Careers In Motion #wluCareerTrips hit the road over Reading Days
“It is amazing to see when students have that ah-ha moment hearing about a job path they hadn’t thought of before.”
Over Reading Days, three groups of students traveled out of Lexington and into the “real world.” Their goal was to find alumni and recent graduates who had found success in their fields of interest — and learn from them. These trips, organized by the Career Development Office, aimed to give students a glance into what people had done with their education, how they had found their jobs, and what students could do now to follow their passions and prepare themselves.
There were three trips — humanities, fashion and STEM— and students were able to travel with whichever group they preferred.
Humanities in New York
The humanities trip took students to the Big Apple to discover different avenues of business that can be explored with a humanities degree. The trip highlighted how humanities fields had led students to careers in anything and everything from marketing and design to wealth management and real estate.
“The goal of the humanities trip is two-fold: one, to give students a broad understanding of their career options; and two, to have students understand that their major could lead to unbelievable opportunities,” trip organizer and Director of Career Development John Jensen said. “It is amazing to see when students have that ah-ha moment hearing about a job path they hadn’t thought of before.”
During the trip, students were able to visit the Michael J. Fox Foundation, One Kings Lane, American Red Cross, Blackrock, Hearst Publishing, Fusion Media, Marcus and Millichap, Grey Advertising, and AT Kearney.
We interviewed Olivia Sisson, a senior who has wanted to be an artist since she was little — but didn’t know how — about her experience on the trip.
Fashion in New York
Like something straight out of a movie, students boarded a bus bound for New York to discover careers in fashion. “This trip was developed after realizing there was a growing student interest in this field,” said Caroline Schmidt, who organized the trip. “Students would often comment that there isn’t a clear path of how to break into this industry, so we pulled this trip together to learn the stories of fashion alumni in New York City to educate students.”
The fashion trip brought together a group of alumni in the New York City area to help students explore not only fashion as a career, but to realize the different areas of industry that exist within fashion. The trip also focused on how to break into the industry through various internships, programs and job opportunities. During the trip, students were able to visit Ralph Lauren, Valentino, Michael Kors, the Gap Headquarters, and the Macy flagship store.
We interviewed Carley Sambrook, a senior who has recently discovered her passion for fashion — and now has the know-how to explore it.
STEM in Richmond
STEM has been a buzzword for years. Students every year enter college seeking degrees in the “Big Four” — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. But what do you do with a degree in STEM? This career trip, the first of its kind, sought to answer this question.
The STEM trip traveled to Richmond, and explored both the city and countryside, from operating rooms to high-tech agricultural farms.
“Our trip was meant to be exploratory,” trip coordinator Molly Steele said. “Students were able to see there are so many options to utilize their degrees, including private practice, research and industry.”
While STEM often means “pre-med” for many students, this trip had a little something for everyone. Students spoke to environmental consultants, pharmaceutical sales reps, medical engineering, clinical psychologists and more! Of course, there was also a stop for all the aspiring doctors in the room.
“There are opportunities in many fields for all types of science disciplines,” Steele said. “So many jobs today require both scientific knowledge and the skills at the core of liberal arts such as verbal and written communication and problem solving and critical thinking.”
Each stop was multi-faceted so that students who were interested in various aspects of STEM would be able to explore paths, not only in their own disciplines, but in other areas of science they didn’t know where connected. They received advice on how to break into a specific area of STEM, how to gather experience for a job or grad school, and how to set yourself on a path to “your STEM dream job.”
During the trip, students were able to visit Angler Environmental, the Commonwealth Institute for Child and Family Studies, Virginia Urology, a precision agriculture and drone research farm, the VCU Rice Center for River Habitat Conservation, and the Retreat Hospital.
Does this sound interesting? We live-tweeted this entire trip! You can check out all of the good stuff we learned on the trip here.
We interviewed Tara Loughery, a junior who was considering going pre-med, but decided to pursue a different path.