8/07/2020 Alicia Morrissey

Innovative Externship Allows Students to Explore Career Paths Virtually

This story is part of our #FandMForward series documenting our students’ and recent grads’ resilience, adaptability and perseverance in navigating the obstacles that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented.

With many students’ summer plans being disrupted by COVID-19, the Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development stepped up to the plate and innovated a robust career exploration and mentorship program: Crosswalk (College-to-Career) Virtual Externship Experience.

Introduced this summer, Crosswalk provides rising first-year through senior students with a glimpse into specific fields. It kicked off the week of June 22 with “F&M in Education,” continued with “F&M in Science and Research” during the week of July 6 and wrapped up with “F&M in Human Resources & Staffing” the week of July 13.

  • "F&M in Education" Crosswalk Program "F&M in Education" Crosswalk Program
  • "F&M in Science and Research” Crosswalk Program "F&M in Science and Research” Crosswalk Program
  • "F&M in Human Resources & Staffing" Crosswalk Program "F&M in Human Resources & Staffing" Crosswalk Program

Students in these programs engaged as a group in two virtual sessions with four F&M alumni and parent externship hosts. Over the course of one week, students were not only able to learn about a “day-in-the-life” of their explored fields, but were also able to test the waters by completing a mock project simulating entry-level work, enjoy a debrief on the mock project, and receive advice on what they can and should do during their remaining time at F&M to become marketable for future opportunities.

“The mock projects were really cool!” senior Diana Rushemeza, a public health major who participated in “F&M in Science and Research,” said. “It was great to put the conversations about career paths into a tangible project." 

Though initially innovated due to COVID-19, the feedback received from Crosswalk facilitators and student participants prompted OSPGD to continue the program over the upcoming academic year.

Junior Emily Mansfield, an animal behavior and environmental studies major who participated in “F&M in Science and Research,” said, “I really appreciated this experience and am grateful that [OSPGD] orchestrated a way for students to do a job shadow in this COVID environment.”



What Facilitators Said About the Program

F&M in Education

"My favorite part of the experience was engaging with the students and hearing their projects at the end. I also had a great time talking with students after the conclusion of the ‘official’ session, just answering questions they had about my work and general grad school search. Love the chance to talk to current students."

— Margaret Babson '15, Assistant Director of Student Activities at Boston University

F&M in Science and Research

"What I was most impressed with was [the students’] effort. They went above and beyond on their projects."

— Tyler Schubert '19 , Research Technician, Division of Pulmonary Medicine at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

F&M in Human Resources & Staffing

"It was great engaging with a diverse group of students. Those who participated in the entire experience were engaged and a pleasure to work with."

Amy Familo P'22 , Talent Manager at Satori Consulting

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