Experiential Learning & Career Development Center
Hours and Weekly Schedule
The Albright College Experiential Learning and Career Development Center (ELCDC) offers a variety of services for students, alumni and employers. The Center assists students in exploring majors, careers, and experiential learning opportunities that enhance Albright’s core learning goal of “engaging the world.” The career development process helps students make meaning from their experiences and education, leading to greater personal satisfaction and professional success. To see how we might help you, read some of our student and alumni success stories.
Experiential learning is a “hands-on” approach to education that is personally relevant and connected to students’ academic learning objectives. Albright College students participate in experiences such as internships, study abroad/off campus, and undergraduate research. ELCDC also supports student success with the Career Closet, which helps provide students with affordable professional attire.
Each semester, we offer an array of programs, seminars, and workshops to help students develop their career opportunities, learn about resume construction and interviewing skills, and networking. Check out the events for this semester. And, we will bring ELCDC workshops to you–and a time and place of your choosing.
The Center also collaborates with employers and community organizations to provide internships, service learning, and employment opportunities.
Answers to commonly asked questions can be found in the FAQs. Or, come find us at the Geiser House: 1817 Linden Street (located between the Multifaith House and Gable Health Center). Meet our staff and peer educators who are often found at Geiser House.
The ELCDC is happy to help YOU with virtual programming! View the request form to see the list of in-person and virtual (synchronous and asynchronous) workshops we can provide. Plus, we can tailor the information for your class, team, residence hall, or student organization! Contact email@example.com if you have any questions or to set up a time for us share with your group.
Ready to do a workshop? It’s as easy as 1-2-3!
- Choose a workshop from our list below
- Complete the request form
- Enjoy the workshop!
Connect With Us:
A.J. Merlino, DMA
Associate Dean of Student Professional Development & Experiential Learning
Director of Music Industry Studies
AMerlino@albright.edu | email with questions about graduate or employment partnerships, post-graduate outcomes, career development/ internship questions, and experiential learning initiatives and opportunities in the curriculum
A.J. Merlino is a touring musician turned leader in higher education with a passion for community development. His expertise lies in helping companies develop strategies to increase their visibility, find their identity, and nourish their audience.
As an entrepreneur, he’s operated several businesses including the 501(c)(3) non-profit Reading Samba School, which helped hundreds of young musicians cultivate a passion for music and achieve their goals of studying music in higher education, pursue advanced degrees, and perform professionally. As a touring/recording musician, he has won various awards for his work with bands such as Thank You Scientist, Remember Jones, and Karmic Juggernaut. Additionally, he was a 2017, 2018, and 2020 quarterfinalist for the GRAMMY Foundation’s Music Educator Award for his work with underserved student populations.
Prior to A.J.’s time working in higher education, he held positions in Las Vegas working at the Venetian, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, and Cosmopolitan. These positions include music director, composer, event coordinator, promoter, and project manager. This experience has helped shape his philosophy of the higher education workspace, by showing him the importance of experiential learning.
A.J. currently serves as the Associate Dean of Student Professional Development & Experiential Learning, Director of Music Industry Studies, and Assistant Professor of Music at Albright College. In these roles, his objective is to increase student positive outcomes through experiential learning.
Director of Experiential Learning
KJusteson@albright.edu | schedule virtual or phone appointments through Handshake; email with questions for study abroad and undergraduate research
Kim came to Albright in 2006 to launch the Center for Experiential Learning and Research, which has since combined with the Career Development center to be known as the Experiential Learning and Career Development Center. After graduating with a B.S. in Applied Learning and Development from The University of Texas-Austin she taught, lived and traveled abroad for several years. She then made the move to higher education and worked at UT-Austin and Kutztown University before coming to Albright. Kim holds a professional certification in Education Abroad through the Forum on Education Abroad and recently completed the Experiential Education Academy through the National Society for Experiential Education. Kim’s passion is travel and she has traveled throughout Asia, Australia, Micronesia, Europe, and Latin America. She loves working with students to find experiential learning opportunities to enhance their coursework.
Laura B.C. Kline, ’99
Director of Career Development
Laura began her life at Albright College as an Alpha student, switching to Child and Family Studies in her sophomore year. She credits her personal experience as an Alpha student, struggling to find major direction, to her profession in career counseling. Laura returned to her alma mater in 2007 as a career counselor after working as an academic advisor with undecided/undeclared students at Shippensburg University and The Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg campus. She received her M.S. in Counseling from Shippensburg University and holds the professional designation of National Certified Counselor (NCC). Laura loves working with students in all aspects of their career development, but especially enjoys her continued work with Alpha students. As an alumna, Laura consistently advocates for Albright students and uses all alumni events she attends as an opportunity to gain knowledge of career opportunities, industries and cultivate relationships between students and alumni. Laura is also an advocate of an Albright education and uses her knowledge of Albright’s curriculum when speaking with and engaging employers in an effort to increase internship and employment opportunities for students and fellow alumni. Laura is also an adjunct instructor for the Organizational Behavior/Applied Psychology program in the School of Professional Studies.
