Anthropology and sociology majors enjoy a wide variety of postgraduate opportunities, both in graduate studies and in the work world. High-demand skills and the stellar reputation of Lafayette combine to help alumni achieve their career goals.
Recent alumni of the anthropology and sociology department have gone on to careers with such prestigious companies and organizations as ARCADIS, Goodwill Industries International, ING Financial Partners Inc., New York City Department of Education, Teach for America, and The Vanguard Group.
Many graduates use their major as a springboard into law, medicine, and public health studies. Graduate school programs sought out by recent graduates include Clemson University, Columbia University, NYU, Pace Law School, Pennsylvania College of Optometry, and Rutgers University.
From the control booth of The Nate Berkus Show, Kara Boodakian ’07, features manager, monitors the pulse of the production. Making a daytime talk show demands balancing creative, financial, and personnel skills. Each of the 250 feature shoots in a season involves booking guests, setting up equipment, communicating with crews, doing the shoot, and postproduction. Then there is a host of production staff and fiscal resources to manage.
Kara believes her Qualitative Methods of Research class, which was required for her anthropology and sociology major, helps her succeed at her job today. “It was challenging because we had to choose a group, survey them, and present [a video documentary] to the class,” she says. “It was also a major experience learning how to interview on camera and then edit. I actually do a lot of what I did for that project in my job today.”
Kara learned about career possibilities in New York City and made key connections there through Lafayette’s annual Arts, Entertainment, and Media Networking Night, which provides student interaction with 30 alumni in those fields. She has returned the favor as an alumna at the event. She also volunteers to host student externs at her workplace because, as she notes, “It’s important to get off of College Hill every now and then and see where a Lafayette education and work ethic can bring you.”
How do the free services of Google and Yahoo generate millions of dollars each year? Ask Heather Werner ’02, domain advertising specialist with DomCollect AG in Cologne, Germany. She analyzes consumer behavior and cultural norms to determine how to increase Internet traffic on a portfolio of web domains owned by DomCollect.
The anthropology & sociology and German double major notes her undergraduate work at Lafayette equipped her admirably, “I have a better appreciation for culture and the various ways people interact with one another.” Now armed with additional insights gamed through an MBA in International Management from Royal Holloway, University of London, U.K., Werner applies her knowledge of how individuals and societies function to focus on Internet traffic trends. “Once you know where the traffic is coming from and what the user (or consumer) is looking for, then you can optimize a web site.”
Werner, who also uses her major in German to communicate with her colleagues, friends, and German officials, says of a job well done, “If I take a domain with zero traffic and project it, it truly is a rewarding experience to know I developed it so that traffic is being drawn to it and the site is being used as I had imagined it to be.”