Students know there are a lot of career opportunities that relate to their majors, but they might struggle to envision what those jobs are really like day to day. Or they might have a good idea of the work they want to do, but they don’t know anyone who has one of their dream jobs and can offer targeted advice.
Emily David ’13 was in those shoes just a few years ago. Last week, she joined fellow Dickinson alumni to share what she learned along the way through Career Connections, a career-immersion experience that brought students into a variety of workplace settings. The events drew 33 students to D.C. on Jan. 18 and 50 to New York City the following day to give them a clearer sense of careers that interest them and a chance to network with Dickinson alumni and parents at different stages of their professional lives.
The Career Connections events gave students the opportunity to network with, and get career advice from, alumni. Photo by George Zervoudis.
Those who traveled to Washington, D.C., got a behind-the-scenes look at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institutes of Health, the International Spy Museum, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, Tishman Speyer and EveryoneOn, The Advisory Board Company and Kivvit. Those on the N.Y.C. trip visited The Ad Council, NBCUniversal, Robin Hood, Impact Communication Partners, FTI Consulting and Mondo.
At each site, students took tours and attended information sessions, panels or Q&As with alumni, parents and friends of the college who work at the same organization or in the same field. These included a seven-person panel discussion with D.C. alumni in environmental careers, led by Mike Northridge ’81. “In addition to interacting with the current students, one of the most enjoyable aspects of the experience for me was informally networking with Dickinson alumni who are doing amazing things in their environmental careers elsewhere in the city,” said Northridge, who studied political science and economics at Dickinson and now serves as senior counsel in the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
The connections deepened at the end of each day, as students, alumni and parents gathered for a citywide networking reception, where they met informally with fellow Dickinsonians working nearby. According to Phil Jones, dean of career development, some of the young alumni and current students who attended found jobs or internships through connections made at last year's event
Asked to name the best advice she gave to the students she met at the reception and at the D.C. public-affairs firm where she works, David encouraged students to take advantage of the resources at their fingertips. “Take time to visit the Career Center,” she said, noting that she took part in several similar programs as an undergrad and also held multiple internships. “You never know what will inspire you.”
Photo by George Zervoudis.
Published January 26, 2017