General Assistance: 610-921-7630 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Peer Educators are also available to help students! They are specially trained to assist with resume review, study abroad overview, job and internship search, and other quick questions.
Tamia Covington, ELCDC Peer Educator
Thania Inoa de Jesus, ELCDC Peer Educator
Michaelah Kirby, ELCDC Peer Educator
Mazaiah Hutchinson, ELCDC Social Media and Marketing Intern
Alumni and Student Success Stories
Autumn Blalock: Psychology and Theatre, 2020
Autumn is currently studying Theatre-Nonprofit Management at Villanova University.
“Along with being a graduate assistant at Villanova University’s Costume shop, I’ve also had the opportunity to work with a national nonprofit called RespectAbility that does policy, advocacy, and educational work to support the disability community nationwide. Being with them allowed me to not only contribute to reaching out to politicians to encourage them to fill out a survey on disability policy (a task that brought me in touch with Emily Durell of 2019!), but also allowed me to serve as a panelist on the importance of Disability Narratives in Storytelling! I would not have landed that position without the constant resume assistance at the ELCDC or the support of the awesome team there!”
Kola Adebola: Business Administration-Marketing and International Business, 2018
Currently, I am the Community Relations Assistant for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. In this role, I help schedule and attend player and mascot community appearances, fulfill donations, run our kids club program, book group outings at the ballpark, and model apparel.
The ELCDC helped me with my resume and cover letter and gave me the helping hand/push to study abroad in Cyprus which was one of the best decisions and experiences of my life.
Studying abroad has given me a broadened world view and has helped me understand other cultures on a higher level.
Randi Dollar: International Relations and Sociology-Criminology, 2019
Since I graduated, I have been given the opportunity to become the OSINT – RDT Assistant Team Leader at The Counterterrorism Group. My main goal is to collect open-source intelligence (OSINT) and acquire both knowledge and tools that will assist in detecting, deterring, and defeating terrorism. To achieve this goal, my team and I undergo training, participate in investigations around the globe to support our client, and also discover a variety of tools and training for the multiple groups within The Counterterrorism Group that will further assist them in their investigations. I cannot divulge any further into my position since it is sensitive information, but the impact my team and I have had on the organization is amazing with many more improvements to come!
The ELCDC has helped me in so many ways in regards to resume construction, job applications, and the amount of pamphlets that can be found on all majors found at Albright! When I was applying for positions before and after I graduated, I never knew the vast amount of career paths I could take with a Criminology and International Relations degree. The staff took their time to give me tips and knowledge on how to construct resumes that align with my career path that I still use to this day. As for the pamphlets, they are a huge help once you graduate because you are essentially taking a piece of the ELCDC when you leave! I always refer back to those pamphlets when I am looking for a new job in order to acquire some knowledge on new job titles, cover letters, and interview etiquette. Without the ELCDC’s support, I wouldn’t have been able to progress as far as I have in my early career.
Emily Durell: Communications-Public Relations & Advertising and History, 2019
As a Deputy Press Secretary for Governor Larry Hogan, I’m responsible for a pretty broad range of communications tasks, including writing press releases, statements, and remarks; designing and distributing digital content; assisting with media inquiries; and staffing the governor for interviews and public engagements. I wouldn’t be in this position if not for the summer communications internship I had with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. I only worked a few days a week on a volunteer basis, but I left with a portfolio of “real life” work, experience in state government, and most importantly, connections and references that I was able to leverage to land my current job. My communications internship with Albright’s Student and Campus Life Division significantly boosted my portfolio as well, as did my interdisciplinary ACRE project. My best career advice for Albrightians is to get your hands on as many different aspects of your field as possible (and outside of your field, if you can) to maximize your value in any potential workplace.
Alyssa Francis: Psychology and Spanish, 2017
As a Human Resources Specialist, my job is to manage the employee lifecycle at Misco Products. I recruit & onboard new employees, administer benefits, develop employees through training, manage employee performance, etc. In this role, I meet and interact with employees of all different backgrounds. The Albright ELCDC helped prepare me for this role by giving me the opportunity to study abroad in Spain during my junior year. Because of this experience, I can communicate better with Misco’s Spanish-speaking employees. Although my Spanish isn’t perfect, I‘m able to help employees feel more comfortable by talking with them in their preferred language. I’m grateful to the ELCDC for the opportunity to study abroad and develop my language skills to better connect with my coworkers!
