As an undergraduate, Matt Garofalo '07 wanted "to leave the ordinary and encounter new challenges and adventures." So the English major spent a semester abroad studying literature in Wellington, New Zealand. In addition to enjoying his classroom experiences there, Garofalo found the time to join a local soccer club and to explore New Zealand's breathtaking natural beauty. "To this day, some of my experiences there rank among the most important of my life," he says, adding, "I would strongly encourage all students considering a study abroad to take advantage of the opportunity."
Back in Ashland, Garofalo completed an internship at the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper. "I was able to find the internship by networking with a former Randolph-Macon student who helped get my foot in the door," says Garofalo. "It was a great chance to apply some of the writing skills I learned at Randolph-Macon. My experience was very successful and one of my stories ended up on the front page of the Business section!"
So where is this man of letters now? "After graduating with an English degree, I hardly expected I would be planning, developing, and implementing databases," he says. But that's just what he does as a strategy and organization senior consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton.
"Liberal arts graduates are capable of the challenges of learning new and unfamiliar things, particularly those that lie outside one's area of expertise," says Garofalo. "It was thanks to the richness and depth of my Randolph-Macon experience that I was quickly able to learn diverse skills that enabled me to pursue and excel in this unexpected career turn."Paving the Way for Success Rather than prepare students for one career, Randolph-Macon College prepares students for a lifetime of careers in an ever-changing world. Exceptional faculty work with students to cultivate their ability to think critically and analytically and to find creative solutions for solving problems. R-MC graduates are well-prepared for successful careers, often far outside of their areas of study. The Randolph-Macon EDGE, the cornerstone of the Center for Personal and Career Development, helps Randolph-Macon students lead the pack when competing for jobs and top graduate schools. Students have the support of faculty, career coaches, alumni and staff as they focus on their personal and academic ambitions. Students may choose to pursue paid or volunteer internships in a wide variety of settings. The Bassett Internship Program has been successfully placing students in academic internships both in the U.S. and around the globe for 30 years. Coordinated with the Center for Personal and Career Development, the program helps students identify their interests and matches them with an appropriate internship opportunity. Randolph-Macon’s alumni provide a strong network of support for students throughout their time at the college or in assisting them after graduation with career direction and opportunities. The college’s Four-Year Degree Guarantee guarantees in writing that freshmen who meet the Four-Year Degree Guarantee requirements will graduate within four calendar years. If not, Randolph-Macon will waive tuition costs for courses needed to complete the degree. Currently, 95 percent of R-MC graduates complete their degree in four years or less—an important value-added benefit for parents to consider when visiting colleges with their students. Study Abroad programs offer students a beyond-the-classroom global perspective and opportunities to immerse themselves in other cultures. Students can choose from a host of travel courses during January Term and semester-abroad programs. The Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program gives students the opportunity to conduct 10 weeks of original research under the guidance of faculty mentors. Many students present their findings at national and international conferences. Read more Alumni Success stories.