Student and Post-Graduate Development

F&M’s Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development (OSPGD, pronounced “os-puh-god”) prepares F&M students and graduates for success in life — and not just careers — beyond your four years at F&M.

Your Partner in Success From Before Day 1

Most colleges and universities begin engaging students in what they call “career services” activities when they become seniors. But at F&M, OSPGD is your partner in success before you even step foot on campus — and continues to be there for you in the months, years, and decades after you graduate, as well.

From the moment you decide to apply to F&M, you’ll find willing partners and advocates in OSPGD. We are available during the admission process to guide you through the many paths available to you with an F&M education. We are there to greet you when you arrive on campus and are an integral part of the everyday culture you will experience at F&M. 

Building Skills and Confidence to Chart Your Own Path

Matt Thomas ’10, director of leadership, mentorship and life design initiatives at F&M, helps students connect with the resources they need to explore and chart meaningful, balanced and fulfilling lives. “Success means different things to different people, but no matter the definition, it relies on students having the skills and confidence to chart their own paths in life,” Thomas said. “Giving students the knowledge that leadership is inclusive, values-based and collaborative – and the space and guidance to explore what leadership means to them within and beyond these principles – offers them a head start in understanding who they are as leaders, community members and individuals, and how they will achieve their personal goals.”

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Engaging 90% of F&M Students

We deliver career, leadership and professional development offerings, which will foster your confidence, competence, and clarity to support the many success trajectories available to you during and beyond your four years on campus. No matter where you are in your journey — as a first-year finding your path, a senior on the cusp of graduating, or an alum several years into your career — you’ll discover how we go far beyond career preparation and become an integral piece of your entire F&M experience.

Let’s take a look at the level of support you can expect from OSPGD at each stage of your academic experience. 

Your First Year

Beginning early in your F&M experience, OSPGD will guide you in designing a portfolio of experiences that will help you discover and focus your talents, interests and post-graduate aspirations. Students at other institutions typically don’t begin this self-reflection on the path after college until the spring of their senior year. 

Our signature programs for your first year include: 

  • “Authentic Success & Possibility in Reach for Every Student (ASPIRE)”, a first-year program designed to set you up for success early at F&M
  • “Understanding and Leveraging Your Strengths and Preferences” workshop
  • Career exploration, leadership and mentorship 
  • F&M’s True Blue Network, a career network platform exclusive to our community

Your Sophomore Year

A key element of F&M’s liberal arts model encourages you to explore a variety of courses and disciplines before choosing a major. After this 1.5-year exploration, you will declare a major (or two!) in your chosen field of study. OSPGD will guide you through every step of this important decision. Through programming and advising, you’ll learn how our diverse majors prepare you to compete for opportunities in a broad range of fields, empowering you to declare a major in fields that excite and engage you.

Our signature programs for your sophomore year include: 

  • An academic fair where you can learn more about and meet faculty from academic departments on campus
  • “Not a Major Decision” individual and group sessions to support you in the period leading up to and following major declaration
  • “Living Beyond F&M Series” consisting of sessions on financial literacy, public speaking, the etiquette of the business meal, and more
  • F&M’s True Blue Network, a career network platform exclusive to our community

Your Junior Year

As you begin the “second half” of your F&M experience, your vision for life after college becomes less theoretical and more concrete. OSPGD will help you plan by mapping out more specific goals for life after graduation. You’ll develop a list of roles, companies, or schools you’re interested in pursuing; prepare for interviews and standardized tests; update and refine your resume and cover letters; and explore summer experiences that will provide you with hands-on experiences in fields of interest.

Our signature programs for your junior year include: 

  • “Life After College Success,” a one-semester cohort-based program specifically designed for juniors to prepare them for success in their lives and careers
  • LinkedIn, networking, and resume workshops
  • “Designing a Future” course
  • “Living Beyond F&M Series” consisting of sessions on financial literacy, public speaking, the etiquette of the business meal, and more
  • Job, internship, and summer experience fairs
  • F&M’s True Blue Network, a career network platform exclusive to our community

Your Senior Year

You will graduate from F&M prepared to launch the first of many careers you can pursue with an F&M education, and to excel at top-level graduate and professional schools. OSPGD helps you articulate — via your resume or vitae and application materials, and online via your LinkedIn and social media brand — your abilities to think critically, communicate clearly, and lead confidently. With the help of our mentors, you will enter the next stage of life after F&M ready to self-advocate, embrace your unique experiences and value, and seize the opportunities that call to you.

