Getting a Leg Up

Students had an opportunity to engage in a mock interview with alumni in a variety of fields. Photo by Zöe Kiefreider ‘20.

Students had an opportunity to engage in a mock interview with alumni in a variety of fields. Photo by Zöe Kiefreider ‘20.

Event connects students with alumni across eight industries

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

Choosing a career path, connecting with a mentor, acing the interview, negotiating a salary, asking for a raise. There are many stones paving the path to professional success, and students who know what to expect have a distinct advantage. One helpful resource: Dickinson's annual Career Conference.

Held on Saturday, Oct. 28, the 2017 Career Conference helped students from all majors and class years identify fields of interest, prep for job interviews and make professional contacts. The daylong event included mock interviews, professional development sessions, industry-specific panel discussions and a networking luncheon and reception with three dozen alumni, parents of current students and friends of the college who work across eight professional sectors.

“It’s really nice to see that we have such a strong alumni base,” said Stephanie Teeuwen ’20 (international studies). “A lot of alumni are here, and they’re excited to be back on campus.”

The experts gave targeted tips to students interested in similar paths. They also delivered advice applicable to any career.

Bob Snitchler ’10 (international business & management), a defense contractor, advised students to avoid discounting the experiences they can gain through extracurricular activities and spoke of the need to remain flexible. Kaylor Kowash P’18, a pharmaceutical executive, and Kirk Tadich ’05 (history), a systems administrator, emphasized the need to make personal and professional connections and to continue to learn on the job.

Kristy Brosius ’90 (German, political science) noted that knowledge about a variety of subjects has enhanced her 25-year career at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Kate Corbett '04 (policy management) and Taylor Putnam-Majarian ’11 (psychology) pointed to the analytical and communication skills they gained at Dickinson that helped them move into the technology field without a computer science degree.

“Coming from a liberal-arts background, I was able to make rapid adjustments in a rapidly changing field,” Corbett said.

That was welcome news for students like Bennett Briante ’18 (policy management, philosophy), who registered for two Career Conference sessions in hopes of learning from Dickinson entrepreneurs. “It was sort of a last-minute thing,” he said, “and it's awesome. I’m glad I came.”

“I’m telling all of the sophomores here to take full advantage of this,” said Toni Ortega ’18 (international business & management, policy management), who has used LinkedIn to connect with alumni in various fields. “Everyone is willing to help you here. You don’t feel alone.”


Published October 31, 2017