Centre prepared '09 graduate for success in New York City
January 28, 2010 By Leigh Ivey
gatherings (like the one above) at Mayor Mike Bloomberg's
"I'm never bored in New York," Behrendt says. "There's always
somewhere new to explore or visit."
While many college students may dream of moving to bustling New York City upon graduation, most are not able to turn the dream into reality.
But Laura Behrendt '09 did just that.
A native of New Philadelphia, Ohio, Behrendt graduated last May with a B.A. in anthropology and sociology. After bidding adieu to Centre, she headed north to New York, where she has been working in the Office of the Mayor of New York City.
"Mayor Mike Bloomberg recently created the office of NYC Service," Behrendt says, "which includes a program called NYC Civic Corps. It's dedicated to building capacity for non-profit organizations throughout the city and promoting community service."
Specifically, Behrendt serves in the NYC Civic Corps as a corporate volunteer manager for Girls Incorporated of New York City.
"I work closely with corporate partners like UBS Financial Firm, Goldman-Sachs, Gap Inc. and many others to secure donations and provide service opportunities for their employees," she says. "I'm also responsible for event planning, which includes anything from smaller cocktail parties and meetings to larger events such as our annual fundraiser and National Girls and Women in Sports Day."
As one aspect of her position, Behrendt frequents Bloomberg's Gracie Mansion for social gatherings. Recently, she was also a guest at Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year Awards at Carnegie Hall, which she calls "an amazing and inspiring experience."
Although she says she loved living in Danville during her Centre years, Behrendt is overjoyed to be a New York City resident.
"New York presents so many different opportunities that I can’t imagine living anywhere else at this point in my life," she says. "The city offers countless museums, art exhibits, Broadway shows, sporting events and musical performances. I've found that I'm never bored in New York; there's always somewhere new to explore or visit."
Living independently in such a metropolitan location is not without challenges, but Behrendt believes that her Centre career prepared her well for life in New York.
"Centre’s liberal arts education prepares students for any kind of profession," she says. "The core curriculum provides a basis for skills like rational thought and critical thinking that can lead to a variety of career opportunities. And the small community at Centre gave me the chance to be involved with a variety of organizations on campus and to be close with my professors and mentors who encouraged high achievement."
Behrendt adds that the College "not only provided me with a great education but also gave me the opportunity to travel to places like Australia, Alaska, 12 countries in Europe, and Hawaii during my college years."
(Study abroad is a way of life at the College; Behrendt is one of more than 85 percent of students to have an abroad experience while at Centre.)
It was this traveling—as well as all of her time at Centre "and love of adventure"—that led Behrendt to New York, "the best city in the world," she says. "I couldn't be happier."