Monica Miller: Communications-PR & Advertising, 2018
After several paid internships, part-time jobs in offices and call centers, and my first full-time gig out of college as an admission counselor at Saint Joseph’s University, I came to the conclusion that traditional office work just wasn’t for me. Now, I am a young female entrepreneur.
Unfortunately, the pandemic halted 75% of my projects indefinitely come March. After 4 months of unemployment and several existential crises, I was picked up by a small business based in California, Uni Esports Group, who consults with colleges and universities to build esports programs.
Here, I am a wearer of many hats, which I quickly learned is a common theme as an entrepreneur. At Uni, I handle lead operations for their collegiate esports recruitment pipeline, lfgroup.gg; manage content marketing; and consult with institutions who are building esports programs.
There were so many helpful hands along the way to propel me into the career of my dreams. It would take me many hours to list each individual, so I want to take a moment to shout out my gratitude for the ELCDC at Albright College.
Most notably, the speed-dating-style networking event really helped me hone my networking skills. Face-to-face interaction is intimidating. By practicing my elevator pitch over and over, I got so much more comfortable talking about myself in front of others. I was able to take these skills and apply it to finding work on LinkedIn during the pandemic!
Connor Morgan: Business Administration-Marketing; minor in Spanish, 2020
I currently work for Broadridge Financial Solutions in a Career Foundations Rotational Program. This program is a 7-month program, where we rotate throughout the various departments within Broadridge’s Global Technology and Operations (GTO) segment. I am currently in month 6 of the program and at the conclusion of the CFP, by the end of January, we get to choose where we want to begin our first official role.
In my time at Albright, I spent a lot of time at the ELCDC, specifically in my senior year. I will admit, I was a bit late to utilizing all the excellent resources that the ELCDC and the team has to offer; however, everything I learned there still applies to my current career. I interned at the ELCDC in the final semester of my senior year as a Social Media Marketing Intern, but it wasn’t my internship that directly helped me to my current path, it was the guidance from the ELCDC team itself. I still remember the conversations about “I’m a marketing major, how can that translate to Finance or Financial Services?”. Now, Broadridge is a FinTech leader in Financial Services, and it was solely the guidance from [the ELCDC] that showed me “what I truly learned” at Albright.
They were able to show me how to leverage Handshake to my professional advantage, recommend me to various workshops that not only pertained to my major, but also to my skillset (some of which were unknown at the time) and most importantly, they reminded me that your major does not define you. Your attitude, your goals and your passions do.
Quick Tip: Don’t wait until your Senior Year to visit, take advantage right from the beginning!
Essence Hall: Psychobiology; minor in Evolutionary Studies, 2020
Pandemic has allowed me to reflect on my accomplishments during my undergraduate career as well as prepare for my future. I came to the conclusion that I would like to continue my education. Central Washington University gave me that opportunity, as I was accepted into their 2 year Masters program focused on Integrative Human Physiology, where I learn about multiple sciences can explain how the body functions when introduced to positive and negative stimuli such as human movement or injuries. Along with my acceptance, I was offered a position as a Graduate Assistant, and tasked with supporting undergraduate students and professors. Both experiences are expanding my knowledge and preparing me for future opportunities in the world of health science. The ELCDC has been a staple in developing my career goals. It helped me increase my confidence in various elements of career development from resume to etiquette to personal statements. The ELCDC is an important aspect of student life and should continue to be utilized as a resource. I am thankful that I reached out for help as it put me one step closer to reaching my goals.
Julie Devine: Business Administration-Finance and Marketing, 2019
During my undergrad I was on the Tennis Team, a tutor and mentor at 13th and Union Elementary School, Studied Abroad in London for 2017 semester, Membership Outreach chair for Sigma Alpha Pi, took part in Alternative Spring Break 2017 and 2018 going to San Marcos, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and last, Study Abroad Advisor at the Experiential Learning and Career Development Center. Currently I am working for American Express as an Event Logistics Operations Analyst.
I also used their [ELCDC] resources for internship advice/options. (I had two internships, my first was as a Congressional Intern for my local Congressman and my second was at Mercury Public Affairs in New York City). The ELCDC also guided me through the various study abroad programs and country locations. They were with me every step of the way and provided great guidance.
