COD Alumnus Discovers the Power of Internships

By: Mike McKissack

Jeremy Farrar Article Image

COD Career Services Center Provides Vital Connection Between Students, Employers

When former College of DuPage student Jeremy Farrar landed a social media internship with Lekkco, maker of Belgian dark chocolate spreads, he had no idea the experience would lead to full-time employment.

“I took a social media and email marketing course at COD and it just clicked,” he said. “I had done social media for some other businesses and I knew I wanted to pursue a career in that field. The opportunity aligned really well with my goals.”

After serving as a part-time intern for more than a year, the Villa Park resident was hired by Lekkco as the company’s full-time social media manager.

For Jennifer Lukas-Bourgeois, Lekkco co-founder and chief brand officer, Farrar’s skills and talent were a natural fit.

“We were impressed with Jeremy’s knowledge of the changing social media landscape,” she said, “It’s the wild west in social media right now. Social media platforms change their algorithms all the time and it is quite a skill to keep up with that. He has a keen eye for what we’re doing and understands our brand well. Also, he fit in very well with our company ethos and culture. That combination of skills and personality made him a great hire.”

For both Farrar and Lukas-Bourgeois, COD’s Career Services Center proved a vital link between employers and potential employees. While Farrar used resources including the Chaps Get Hired job board, his future employer approached COD for intern candidates, knowing the high caliber of its students.

COD Interim Manager of Career Services Krystina LaSorsa is pleased to partner with Lekkco and companies like it.

“Career Services provides specialized services that support students at any level, from career discovery and preparation to employment,” she said. “We offer training and coaching in a broad range of areas, including resume building, portfolio development and interviewing, as well as resources for job searching and networking. I am so glad that we could bring Jeremy and Lekkco together.”

Lukas-Bourgeois, who has 18 years of experience as a marketing manager prior to launching Lekkco in 2017, understood the importance of finding talented employees but realized her company had limited capital as a start-up. Having taken professional and personal development classes at COD over the years, she knew the College was a unique school that turned out exceptional students. She found her talent pool working with COD’s Career Services Center, ultimately taking on five COD students as interns, including a chef, a marketing intern, a photographer and a videographer.

“COD is like a scaled-down university,” she said. “It is a great choice for students whether completing a degree, transferring to a four-year university or updating skills. From my experiences with the College, I knew that the talent pool from the school was a step above.”

Pleased with what she has seen from COD students, Lukas-Bourgeois said she is passionate about helping new workers develop their skills.

“To me, nurturing young talent like Farrar is a pay-it-forward thing,” she said. “Sharing your wisdom and experiences with new talent helps them learn, grow and develop their skill set. This helps develop a skilled workforce, which is a benefit to everyone.”

Farrar, who hopes eventually to launch his own social media marketing and content creation firm, said he loves his role with the growing company.

 “I’m a people person and I love the social interaction inherent in social media,” he said. “I realized that this was something I could see myself making into a career.”

He credits COD for inspiring him to pursue his career and providing the opportunity to secure the internship that led to his employment.

“I took some classes at COD when I was just out of high school but didn’t appreciate everything the school offered,” he said. “When I returned to the College, I was more focused on what I wanted to get out of my education and career, and I was blown away by the amount of resources and options available. COD helped solidify the first of many steps toward my ultimate goal of going into business for myself.”

Learn more about Career Services at College of DuPage.