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Success Yielding Success: Impressed by LVC Alumni Hires, Local Web Based Company Begins Recruiting on Campus
01.13.14 |

A track record of excellence, combined with a tight alumni network, has led to a cluster of LVC grads pursuing technology careers with Lancaster County-based Clark Associates, a family of companies that repeatedly has been named to the Central Penn Business Journal’s list of Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies. In fact, they were #1 this year.

Many of the 15 Dutchmen currently working at Clark are heavily involved with Web development and content, while others are working in the financial sector. They all credit LVC for preparing them for their careers.

Brian Montgomery ’07 has been with Clark the longest. An English major with a music minor, today Montgomery is a content writer for Clark’s web-based food-service equipment supplier, The WEBstaurant Store. His work requires him to write for many different audiences, from external customers to colleagues to high-level company executives, and he credits his academic and internship experiences at the Valley for helping him to develop the versatility he needs every day. “I had classes ranging from basic literature to public relations and copy editing,” he says, adding that he also worked on the student-run newspaper, La Vie Collegienne, and participated in three different internships. “My participation in a diverse range of activities and programs gave me great experience working with and for different audiences,” he says.

Montgomery believes that the College’s liberal arts focus also helped prepare him for his web-oriented career. “My professors challenged me to come to my own conclusions and solve problems for myself,” he says. “At The WEBstaurant Store, that kind of thinking is highly encouraged. I believe that’s another reason why LVC grads are successful here, because that mindset fits really well with what we’re looking for in new hires.”

LVC’s close-knit social fabric is another factor leading so many Valley alumni to Clark Associates, Montgomery says. “We’re increasing our staffing, and since we’re all doing well here and we work very well together, we’ve been encouraged to reach out to LVC and step up our recruiting on campus.”

That networking played a key role in helping Emily Gertenbach ’11 start her career at The WEBstaurant Store. She is currently a content writer and product applications specialist at the company. “I was in a job search and came across an advertisement for the position I have now,” Gertenbach says. “I recognized the name of the company and knew Jake [King ’11] had a job there. I called him and he helped get my résumé to the manager.”

Like Montgomery, Gertenbach has found that her Valley education was an ideal foundation for her career. “LVC prepared us well for technology careers because its liberal arts model is so interdisciplinary,” she says. “The school also has a very good technology program, and the Lynch Technology Center is filled with computers that include the relevant software students will need to be familiar with when they graduate.

“I use my writing and technology education from LVC every day,” Gertenbach adds. “All of my English classes prepared me for a career in a writing field, but particularly my journalism classes. My grammar class with Dr. [Gary] Grieve-Carlson [professor of English] was extremely helpful. I also took classes in multimedia narrative, graphic design, and web enterprise, and worked in the Office of Information Technology, and all of that has been beneficial.”

Gertenbach notes that the success of LVC alumni at Clark is leading to a more formal connection between the company and the school. “We’re actually now actively recruiting at the school,” she says. “We go onto campus and talk to classes and set up information tables. Just the other day I had an LVC student shadowing me, and we visited a class this fall, so we’re intentionally spreading the word.”

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