Kristina Goshorn: Spanish and International Relations, 2018
I am currently a Legal Assistant for Green and Spiegel, U.S., and immigration law firm in Philadelphia. I pursued an interim ACRE project and studied abroad in Santiago, Chile my junior year spring semester. I also did a Congressional internship in Philadelphia and Washington, DC after I graduated. If it wasn’t for my bilingual skills and experience in a fast-paced, professional environment, I honestly would not have had the opportunity to work in a law firm. I have experience with people from other cultures, and since we are working with foreign nationals from all over the world, my study abroad experience has really come in hand. My law firm often uses my connections with Senator Casey’s office in order to contact government agencies on behalf of clients.
Destini Torres: Sociology and Communications; Womens & Gender Studies, 2017
When I entered Albright College, I had zero clue of what I wanted to major in. Much of my memories during my Freshmen Year was spent at the ELCDC. I took a quiz to see what majors may interest me. I spoke with ELCDC staff to help guide me in the process of choosing a major. Throughout my time at Albright, I received helped with my resume, internship search, and with the study abroad process.
I studied abroad with SIT (School for International Training); its model is around experiential learning. I highly recommend for students to Study Abroad. There is this misconception that studying abroad is unaffordable; however, with the help of ELCDC staff they can help explain how it can be affordable. One of my favorite and most impactful memories is when I was abroad in Nicaragua and Cuba through SIT program. I also studied abroad in Ireland with Albright my Senior year by taking the Traditional Arts in Ireland class.
Interested in learning more about studying abroad? Check out our study abroad webpages to get started. If you have applied for an spring or summer 2021 study abroad program please stay in contact with Kim Justeson and your program for updates. Want to learn about study abroad in general? Connect with our Peer Educators in Handshake to schedule a Study Abroad 101 appointment!
Get a peek into a study abroad experience in Ghana! Click here to see Janae Taft’s video.
Get a peek into a study abroad experience in Ghana! Click here to see Janae Taft’s video.
Other Helpful Resources
Handshake (Connect with Employers/Mentors for Jobs and Internships)
Career Spots (Helpful Videos to Advance Your Job Search
Career Shift (Job Hunting and Career Management Resource)
COVID-19 and Your Career: Links and Resources
Focus 2 Career: Career and Major Exploration Portal (Access Code: lions)
Alpha Resources on Canvas
General ELCDC Resources on Canvas
Guides & Tip Sheets
Career Development – Choosing a Major
Albright College and the ELCDC now offer the Career Closet – professional clothing for students at a very low cost. This clothing might be needed for presentations, interviews, attire for work or internship, etc. including shoes). Prices are:
- $3 for 1 item;
- $5 for two items;
- $8 for three items;
- $10 for four items.
Where else could a student potentially purchase a two-piece suit and a pair of shoes for $5?
For those interested in donating to the Career Closet, we ask for all items to be in good condition and are current classic styles. Items can be dropped off during Albright business hours or by appointment. All proceeds go back into the Career Closet to purchase items we do not receive through donations.
Please note: the Career Closet is temporarily closed.
Frequently Asked Questions
- When should students visit the Experiential Learning and Career Development Center?
- Why should a student who has decided on a major need to use the Center?
- How does the Center help students who are undecided about their major?
- Is it common for students to start out knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives but then become uncertain or consider a completely different direction?
- What majors, co-majors and special programs are offered at Albright College?
- What is the Honors Program and who is eligible?
- Who Can Study Abroad/Off Campus?
- Will I be able to afford to study abroad/off campus?
- When can I study abroad/off campus?
- How can I find on-campus employment opportunities?
- How can I find off-campus part-time employment, internships or full time job opportunities?
- What assistance does the Center provide for applying to graduate school?
- What is an ACRE?
- What is Handshake?
When should students visit the Experiential Learning and Career Development Center?
Students can utilize the Center at any time during their academic career and as alumni of Albright. Students are encouraged to begin working with us in their first year.
According to the National Association of College and Employers 2010 Student Survey, “the likelihood of a student getting a job offer increased with the frequency of career center use. Students who used the career center four or more times a semester were more likely to have job offers than those who used it once a semester.” It all begins with choosing/confirming a choice of major, developing a plan for experiential learning opportunities and being able to articulate your skills and experience both on a resume and in person.
Why should a student who has decided on a major need to use the Center?
Many students begin college confident in their choice of a major. In any major, there are a number of career paths that a student can take depending on their interests and abilities. Shadowing, networking, gaining “hands-on” experience through an internship, study abroad, and/or undergraduate research project can help students to develop skills that are valued by employers and to gain real world experience that can clarify or solidify the direction of their career. The Center is a valuable resource for finding such “experiential education” opportunities, and for providing access to alumni and employers. Also, as noted in the answer to question 2, research shows that “the likelihood of a student getting a job offer increased with the frequency of career center use. Students who used the career center four or more times a semester were more likely to have job offers than those who used it once a semester.”
