Career and Post-Graduate Development

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Ursinus Extern Program

The Ursinus Extern Program provides students the opportunity to explore career options and gain insight into workplace realities by shadowing Ursinus alumni and parents during winter break.

This January, 37 students explored careers at 27 different organizations from a variety of career fields  including business, communications, pharmaceuticals, arts, law, and health care. Selected students were matched with a professional for a 3-5 day shadowing experience at the host’s workplace.

By participating in the program, students are investing in their own professional development, while alumni and parents get a unique opportunity to “pay it forward” and make a difference in the life of a current student. Alumni and parent hosts have arranged visits that could include attending meetings and presentations, helping with small projects, meeting individuals in different departments, touring the facility, and connecting with other alumni who work at the organization. Alumni and parent hosts have found the experience to be rewarding and gratifying.

Lauren D'Ortona ’18 and Katie Raichle ’18 shadowed Dr. Shailesh Patel P ’19 at Susquehanna HealthLauren D'Ortona ’18 and Katie Raichle ’18 shadowed Dr. Shailesh Patel P ’19 at Susquehanna HealthShailesh D. Patel, MD, P ’19, Medical Director of Department of Anesthesiology, President of Medical Staff, Williamsport Campuses – UPMC Susquehanna hosted four students. When asked about his experience as an Extern Sponsor, he shared the following. “It was my pleasure to help commence an Externship Program at UPMC Susquehanna. I enjoyed meeting and interacting with the four Ursinus students that we hosted. As someone who has been down their path over 30 years ago, it gave me great satisfaction helping them define their future.  More importantly, the students’ perceptions are priceless.” The following is a quote from an extern, Katrina Raichle, 2018:  “After having some time to reflect, I am realizing how this experience was extremely rewarding.  I thoroughly enjoyed learning how everyone in a hospital collaborates to create a healing environment. I had the chance to confirm that the medical field is something I really want to pursue.” Helping an individual on deciding his or her path for the future is just as rewarding for me as it is for the individual.

Tom Kozior ’17 explored careers in finance at Vanguard by shadowing Megan Shirbach ’03Tom Kozior ’17 explored careers in finance at Vanguard by shadowing Megan Shirbach ’03Another host, Megan Shirbach ’03, Manager at Vanguard, has been helping students explore careers in finance for several years as an Externship Sponsor. “I love supporting the Ursinus Extern program as an alumni sponsor. I love connecting with the current students and feel energized by their engagement and excitement. I also feel privileged to be able to share my experiences as an Ursinus undergraduate student, and how that prepared me well from my current professional role.”

A gallery of photos of students with their hosts from this year can be found here. If you would like to help impact the career path of a college student by offering a job shadow opportunity in January of 2018, please email us. The formal call for registration will take place in late summer.