February 1, 2008

Joe Ort ’06 Helps Clients Find Financial Security

Internship with Victor Goldman ’96 led to fulltime position with Lenox Advisors; both will return to campus March 1 for Orientation to Life program

For Joe Ort ’06, an alumni-sponsored internship at New England Financial changed his life. He found not only an alumnus willing to take him under his wing in the business world, but a friend who helped him transition from a student to an individual just starting out in life.

A strong Lafayette network helped connect Ort with mathematics-economics graduate Victor Goldman ’96. While serving a summer internship, he met economics and business graduate Andrew Brown ’06, who was interning with Goldman. When the time came to find another internship the following summer, Ort called Goldman and secured a position at New England Financial.

There Ort recruited potential insurance agents, obtained his insurance license, and became acclimated with spending a large part of his day on the phone talking with clients. Those skills made for a smooth transition when he got a job at the company after graduating.

Ort and Goldman forged such a close bond that Ort followed Goldman to Lenox Advisors, where he is senior vice president. As a financial associate in the wealth advisory firm’s Connecticut office, Ort spends his days contacting and meeting with clients. He also helps put together benefits packages for Fortune 500 companies. Lenox Advisors specializes in Wall Street executives, hedge fund managers, and business owners.

  • Ort and Goldman will return to campus March 1 to speak at the Orientation to Life program for young alumni, sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

“We help people build security into their lives, insurance-wise, and help them achieve their goals with their investments,” says Ort. “It’s really just helping people do what they need to do. [The best part is] seeing the satisfaction on their faces when they do something they never got around to doing until they had someone pushing them to get it done.”

Ort believes having an internship mentor who was an alumnus made all the difference in the trajectory of his life after Lafayette.

“It was great,” he says. “Victor is pretty much a brother to me. Having someone close to my age is great. I don’t really know a lot about life, and he’s walked me through a lot of things. We’re going back to Lafayette in March to do a career panel together. It’s really cool that he’s still real involved in the school. To see someone who gives back is an incentive for me to want to give back as well.”

He already has seen firsthand how a well rounded education can benefit someone just starting out in the workforce.

“A liberal arts education gives you exposure to a lot of different things,” he says. “I’m not an expert in anything, but my clients are, and when I’m speaking to my client base now, I have a wide knowledge base and can talk intelligently about what they’re doing.”

A former wide receiver on the Leopards football team, Ort appreciates the value of being part of a team. He also credits Lafayette’s academic “team” with giving him the tools needed for success. Sheila Handy, assistant professor of economics and business; Don Chambers, Walter E. Hanson/KPMG Professor of Business and Finance; and Evan Fisher, professor of mathematics, all made an impact.

“The whole football aspect provided camaraderie and good friends I still talk to today,” he says. “Teamwork is always helpful moving forward. Sheila Handy in accounting taught me a lot about numbers. Don Chambers, the things he taught actually do apply in the real world. Evan Fisher was also Victor’s adviser, so that’s another connection we have. He’s an awesome guy just in the way he treats people; it’s something to strive for. Lafayette gave me everything.”

Ort believes the College’s strong alumni connection is a major asset.

“The best thing about Lafayette is that there are alumni like Victor willing to help, and students should definitely take advantage of that,” he says. “I remember I went to a scholarship lunch and talked to Alan Griffith ’64 about an interview I had the next week, and I asked him if there’s anything I should tell them. He said, ‘Just tell them you’re picking out your desk.’ The job was mine before I had the interview for it.”

Alumni are needed to provide one- to three-month internship experiences at their workplaces this summer. The position can be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid, but it is expected to be a structured and supervised work or service experience. The position is posted to the Office of Career Services’ online Job Vault and students apply directly to the alum or designee.

Even if you cannot personally host an intern, you can still be a resource for students interested in interning at your organization. Provide the Office of Career Services with information about available internship programs and how students can apply. Consider allowing students to contact you directly with questions about the realities of working at your organization. For more information about the Alumni-Sponsored Internship Program, contact Rachel Nelson Moeller ’88,

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