News

July 17, 2007

The Face of Lafayette in Tokyo

Patrick Consolla ’93 serves as alumni admissions representative

Even though his career keeps him in Japan, Patrick Consolla ’93 finds ways to maintain his Lafayette connection. For starters, he serves as an alumni admissions representative in Tokyo.

“Having a daily interaction with people from other cultures helps us redefine preconceptions we have about our own culture,” he says. “I would like to see Lafayette increase the number of students attending from other countries to help enrich the Lafayette experience.”

He also keeps in touch with electrical engineering graduate William Hardy ’85, president of Tyco Fire & Security in Japan. The two previously worked together and now live near each other.

Consolla provides perspective to prospective international students in his region.

“Most of our target students are attending international schools,” he says. “Having been in Tokyo for over eight years now, I can empathize with their experiences of being an outsider in a densely populated city. However, having also been in the nurturing environment of Lafayette’s small campus, I can give them advice on the benefits of both worlds.”

Consolla believes his Lafayette education taught him the flexibility needed in his job as operations and sales director of the Japan region for Alcatel-Lucent. He also plays an acting role as marketing and communications director.

“My liberal arts education certainly prepared me for wearing many hats at once,” says the English graduate. “Every day tends to cover a very wide range of activities from the back office to the front office, but my main objective is finding ways to get our team serving the customers better. This includes a lot of internal negotiation across many organizations in our company in many locations around the world.

“I am what they call a ‘generalist’ – I have no specific skills or expertise, but I seem to get dropped into any kind of problem in the company with an expectation to fix it. This covers the range of finance, legal, communication, human resources, etc. Lafayette prepared me to use a critical eye in assessing any situation, no matter what the subject matter is.”

Consolla daily applies the skills he learned while taking classes with John Timpane. He still has the book Writing Worth Reading that Timpane coauthored with Nancy Huddleston Packer.

“John Timpane’s English classes taught me how to put thoughts into words and, more importantly, how to have fun doing it,” he says. “At least once a day, I am asked by a colleague to help them understand a poorly written English e-mail. After wading through the fractures and run-on sentences, I apologize to my colleague on behalf of all English-speaking people and quietly wish more of us could have benefited from Professor Timpane’s tutelage.”

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