The Loeb Center for Exploration and Planning

It’s a Tuesday in September and the Career Center is a hive of activity. Staff advisers pop out of their offices to call students in from the lounge. Hadley Heinrich ’17 is manning the Peer Career Advisers’ desk, which bears a small plaque with her name.

Less than an hour into her shift, Heinrich has counseled three underclassmen on their résumés and cover letters. She speaks quietly but firmly, drawing students into the process and giving them a foundation from which to build: change tone here, add references there, cut back on this section, expand that one.

“Every student comes in with so much stress,” she says. They want to know right away: What should they do with their lives? The center, Heinrich says, helps them “to take a step back. You don’t need to have results within the next few seconds.”

Heinrich is one example of how the Career Center is recreating itself as a hub of information and as a place for alumni, students, faculty and staff to connect with one another. That effort got a boost this fall with the announcement that Marjorie and Michael R. Loeb ’77 had made a seven-figure commitment to expand the center’s offerings. 

Emily Griffith, Director of the Loeb Center
“I want to mirror the College’s liberal arts philosophy,” says Director Emily Griffen, above. Above: Associate Director Laura Litwiller (left) with a student.

Emily Griffen, director of the newly named Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning, says the gift comes as the center expands its capacity to help students clarify their interests, build their skills, develop professional contacts and transition smoothly into post-Amherst opportunities. While the center doesn’t train students for specific careers, it does help them pull together what can seem like wildly disparate skills and present them in a way that’s directly relevant to the workplace. “With our career preparation,” Griffen says, “I want to mirror the College’s open curriculum and liberal arts philosophy.”

Staff counsel students in seven main areas: business and finance, education professions, health professions, science and technology, government and nonprofit, arts and communication, and law. Other offerings include the Pathways Alumni-Student Mentoring Program and the Select Internship Program. The Career Trek program offers multiday, deep-dive expeditions into various professional fields.

Before Heinrich became a mentor, the center helped her land an internship in historic restoration in Alaska and a volunteer position in Peru, and also connected her to an alumna mentor, who helped her overcome her reluctance to network.

Michael Loeb is founder and CEO of Loeb Enterprises and “As someone who hires many new college graduates each year, I want to ensure that Amherst has a best-of-breed ability to develop student career aspirations and professional opportunities,” he says. “In an intensely competitive world, this has never been more important.”