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Linda Petrecca ’73 Mentors Students to Give Back
07.08.14 |
Since graduating from Lebanon Valley College, Linda Petrecca ’73 has climbed the business ladder of success and now mentors current LVC students as a way of giving back to the institution where her success began.

Graduating with a bachelor’s of arts degree in foreign languages at a time when high schools were cutting back on their foreign language staff proved to be quite a challenge for Petrecca.

“I applied to 30 positions, got one interview, and ended up not getting that job because the person they hired had some sort of relationship with the [school] district,” Petrecca said.

Frustrated with her options, she bounced between jobs in retail and office positions until working her way up to vice president of human resources in her local YMCA branch.

“It’s funny because when I graduated, I graduated with a Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate, but I never taught in public or private schools. However, I did do a fair amount of teaching and facilitating as part of my job. I ended up using a facet of my degree even though I didn’t use it for what I originally thought I’d use it for,” Petrecca said.

Petrecca has been a member of the Career Connections program for a number of years. The program provides the opportunity for current Lebanon Valley College students to connect with LVC alumni for the purpose of exploration, networking, and mentoring through the job and/or internship search process.

“The more you can network the more beneficial it is. The benefit is that you do not feel alone when a problem arises. You can reach out to these people through the networking you have done, and find out if they have faced similar problems or situations and how they worked through it,” Petrecca said.

Petrecca’s first experience with the Career Connections program was with a summer intern from Lebanon Valley College who wanted to get into the human resources field. “It was a great experience because it allowed me to pass on some of my knowledge of human resources as well as being able to gather some ideas of a different way of approaching some of the problems she was facing,” Petrecca said.

Petrecca also helps students and other community members needing her expertise by reviewing résumés and coaching for interviews. “Whatever the position is you are going for, you have to write your résumé in a format that is going to help you get that position. Never send a résumé out without a cover letter. In my mind a cover letter is the opportunity to explain how the skills you have fit they job they are seeking to fill,” Petrecca said.

The Career Connections program is not time consuming and is very fulfilling, according to Petrecca. “The opportunity to connect with current students interested in internships in your field as well as hear what current LVC students are up to can be a very rewarding experience.”

“I loved my four years at LVC. I continually look back on that and realize that that was a great experience in my life and I feel that by being a mentor in the Career Connections program hopefully I can help other students while they’re in school so that they will also feel that LVC was a great experience in their life,” Petrecca said.

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