Our signature programs for your senior year include: 

  • “Living Beyond F&M: Negotiating & Understanding Compensation Packages” and “Living Beyond F&M: Financing Your Future” workshops
  • On-campus and virtual employer visits
  • Night of Networking
  • “Designing a Future” course
  • “Living Beyond F&M Series” consisting of sessions on financial literacy, public speaking, the etiquette of the business meal, and more
  • Job and internship fairs
  • F&M’s True Blue Network, a career network platform exclusive to our community

And Beyond

Whether you’re months, years or decades beyond your time on campus, you can trust that OSPGD is here to support you. If you’re securing your first job, applying to graduate school, taking the next step in your career, or contemplating a career change, you can enjoy the same professional support you received as a student through OSPGD’s alumni advising team. 

Our signature programs and services for alumni include: 

  • Graduate and professional school application guidance
  • Alumni master class programs
  • Ongoing professional advising
  • F&M’s True Blue Network, a career network platform exclusive to our community

Alumni Spotlight

F&M Grad Shows How Anything is Possible with a Liberal Arts Degree

“I talked about the value of my liberal arts education from F&M, my character strengths and how they relate to the office culture and working in a team, and how the skills from my history and classics majors make me a quick learner even in a field I have less experience in so far.” — Hannah Breedlove ’22
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Alumni Spotlight

“Working at a big law firm would not have been possible without OSPGD’s help.”

“The expertise I acquired on everything from resume building and interview prep to even crafting an effective LinkedIn page advanced my career in ways that I don't take for granted. I am forever grateful for the guidance that OSPGD has provided me and the lifelong impacts that they will have on my professional development.” — Jeremy Mauser ’22

Our Programs and Services

Our programs and activities are specially designed to launch you to success. They include leadership development, financial literacy, specialized career advising, major exploration, internship support, and post-graduate success planning.

Student Advising

Are you ready to follow a career path right out of college? Or do you prefer to pursue an advanced degree? Whatever you choose, our team of advisers has you covered. You’ll be connected with your primary OSPGD adviser based on your College House. Your adviser will work with you one-on-one to help you build your trajectory of success. They will help you explore your career options by talking through your strengths, passions, and goals; work with you to develop a customized goal-oriented plan; help you discover and land professional development experiences; perfect your application materials and social media brand; and more.

“By meeting with my OSPGD adviser, I gained clarity on the type of opportunities I wanted to pursue and developed a plan that outlined the steps I needed to take. It is in no small part due to the work I did with OSPGD that I am in a great position after graduating from F&M.

— Robert Litsky ’22

Programming & Events

OSPGD offers innovative and engaging programs on life skills such as personal finance, public speaking, leadership development and more, and delivers a variety of career-related events to introduce you to a breadth of post-graduate options.

You can choose from more than 200 programs per year. Our most popular events include: 

  • “Authentic Success & Possibility in Reach for Every Student (ASPIRE)”, a first-year program designed to set students up for success early at F&M. 
  • “Not a Major Decision” workshops and academic fair designed to help sophomores in their major declaration
  • Leadership seminars
  • “Living Beyond F&M Series” consisting of sessions on financial literacy, public speaking, the etiquette of the business meal, and more
  • Night of Networking
  • “Designing Your Future” course
  • Job & Internship Fair
  • Senior Boot Camp

Alumni Advising

Your time at F&M was a transformational experience that helped to forge the path you are on today — a path that can often pivot in ways you don’t expect. Regardless of when you graduate, you can turn to OSPGD for free advising, professional development, networking opportunities and programs.

Experiential Learning Support

Get valuable hands-on experience now and gain a competitive advantage in the job market later. OSPGD will help you gain exposure in your field by directing you to extraordinary opportunities to learn while doing. These experiences can range from research — on- or off-campus — volunteer opportunities, on-the-job shadowing, internships, and more.

Internship Support

Internships allow you to explore fields and job functions of interest, building your portfolio while shaping and inspiring your path. OSPGD will help you discover and land these positions, guiding you through the internship search, application, and interview processes, and facilitating connections with F&M alumni, parents and friends of the College for potential opportunities.

“Before consulting OSPGD’s student services, I felt overwhelmed about all that I needed to do to secure a summer internship. Working with the OSPGD staff made the search for internships more approachable and eased my fears about the application process.