How does the Center help students who are undecided about their major?
As an incoming Alpha (undecided) first year student or a sophomore who is re-exploring their initial major direction, we can help. The Center offers several self-assessments in consultation with a career counselor who will help the student to define their interests, values, skills, personal characteristics and what concentration and career options may be a good match.
Is it common for students to start out knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives but then become uncertain or consider a completely different direction?
Many college students struggle with the decision about their college major and are unsure of their choice, even if they have selected a college major. Approximately eighty percent of all entering students change their concentration (major) at least once during their college career. Albright wants to emphasize that it’s fine for students to enter college without a clear idea of which academic program they wish to pursue and what their ultimate career will be. Being “undeclared” or “undecided” isn’t a cause for panic! The opportunity for academic exploration is a unique life opportunity, and it is central to the educational experience at a liberal arts college like Albright.
What majors, co-majors and special programs are offered at Albright College?
Go to the Albright Undergraduate Programs page for more information.
What is the Honors Program and who is eligible?
For more information about the Honors Program at Albright, please visit this page
Who Can Study Abroad/Off Campus?
No matter what your major, you CAN study abroad/off campus. Our staff will work with you to find the best location and program for you. It is possible to take courses in English through a program provider in a non-English speaking country. There are also many domestic programs available right here in the United States, including the Washington Center, the Philadelphia Center, and the National Theatre Institute. Students interested in studying abroad must be in good academic standing, with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 / 4.0, in good financial standing and in good social standing. For more information on planning a study abroad experience visit this page.
Will I be able to afford to study abroad/off campus?
When you study off-campus, you only pay the price of that particular abroad program. There are no extra fees from Albright. Occasionally, students end up paying less than they do at Albright! Albright scholarships, such as the Presidential, Founders and talent scholarships, cannot be used for off-campus study. However, Stafford loans, Perkins loans, State grants and most privately funded scholarships may be used. Many Albright affiliates offer additional scholarships for which Albright students can apply, and there are other opportunities, including the Gilman Scholarship (for students receiving a Pell Grant) which we can discuss with you when you make an appointment to talk with our staff. For information about additional scholarships and paying for your study abroad experiences visit this page.
When can I study abroad/off campus?
Students wishing to study abroad or off-campus in a domestic program may do so upon completion of two full-time semesters at Albright. This means students may study abroad as early as the summer between the first and second year at Albright. Most Albright College students study abroad during their sophomore or junior year. Seniors may study abroad during their fall semester only with permission from the Registrar’s Office.
How can I find on-campus employment opportunities?
All on-campus employment is handled by Albright College Human Resources. Student employment opportunities can be found on this page or by contacting the department directly.
How can I find off-campus part-time employment, internships or full time job opportunities?
The Center offers students and alumni various online resources in addition to individual career counseling to discuss specific strategies based on your needs. Please contact us to schedule an individual appointment. In addition to job/internship postings, we are committed to facilitating on-campus recruitment (held October/November and March/April), job/internship fairs (February/March) and preparing students for the best job search possible through workshops, online/resource library information and individual appointments.
What assistance does the Center provide for applying to graduate school?
Our career counselors can assist you in finding the right graduate/professional school, defining criteria to assess programs, developing your personal statement as well as provide information about various admission exams such as the LSAT or GRE. We also host a graduate/professional school fair each fall where students will have an opportunity to meet with admission counselors from graduate/professional schools in various disciplines.
What is an ACRE?
The Albright Creative Research Experience (ACRE) is an interdisciplinary program that enables students to conduct research or creative activity in partnership with nurturing faculty mentors during the summer or over the interim session in January. All students are invited to submit an ACRE application. A committee of faculty members reviews the proposals and recommends awards. Participants receive a stipend and free room and board during the summer or January interim. Students and faculty from all disciplines meet each week to share their experiences and learn from each other. Many collaborative teams of students and faculty present their research at academic conferences and publish their results in professional journals.
What is Handshake?
Handshake is an online system that allows you to post your resume, view and apply to part and full-time job and internship listings, and connect with professionals. Be sure to complete and keep your Profile and Documents sections updated. Before posting your resume on Handshake, students are encouraged to receive resume feedback from a career counselor. This one-stop, web-based system will help you to manage your job search throughout your time at Albright. A comprehensive calendar of ELCDC events is also accessible through Handshake.