designer with Men’s Health Magazine at Rodale Press discussed his experiences working in graphic design and marketing. George Wacker ’03, a reporter with the Express-Times shared experiences and thoughts about English and the liberal arts education.

Brian Corvino ’02, a Manager in Strategic Services at PharmaStrat Inc., recruited the alumni help with fellow Young Alumni Board member Josh Tirado’00. Both men conducted a program for students interested in majors not covered by other sessions.

For more information on the Sophomore Success Program, contact the Moravian College Career Center at (610) 861-1509. Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the web site at www.moravian.edu.