It might pop up at a family dinner, at the beach during summer vacation or in a conversation with an old friend. For many junior and seniors, the question is inevitable.
"So, what's next?"
To help provide an answer, the College's Career Services office created the Life After College Success Program (LASCP). Now in its third year, LACSP was created to give promising students a head start on developing their post-college goals. Students are selected based on a rigorous application and interview process before joining the two-year program, which includes a series of speakers, workshops and events intended to empower their transition to a career.
"This year, we received more than 185 applications for only 45 spots," says Tammy Halstead, director of career development, who notes that students who were not selected for the program were invited to work with a career coach to develop a customized coaching plan, and to attend a specially designed workshop. "The program provides many opportunities for students to grow and develop skills that will help them transition to life after college in a way that is powerful and in line with their values and goals."
Halstead says that students enrolled in the LACSP gain confidence, the ability to articulate their skills and knowledge about the most important components of a job or internship search. Students often feel relief, she says, when they discover that they can be successful by following a career path that is not always linear.
"The lineup of speakers is impressive, and the students gain great value from hearing about both their successes and challenges," Halstead says. "We have a wonderful tradition of having the students introduce the speakers based on the information they have discovered in pre-event research. It is another unique aspect of the program that the students and speakers really enjoy."
Ed Satell P'09, chief executive officer of Progressive Business Solutions and founder of the LACSP, kicked off this year's series of speakers Sept. 30. Other speakers announced to date include:
- Oct. 22 – Bernard Harvard, president and producing artistic director, Walnut Street Theatre
- Nov. 18 – Mike Dee '85, CEO, Miami Dolphins
- Jan. 28 – Joan Fallon '79, CEO, Curemark
- Feb. 9 – Thomas Russo, partner, Gardner, Russo and Gardner
Students attend three-hour dinner meetings with the speakers, learning about what the CEOs and leaders did after they graduated college. "When you sit across the table from CEOs and speak to them about their successes and failures, over time you come to realize that they also had to start somewhere, just like me," says Haytham Zohny '09, who participated in the program last year.
Jennifer Stuart '09, another graduate of the LACSP, agrees. "The program is beneficial not only to business-focused students, but also to any student who wishes to cultivate the confidence necessary to compete with individuals beyond F&M, whether for employment or graduate school acceptance," she says.
To apply for the 2010-11 program, students should contact Career Services or visit the LACSP Web site during the spring semester.