Panel preps seniors
Between a highly competitive job market and a sluggish economy, the job search beyond Bowdoin can be a daunting, even terrifying process for seniors. However, Bowdoin's Alumni Career Programs and the Career Planning Center aim to alleviate this anxiety of job-seeking students. Both programs help students research a variety of career options and establish a network of connections.
Last Friday, October 18, the Alumni Career Programs and the Career Planning Center dedicated an afternoon to further assist students in their quests for jobs by co-sponsoring the Beyond Bowdoin Career Panel Discussions. Representing an extensive array of career fields, 22 alumni served as panelists and shared their job-related experiences with current students. Students had the opportunity to ask questions about everything from environmental consulting to graphic design.
Director of Alumni Career Programs Lisa Tessler played a key role in the planning and generation of the event. According to Tessler, one of the main objectives underlying the discussions was the exploration of the ways that a liberal arts education can be used in a variety of settings. Tessler said that the event was intended to "help students who may not know what they want to do but know their skills. The analytical, qualitative, and communicative skills cultivated at Bowdoin have a value in the marketplace."
A prominent topic throughout the discussions was the endless value that a liberal arts education can have in the workplace. Panelist Dale Arnold, sports talk show host and television announcer, said that the Bowdoin education "serves as a base that will lead to everything else. A liberal arts education is better than a communications degree. It's not going to matter if you don't have hands on experience-you'll get experience."
Fellow panelist Kevin Newbury, theater director and supervisor, echoed Arnold's affirmation that a liberal arts education is a priceless resource. Newbury said that his Bowdoin bred "ability to manage, analyze things, and write effectively" helps him greatly in his daily job experiences.
The panel discussions also emphasized the need for change and flexibility within the job search. After the event, senior Liz Wendell said, "I started to consider jobs that had never even been on my list before. I realize that no one finds their fit right after college; you find something that will be an approximate stepping stone to a later career. The panels took a load of stress off my shoulders."
Following the discussions was a reception for the speakers and the guests, giving students a chance to establish connections with alum and ask them additional questions. Tessler hoped that the event would stress the importance of networking. "Networking goes a long way to helping you find your niche in the world," Tessler said. This spring, the Alumni Career Programs and Career Planning Center will host additional networking events and discussions, giving students numerous opportunities to establish a Bowdoin based link with the outside world.