Experiential Learning & Career Development Center | Albright College

Experiential Learning & Career Development Center

The ELCDC is here to help you!

Information for Students
Go to Handshake
Email Us
COVID-19 and Your Career
Internship Cancelled? Summer Options
Information for Employers
ELCDC Employer Guide to Internships
FLSA and Unpaid Internships
NACE Best Practices for Internships

Faculty: As you prepare for the fall semester, don’t forget the ELCDC is happy to help you add content to your course! Below are some of the in-person and virtual (synchronous and asynchronous) workshops we can provide. Contact elcdc@albright.edu if you have any questions or to set up a time for us share with your class.

Ready to do a workshop? It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Choose a workshop from our list below
  2. Complete the request form
  3. Enjoy the workshop!

Workshop Topics

  1. Introduction to the Experiential Learning and Career Development Center: So Many Options, So Many Services
  2. What is Experiential Learning and Why Should I Care?
  3. From Alpha to Major in 60 Seconds (or More): Choosing Your Major
  4. Resume 101
  5. What’s a Cover Letter?
  6. How to Find the Perfect Internship or Job?
  7. Job Fair Preparation: What to Do and What NOT to Do
  8. Interviewing Skills: Blue or Black Suit and So Much More
  9. Mock Interviewing: Practice Makes Perfect
  10. Networking (and We Don’t Mean on Facebook)
  11. 10 Things Employers Want Most
  12. Is Graduate School for Me? How to Determine the Right Program, Get Through the Application Process and Write a Personal Statement Without Freaking Out!
  13. Study Abroad: Can I Afford I? Where Can I Go? How Can I Make It Work With My Major?
  14. From Study Abroad to Career: How to Sell Your Experience to Employers and Graduate/Professional Schools

How to Reach Us

AJ: amerlino@albright.edu | email with questions about graduate or employment partnerships, post-graduate outcomes, and experiential learning initiatives and opportunities in the curriculum
Laura:
 lkline@albright.edu | email questions or to schedule virtual appointments for career development, the Disney College Program, or The Washington Center
Kim: kjusteson@albright.edu | schedule virtual or phone appointments through Handshake; email with questions for study abroad and undergraduate research
Karen: krieker@albright.edu | schedule virtual or phone appointments through Handshake; email with career development questions and for resume assistance
Sandy: 610-921-7630, elcdc@albright.edu | email or call to schedule appointments or ask questions

   


Event Information

Check back soon for a schedule of our summer programming!

Study Abroad

If you have applied for a summer or fall 2020 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 and set up a time for Study Abroad 101!

Other Helpful Resources 

Handshake
Career Shift
COVID-19 and Your Career: Links and Resources
Internship Cancelled? What to Do This Summer
Guides & Tip Sheets
Career Development – Choosing a Major
Instagram
Facebook
More Resources

Please note: the Career Closet is temporarily closed.


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 and Care Corner, which supports student needs clothing and basic toiletries for interviews and other professional engagements.

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 internship, 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.

Hours and Weekly Schedule
Career Closet Logo

Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm

Other hours by appointment – elcdc@albright.edu, (610) 921-7630

Connect With Us:Zoe Gehman and Steven Gosch

Spring Events

The 2020 spring semester offers fantastic opportunities for learning about career development, resume building, undergraduate research, networking, and other important career-focused opportunities.

FEBRUARY
February 3All About ACRE4-5pmELCDC
February 12Dress for Success Fashion Show7-8pmMain Lounge
February 20 Major Party7pmKrause Hall Lobby
February 26Job and Internship Fair
*SNOW DATE: March 4
11am-1:30pmMain Lounge
February 28Summer ACRE Deadline
MARCH
March 6Study Abroad Applications Due for Summer/Fall Travel
March 10Marketing Your Study Abroad4pmELCDC
March 11Presenting Your Story7:30pmRoessner 100
March 20HECBC Abstract Submission Deadline
APRIL
April 8Making Cents of Life After Albright7:30pmhttps://Albright.zoom.us/j/937086658
April 15HR Q&A7:30pmhttps://Albright.zoom.us/j/177209149
April 18HECBC Undergraduate Research & Creativity Conference
April 22What the Fork6pmhttps://Albright.zoom.us/j/940465728
MAY
May 4Honors Week – Verbal Presentations4-6pmKlein Lecture Hall
May 5Honors Week – Verbal Presentations4-6pmKlein Lecture Hall
May 6Honors Week – Verbal Presentations4-6pmKlein Lecture Hall
May 7Honors Week – Poster Presentations4-6pmCFA Mezzanine

Career Closet and Care CornerCareer Closet Picture

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.

