Despite a challenging job market, members of the Class of 2009 have found employment at top organizations and been accepted into prestigious graduate programs
Hannah Fink ’09 believes the academic and professional preparation she received at Lafayette has been vital to her success in the Ph.D. program in toxicology at University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).
While at Lafayette, the biology graduate received an Environmental Protection Agency fellowship that funded her extensive research with professors on projects exploring water contamination. She also served a three-day externship in the human genetics research lab of Alan Shuldiner ’79 at University of Maryland’s School of Medicine.
“When coming to UMB, I was shocked at the inability of some students to analyze journal articles and concisely present them to their peers.” she says. “Because the biology department at Lafayette made a point to keep presentations and analysis of scientific literature the focus of its upper-level seminar courses, I have felt prepared and at ease in my courses here at UMB.”
Despite one of the most challenging job markets in recent history, Fink and other members of the Class of 2009 have been very successful in finding employment and acceptance into top graduate programs.
According to Linda Arra, director of career services, only 4 percent of the respondents to the annual post-graduate survey are still seeking employment. This is only 1 percent higher than for the Class of 2008. The survey, taken seven months after graduation, represents a 93 percent response rate.
“While the Class of 2009 certainly had to be more persistent and work harder on their postgraduate plans, I think the numbers speak very positively about the preparation that our students receive, as well as how well regarded they are in the marketplace,” says Arra.
Employed graduates have accepted positions in 19 states, the District of Columbia, and six foreign countries. Some employers include the American Institute for Economic Research, Citigroup, Exxon Mobil, Hershey, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Kraft Foods, Merck, Merrill Lynch, Polo Ralph Lauren, Procter & Gamble, Random House, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Walt Disney. Students have also taken positions with service organizations such as AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and Teach For America.
The Class of 2009 isn’t just successful professionally. Many alumni have been accepted into graduate programs at institutions such as Boston University, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, New York University, Stanford, Penn, University of Virginia, and Vanderbilt University.
Lafayette prepares its students for success through a rigorous academic program including opportunities for field work, undergraduate research, study abroad, and interdisciplinary projects, as well as numerous ways to explore the professional world through internships and externships, networking programs, and mock interviews with professional recruiters.
Michael Feniger, Jill Carey, and Samantha Speer are excellent examples of this preparation. The economics and business graduates spent the summer of 2008 as interns for Jonathan Ellis ’98, an analyst in the equity research department at Merrill Lynch in New York City. All three are working as equity research analysts for Merrill Lynch.
“The support that students received from our alumni and employer partners was significant, since 40 percent of the employed graduates obtained their positions directly through career services’ programs such as campus recruiting and alumni networking,” says Arra. “Lafayette alumni and parents have always been, and continue to be, a significant resource for our students.”