Dozens of Brookdale students were able to tour local businesses and network with working professionals and Brookdale alumni this fall as part of the new “Learn @ Lunch” series, sponsored by the Office of Career and Leadership Development (CLD).
The free initiative, spearheaded by CLD assistant director Anne LaPorta, provides students with lunch, transportation and “behind-the-scenes” access to a variety of local businesses, where participants can meet with company officials and learn the ins and outs of their future professions.
“Students can network with employers in their career field and complete short informational interviews to find out more their industry of choice,” said CLD director Sarah McElroy. “Learn @ Lunch participants can also meet alumni who have successfully graduated from Brookdale and now work in a specific industry and learn about internship and job opportunities with those companies.”
On Dec. 1, ten business and fashion merchandising students joined LaPorta and fashion merchandising and marketing instructor Annmarie Hughes on a lunchtime visit to TULA the Boutique in Shrewsbury.
Students were led on a guided tour and provided with a comprehensive overview of the business by owner Angela Gengaro-Secul, a graduate of Brookdale’s fashion program and a fashion industry veteran with years of experience working for high-end designers like Versace.
Gengaro-Secul also took time to discuss available job openings, ongoing fashion trends and the best strategies for starting and growing a new business.
In October, 14 business and engineering students joined LaPorta and McElory on a Learn @ Lunch trip to the Red Bank headquarters of Maser Consulting, a nationwide engineering firm. Participants were provided with a detailed overview of Maser operations by a variety of company representatives, including Brookdale alumni Dan Geran and Steven Wheeler.
Following the visit, many students are now planning to apply for the company’s summer internship program, McElroy said.
“Our first two trips this semester were a huge success,” she said. “We plan to continue the program in the Spring 2018 semester, with visits to at least three employers in several different career areas.”
To learn more about the Learn @ Lunch series, or to sign up for future trips, visit the Career and Leadership Development events calendar.
Learn more about the Office of Career and Leadership development, including available career and internship assistance, career advising, and the Brookdale chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success, here.
Check out more photos from the Fall 2017 Learn @ Lunch series here.
[Photos courtesy of Anne LaPorta and Sarah McElroy]