Life after college…at W&L

For a few recent grads, working on behalf of current and future students offers a unique and rewarding experience

Jimmie Mack Johnson III, Arts & Life Writer

Washington and Lee not only offers a well rounded education, but for some, the university also provides an opportunity for employment immediately after school.

Jordan LaPointe, ‘17, said he learned that he received his job as an admissions counselor on the day of graduation. He said he had an offer to teach in Japan through the Japan Exchange and Teaching program, but he declined because he believed working in admissions would allow him more time to study for graduate school.

LaPointe said the job has also been ideal because of the amenities.

“The school is a nice employer,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to use the library, to be able to use the gym and not have to pay for those.”

LaPointe said his job has taught him many things about the admissions process and he will use the knowledge to help him in applying to graduate school in the upcoming fall.

Elaina Prillaman, ‘17, also works in admissions with LaPointe. She said working in admissions intrigued her because it would allow her to continue to have an impact on W&L.

“It’s sort of an extension of what we did when we were students,” Prillaman said. “Which is also nice to be able to continue doing that, because that’s a huge part of why I was interested in staying at W&L and staying in admissions because there was some work to do here and four years wasn’t enough.”

Even though she is a full member of the admissions staff, Prillaman said it still hasn’t settled in that she is considered as an equal to her former professors.

“I can’t call professors by their first name,” she said. “Give me a few more years.”

Randy Karlson, ‘16, spent a year in Long Island University’s admissions office before returning to W&L in summer 2017 as an assistant director for recruitment.

Karlson’s job is to be a liaison between employers and students. He works with business recruiters to persuade them to consider W&L students and helps connect students with the right professionals in their fields.

Karlson said one of the unique aspects of his job is that he went to school with many of the students who still attend W&L. He said while it can be awkward to have a job in which he works with the same people with whom he attended social events, he views knowing most of the W&L community as a strength of the job.

He said his closeness in age to current students allows him to connect better and do his job more effectively.

“It is very nice to be on a campus where I know a lot of people,” he said. “Being able to build those [previous] relationships has been pretty cool as well. Especially because it’s a different sort of relationship because I am an administrator.”

Karlson said working in the career development office has given him a totally different perspective on the school.

“I one hundred percent see it in a different light,” he said. “The amount of work that goes on behind the scenes is wild.”

While no longer a student, he said W&L is still a special place to him.

“I just love W&L,” he said. “The city of Lexington and the people here are amazing.”