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Mark Lampen, '10

Mark Lampen, '10

Major: Anthropology and Gender Studies

Current Location: Birmingham, Michigan

Job Title: International Legal Risk Analyst

In a nutshell, what do you do, and did Albion prepare you for the job?

I review contracts, leases, marketing agreements, etc., to determine the potential risk the company is subjecting itself to, and negotiate with third parties and insurers to appropriately limit exposed liability. Albion certainly prepared me for my job by teaching me objective analytical skills that allow me to digest complicated and high-risk negotiations.

What did it mean for you to be involved in equestrian activities at Albion?

Being involved with Albion equestrian activities meant having extraordinary people I could count on. While at Albion I was on the intercollegiate dressage team which took a substantial amount of dedication, patience, and partnership between teammates to train and compete.

What's your favorite equestrian memory?

Our coach was from the United Kingdom and had a very distinct accent. When we first started training, he would tell us to ride to the “Hache” marker. We were all so confused because none of us had ever heard of this new and mysterious spot in a dressage ring. So we just kept riding along because we didn’t know where “Hache” was and he’d get so frustrated thinking we weren’t listening. He was actually saying “H” – I think I went a month of not really knowing where I was supposed to be going.

Are you still active in equestrian life? 

I am still very active riding and training as much as possible – there’s always something you can learn. Most of my closest friends and business colleagues are all connected somehow to the equestrian world. Staying connected with these relationships while staying with my passion of riding symbiotically works to be a win-win.

How did your Albion experience help you in your career?

Exponentially! My Albion equestrian background continually proves itself to be invaluable in my career. While still an undergrad, an Albion colleague told me about an opportunity to groom one of the best Grand Prix dressage competitors in the country. I jumped at the opportunity, and continued grooming part-time after graduating and through law school. I’ve been fortunate to use the experience to make connections across North America and Europe.

Because the equestrian world is tightly connected, yet global in its reach, I have a solid foundation that jump-started my career with an exceptional networking base that keeps growing.

Katie Petchell, '13

Katie Petchell, '13

Major: Economics and Management, Gerstacker Institute

Current Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Job Title: Tax Staff at Plante Moran

In a nutshell, what do you do, and did Albion prepare you for the job?

After Albion, I spent a year at the University of Michigan where I earned a Masters of Accountancy. While completing my grad program, I accepted a position at a regional accounting firm, Plante Moran, as a tax staff member. I have been at the firm for just over a year now, and my roles include preparing individual, business, trust, and not-for-profit tax returns, along with tax planning for our higher wealth clients. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to assist with firm recruitment and staff training events.

I can honestly say that I would not have gotten to where I am now without all of the wonderful support Albion has provided me. Albion's Gerstacker Institute prepared me for grad school/my career through career planning, resume reviews, mock interviews, and numerous networking events, and I have my taxation professor to thank for pushing me to apply to U of M and for sparking my interest in tax. Additionally, Albion gave me an advantage when it came to studying for and passing the CPA exam. While most of my grad school peers were not eligible to sit for the exam until the spring semester of our program, Albion's curriculum allowed me to start testing right after graduation, giving me a head start that helped me to complete all four parts before I started at Plante Moran.

What did it mean for you to be involved in equestrian activities at Albion?

I grew up loving horses, so it only made sense for me to continue riding through college. I joined the western team my freshman year and had a very successful career as an open/reining rider. Riding provided me a break from classes, while also allowing me to advance as an equestrian. The western team coach, Denise Webber, really took me under her wing and went out of her way to develop my skills. Together, we started many young horses, and she also gave me the chance to ride numerous talented reining horses. I was even able to develop my own custom internship through the Gerstacker Institute where I interned with Denise for a semester. During that I time I helped her to manage her boarding facility, improve her accounting and business systems, and even train an unruly Arabian Gelding who went on to be an endurance horse.

What's your favorite equestrian memory?

I have many fond memories of the western team, including riding in a limo to have dinner at the Big Texan in Amarillo, Texas, while competing at Semi-Finals, driving through the mountains of West Virginia on our way to an invitational meet and almost bouncing Denise off the seat when we hit a dip in the road, riding Peppy, an amazing reining stallion at Nationals in 2012, and many inside jokes that developed between my teammates and I over the four years I spent on the team.

Are you still active in equestrian life? 

I still own my horse, Image, and make time to spend with her as much as I can. Together we show on an open circuit during the summer, and we also do some cow work and trail riding when we can. Additionally, I have coached the Pinckney High School and Junior Equestrian teams for the past few years. I also have returned to the college equestrian team world by competing as an alumni rider at the western equestrian meets for the 2015-2016 season. I can't imagine not being involved with horses in one capacity or another. It's important to me because riding is something I'm very passionate about and I enjoy sharing my passion with others. Furthermore, riding helps to keep me balanced when work/life gets hectic or stressful.

How did your Albion experience help you in your career?

Riding for Albion allowed me to practice balancing work and riding, and it also helped me to work on my networking, time management, and organizational skills. The relationships I built with my professors have been invaluable to me as I started my job search and went through my grad program - the individual attention I received at Albion really helped me to figure out where I wanted my career to go and how to get there. Now that I'm at Plante Moran, I'm encouraged to maintain relationships with my professors and fellow Albion grads, so participating in any equestrian events is fun for me and looks good for my career as well.

Nicole Howey, '13

Nicole Howey

Major: Biology, with an art minor

Current Location: Ames, Iowa

Job Title: Third year veterinary student at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine

In a nutshell, what do you do, and did Albion prepare you for the job?

I'm half way through my third year at Iowa State CVM and I'm about to enter my fourth and final year here at the university. That is a full year of clinical rotations and externships. I will be pursuing an equine internship for a year at the time of graduation.

As for Albion, I was apart of the intercollegiate dressage team for two years along with boarding my thoroughbred mare at the college. I took dressage and jumping lessons at Albion while also traveling and competing with my teammates in dressage. I think that really helped me pursue my love for equine medicine, and sport horse medicine in general, while also allowing me to have some fun and meet some awesome and life long friends!

I had a wonderful advisor, Prof. Vanessa McCaffrey. Even though she taught organic chemistry and knew nothing about applying to veterinary school, we worked together to make sure I had all my prerequisite classes in order to start my application process.

What did it mean for you to be involved in equestrian activities at Albion?

I was apart of the IDA team at Albion for two years.  I took jumping lessons with George and Dressage with Danielle. I really enjoyed having such a diverse education while at Albion. I was able to study things I love like music, art, and horses while also cramming in all my much-needed classes to apply to vet school. It's definitely something you can't do while at a large university.

A lot of my friends in vet school are always surprised when they find out I minored in art and was on a music scholarship. But at Albion, that's kind of the norm!

Are you still active in equestrian life? 

Vet school does not allow much outside of studying. Apart from riding, I am all about equine medicine. I am currently tracking the equine track for my year of rotations and plan on pursuing equine sport horse medicine and orthopedic surgery after graduation. I'm also a member of American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).  Hopefully after graduation, and possibly after my internship, I'll have some time to invest into a horse and start riding again.

How did your Albion experience help you in your career?

Meeting life-long friends and allowing me to do what I love: ride.

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