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Northwestern University

"There Is No Crystal Ball"

The College will host a "mini-career" workshop on Jan. 8 to empower students to take charge of their careers

In an effort to reassure and empower its students, Weinberg College’s Student-Alumni Engagement Program is hosting a spirited career exploration event on Jan. 8.

At the “mini career workshop,” students will participate in an interests, strengths and values assessment designed to spotlight potentially compatible careers before seeking out Northwestern alumni within those fields on LinkedIn and Our Northwestern. They will also learn how to best approach alumni and hear from a few recent Weinberg College graduates about their own college-to-career transitions.

“There’s a common misconception among students that they need to have it all figured out, but really, they just need to determine their first step,” says Jane Corey Holt, Weinberg’s director of Student-Alumni Engagement. “This workshop seeks to reduce anxiety about career exploration, make the process convenient and help students understand some key starting points.”

Holt, who is leading the program in collaboration with colleagues from Northwestern Career Advancement and Weinberg College’s advising office, discussed the event’s ideation and its objectives.

What spurred the creation of this “mini career workshop”?

The students themselves asked for something like this. We so often assume students have networking knowledge and that they know what resources are available to them, but many do not.  We hope this program will give students a place to start and help them understand the resources available that can get them moving forward.

Why’s an event like this so relevant?

Students today feel a lot of pressure to have their career decided while they’re here. Some even think they need to have their next 10 years mapped out. Many students return from winter break with added pressure to figure out their summer internship and declare their major. We want to reassure them that, no matter what they study at Weinberg, they are in fact gaining valuable skills like collaboration, communication and critical thinking that will help them in their professional careers.

What do you hope students take away from the event?

We hope students leave with an overview of the process of making career decisions and finding a job, a sense of direction regarding where to start and a better understanding of what it means to network, particularly with Northwestern alumni.

Why is it important for the College to host events like this?

By its very definition, Weinberg College promotes the idea of a broad liberal arts education. Students increasingly feel the need to become narrow and specialized because they think that’s what it takes to land a job. Over and over, though, I hear employers say that broad is better, that industries are changing and that the transferable skills fostered at Weinberg are of tremendous value in today’s evolving workplace. It’s important for the College to convey this to students and communicate that the broad education they are gaining at Weinberg makes them not only a more interesting person, but also one with valuable skills to offer.

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