Lately, IL programming has been focused on providing opportunities for students to explore ways to make practical use of their soon-to-be awarded degrees in International Studies and International Business. This is attributed to collaborative efforts with the Career Planning Center (CPC). In the fall, Cath Borgman, director of the CPC met with IL students for a general discussion about career building.
The session was well attended so we decided to team up with Meredith Tornabene, Associate Director of the CPC, to plan a series of career building “lunch and learns” tailored specifically for International Studies and International Business majors. The first session focused on the myriad of career possibilities for our majors, which was well attended. A second “lunch and learn” on skilled development was scheduled for March, but that was poorly attended. Our third and final session for the semester, “Resume/Cover letter writing and summer planning,” was also well attended. I should add that “well attended” is relative to the average (unscientific) number of students that attend a campus event, which is believed to be around 8-10 students.
The truth is that not enough students showed up to these activities. In fact, I have been shocked to not have more inquiries from students about career related activities and/or opportunities for International Studies/International Business majors. I endorse the idea that students should have fun as undergraduates, but I also think there needs to be a balance or at least an attempt to balance that fun with some sort of planning for what happens when the fun ends. As I write this, I remember when the class of 2014 was just arriving to campus. In less than two weeks, they will be alumni. I am sure that several of our students are excited about the next chapter, but there is probably also a bittersweet feeling that it all went too quickly. My hope for them and for all the following IL classes at Fairfield is that time is found between the fun moments of the Fairfield experience to think about what happens once the fun ends.