|Class of 2012 Student Government Leaders Secure Futures
Lebanon Valley College student leaders make a big impact on campus during their years on campus, perhaps none more so than Student Government officers. Ryan Humphries, Kelly Zimmerman, Katerina Seigendall, Joe Jablonski, Emily Lefin, Adam Abruzzo, Abby Wise, and Heath Lettich, all 2012 graduates and Student Government officers, share what they’ve been up to since they left LVC less than a year ago.
“The past year’s been pretty crazy,” Humphries said, “After four years at LVC, I traversed basically every road in south central Pennsylvania for interviews with my elementary and special education degree in hand.”
“You drive yourself crazy waiting for phone calls, only to get them at the most inopportune times,” he said. Not only did Humphries receive phone calls on vacation and during a visit to the post office, he also received a call while at a baseball game. “Try giving a school district an idea about yourself when you have a guy screaming behind you for the Chicago Cubs to come back from an early deficit,” Humphries said.
Humphries was offered a position as a teacher for the gifted in the Solanco School District. He said he wouldn’t have made it through his job search without guidance from the education department and student government.
“I was able to use leadership skills developed in Student Government to my advantage during my interviews. I was able to illustrate how those unique opportunities set me apart as a leader both in and out of the classroom,” he said.
“I do miss LVC. For one thing, I eat a turkey sandwich for lunch every Thursday. After four years of chicken tenders, that’s pretty depressing,” Humphries joked. “I wouldn’t trade the job or the place I’m at in life right now for anything, but without the relationships I had at LVC, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am now.”
For Zimmerman, graduating from LVC meant leaving a college she loved and an area in which she was comfortable, relocating from her home in Pennsylvania to Miami, Fla.
“Being completely submerged in a new culture was overwhelmingly hard for a girl like me who had never really left home. Even LVC was only 25 minutes away from my home,” Zimmerman said.
But she saw opportunity in the warmer weather of Miami after receiving a job offer at a charter school as an English teacher, and took it as soon as she had the chance.
“I have to say that I love, love, love my job! It’s an incredible experience that I would not have been able to get if I would have stayed in Pennsylvania,” she said.
Struggling in a new environment and culture was an obstacle that Zimmerman had to overcome in her new home.
“Being in Miami has submerged me in the Hispanic culture and forced me to learn quickly, but it is extremely difficult to teach when half of the students in my class don’t know much English,” Zimmerman said.
“Everything I was involved in at LVC stressed community. When I was at LVC, Student Government was my community. Now that I’ve moved on, I’ve found a new community to be a part of and I fit right in,” she concluded.
Seigendall graduated from LVC with a degree in accounting, but she wasn’t an accounting major for all four years. She changed her major late in her college career, so when she was job searching, she was asking firms to look at everything she’d accomplished in college.
When she didn’t obtain a full-time position in the fall, she applied for spring internships. Receiving many offers, Seigendall accepted a tax internship with ParenteBeard, a CPA firm with offices throughout the mid-Atlantic US. She fell in love with the firm, and in June she was offered a full-time position.
“I am loving my job. I am learning new things every day; tax laws and regulations are constantly changing so every day brings something new,” Seigendall said.
Seigendall uses the skills she learned from Student Government in her new career, too.
“Student government taught me how to communicate with people. I had weekly meetings with Greg Krikorian, vice president of student affairs, which taught me how to communicate with my superiors. This is something I have to do daily at my job,” she said.
And although Seigendall was guilty of occasionally saying, “I can’t wait to graduate and be finished with college,” she now realizes she had the rest of her life to be in the “real world” and truly misses LVC.
“I mostly miss always having a familiar face when I was having a bad day,” she said.
For Jablonski, an internship in his field turned into a job offer after graduation. His accounting degree led to a job as a financial specialist for the Army Security Assistance Command.
“Because I was an intern there before I graduated, the transition to becoming full time was surprisingly easy,” Jablonski said. He said he has been enjoying his career after LVC thus far, and has been learning more about his field every day.
“I really enjoy what I do; I can learn a lot from the people who have been working there for more than 30 years. They make going to work fun,” Jablonski said.
“I do miss LVC, though. Student Government gave me a lot of great memories and is one of the things I miss most. Student government is also where I met and proposed to my fiancé, Katie Seigendall.”
The couple will be married in May 2013.
After graduation, Lefin secured a job as a firm administrator at CPA firm, Keller Financial Group, where she is the supervisor of all client meetings and communication and keeps the office running smoothly. Lefin was a French major at LVC.
“I’m still living at home, but I just purchased a brand new car,” Lefin said.
While Abruzzo’s Student Government duties have come to an end as an undergraduate, he continues to attend LVC as a fifth-year physical therapy student and will graduate with his doctoral degree in May 2014.
Wise, an art & art history major, has pursued her marketing and design aspirations after graduation. She is a currently a marketing intern at Manheim’s Spooky Nook Sports, a new athletic complex and home of Team USA field hockey.
Lettich, an early childhood and special education major, has been substitute teaching in grades K-6, learning support, autistic support, and music while working part-time as an evening receptionist for a CPA firm. He continues to apply for full-time teaching positions, especially in the Maryland area.
Wesley Bensing, an economics graduate and former commuter representative with Student Government. Bensing could not be reached for comment in time for this story.