— Julia Kait ’23

The True Blue Network

When you enroll at F&M, you become part of the F&Mily: a network of tens of thousands of alumni, families and friends of the College. The True Blue Network — a career network platform exclusive to our community — is a powerful resource connecting thousands members of the F&Mily who consistently raise their hands to recruit, mentor, refer and guide Diplomats during and beyond their time at F&M. Here, you can connect with alumni and parents who have volunteered to support student success beyond the classroom, including internship and career opportunities.

Health Professions Advising

Careers in healthcare are becoming increasingly important and highly sought after. If you're considering a career in healthcare, you'll find unrivaled support in our Health Professions Advising. We offer training resources, advising, and support for students aspiring to attend dental, medical, and veterinary school.

Pre-Dental Advising

Do you want to make a difference in people’s lives by improving their oral hygiene and health? By engaging in F&M’s pre-dental program, you can set yourself up for a successful career in dentistry now. 

Learn more about pre-dental at F&M

Pre-Health Advising

Whether you’re considering a career as a physician assistant, physical therapist, pharmacist, optometrist, or other emerging field, you’ll find the support you need in F&M’s pre-health program.

Learn more about pre-health at F&M

Pre-Medical Advising

Begin your career in an essential, effective, and rewarding field. By engaging in F&M’s pre-medical program, you’ll find all the guidance and support you need to build a sturdy foundation for a successful future in medicine. 

Learn more about pre-med at F&M

Pre-Veterinary Advising 

F&M’s pre-veterinary program has a legacy of preparing students for successful careers in veterinary medicine, empowering you to provide compassionate care to your animal patients while cultivating strong relationships with the animals’ owners. 

Learn more about pre-vet at F&M

Legal Professions Advising

Are you considering a career in law? Our pre-law program — offered as a supplement to your chosen major — will help you develop the skills and experiences you need to be a competitive applicant to the nation’s top law schools.

STEM Professions Advising

In our ever-changing world, careers in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) are in high demand. If you’re interested in a career in one of these fast-growing industries, you’ll find individualized support and guidance from OSPGD. 

If you’re considering a career in engineering, you can engage in our dual degree program in addition to receiving specialized advising from OSPGD. By the time you complete the program, you will hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in the major of your choice from F&M, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in an engineering discipline of your choice from one of our four partner institutions:

Student Employment

Each year, more than 1,000 of our 2,200 students seek on-campus employment in a wide variety of positions. These positions are more than just jobs; they are opportunities to build relationships and communication skills while developing your toolkit for careers after F&M. 

If you’re enrolled in at least three credits per semester (a full-time course load), you are eligible for on-campus employment. If you are awarded Federal Work Study or College Work Option in your financial aid package, you are given priority status as an aided student and are eligible to apply for any position on campus. If you’re not work-aided, you are still eligible to work on campus, but will have a limited number of positions available to you. F&M’s Student Employment Office (SEO) will guide you through the position search and hiring process, and match you with positions where you will learn valuable, transferable skills that will benefit you both at F&M and beyond.

If you have questions about student employment at F&M, you can reach out to 

Prepped for Landing

Within six months after graduation, 93% of the Class of 2023 were either employed or furthering their education. This is higher than the national average, which is typically in the mid-80% range. You can rest assured that at F&M, you’ll find your footing on campus and beyond. Our enduring commitment to your success helps you land jobs in leading industries and gain admission to high-demand graduate and professional programs around the world.

Explore success beyond F&M »

OSPGD Launches Students Toward Success

June 28, 2024

Success Beyond F&M: ‘F&M More Than Prepared Me for the Next Steps in My Career’

Meet Nick Tewell '23, a biology major and Spanish minor at F&M who is pursuing his doctor of medicine degree at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. "I have found myself exactly where I envisioned myself when I began my first year at F&M," Tewell said.

June 10, 2024

Attorney's Passion Paves Way for Students

An F&M grant enabled Karla Avelino ’01 to return to her Central American birth country and discover a passion for immigration law. Now, she's paving the way for current and future students to find their potential.

June 6, 2024

Success Beyond F&M: Conducting Research at a Harvard Medical School Laboratory

Holly Batchelder ’23, who majored in neuroscience and minored in applied mathematics at F&M, originally thought she’d go directly to medical school. But instead, she’s secured a job completing exciting research at a prestigious Harvard Medical School laboratory before attending med school.

How You Can Hire F&M Student and Graduate Talent

Are you an employer looking to connect with our exceptional students and alumni? Discover how you can post an opportunity or recruit on campus.

Learn how to be an employer partner »