Care Corner logoELCDC also oversees the Care Corner, which is part of the Lifting Up Lions initiative.  The Care Corner provides students with FREE basic toiletries. 

We are also always accepting items for the Care Corner – those toothbrushes and toothpaste you get from the dentist or the toiletries you take from the hotel but never use.

 

 

 

AJ MerlinoA.J. Merlino, DMA 
Associate Dean of Student Professional Development & Experiential Learning
Director of Music Industry Studies
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.

Kim JustesonKim Justeson 
Director of Experiential Learning
Kim came to Albright in 2006 to launch the Center for Experiential Learning and Research, which has 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’s passion is travel and she has traveled throughout Asia, Australia, Micronesia and Latin America.  While she is a bit more homebound these days with two young children she loves to go abroad vicariously through Albright students.  Kim works with students to find experiential learning opportunities to enhance their coursework.

Laura B.C. Kline, ’99Laura 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.

Karen E.H. Rieker
Assistant Director of Career Development
Karen started at Albright College as a Career Counselor in 2012. A two-time graduate of Kutztown University, Karen holds a B.S.Ed in Secondary Education/History and an M.Ed in Student Affairs in Higher Education-Administration. Karen enjoys working with students in all aspects of career development.

Sandy Behm 
Administrative Assistant
Sandy is a native of Berks County and has served Albright College since 2006, previously in Human Resources before making the move to the Experiential Learning and Career Development Center in the summer of 2016. She oversees the daily operations of the ELCDC, maintains the ELCDC calendar, and is instrumental in planning all events. Sandy is the primary department contact for faculty, staff, students, alumni, employers, and community members. Sandy especially loves the contact she has with Albright students as her son, now an Albright alumnus, was once in their shoes.

Tamia Covington, ELCDC Peer Educator

Sarah Hohl, ELCDC Peer Educator

Naadirah Moore, ELCDC Peer Educator

Blake Reed, ELCDC Peer Educator

SJ Reinert, ELCDC Peer Educator


Alumni and Student Success Stories

 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.”


 

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 Experiental 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.

Advice for current students: get involved! Go to the activities fair and sign up for whatever interests you! Getting involved is the best way to meet new people and discover more about yourself that you never would have known. Not to mention, it’s a great way to boost your resume! Albright is a small campus and you have the opportunity to be involved in more than one organization. Take advantage of it! Also take advantage of the ELCDC and use the resources that are available, they really do help!”


Christopher Dimitriou: History and Secondary Education, 2017

“Currently, I am a 7th and 8th Grade Social Studies and Financial Literacy teacher at Green Hills School in Greendell, New Jersey. I used the ELCDC resources in order to create and update my resume, learn how to write an effective cover letter, and prepare for job interviews by using a variety of different skills and techniques.

Advice for current students: Create and use a Linkedin account to grow your professional network. Understand that your Resume is a living document and should be updated throughout your professional career. Try to find a job on campus that relates to your profession. For example, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher, therefore, I got a job on campus as a tutor. If you are an education major, work in the summer as a substitute teacher in order to gain experience and build your professional network. When you print your resume, use a different shade of paper to make yours stand out from the rest (e.g. ivory).


Stephanie Force: English and Sociology; Photography, 2016

“Resumes are the most important part of the job process- they’re the first impression needed to get you- the real deal- in through the door. Because of the ELCDC, I’ve had the best shot I could ever have at getting interviewed for a variety of positions. Always pursue happiness. If a job isn’t helping you meet your goals, find a new one that will help you achieve all you’ve ever wanted. Even if it means changing fields, the experience you’ve gained while at Albright and with the ELCDC has prepared you with countless transferable skills. It’s okay to make the leap. You and your happiness is worth it.”

 


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.”


Mackenzie Tansey: History and Arts Administration, 2017

“Throughout my time at Albright I was an RA, a POP, a student worker at the Alumni Relations Office, a Gallery Attendant at the Freedman Gallery, a Caller at Phonathon, a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a member of ASTEP, a Member-at-Large in SGA, a member of the choral ensembles, an intern at the Berks History Center and a member of The Cue. Nowadays I’m attending Drexel University as a graduate candidate for a Master of Sciences in Museum Leadership. I’m also an research intern at Parks and Recreation of Philadelphia and at the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton. When looking for ways to strengthen and clean up my resume I used the ELCDC. I also asked for help in searching for potential jobs near my hometown after graduation. That meeting led me to exploring the realm of arts advocacy! Don’t be afraid to pursue a career that’s out of reach; you may be surprised by how far your limbs can take you.”


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.”

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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What majors, co-majors and special programs are offered at Albright College?
Go to the Albright Undergraduate Programs page for more information.

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What is the Honors Program and who is eligible?
For more information about the Honors Program at Albright, please visit this page

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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