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Despite a tough economic climate, students feel 'empowered' about the job search

The challenge of finding a job during a recession was a main focus of the third annual Seminar on Success, a program dedicated to preparing juniors and seniors for the transition from student to job-seeker.

Alumni panelists had comforting advice.

View a slideshow from the afternoon here.

“There are a lot of paths to get where you want to go, and where I am is not where I thought I’d be 15 years ago. You find your way,” Neil Maniar ’94, who works at the Center for Community Health and Health Equity in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said during a question-and-answer session with an alumni panel.

The other alumni on the panel - Michael Müller ’00, Brooke Kennedy ’01 and Jessica Nowak ’04 - echoed this sentiment. They said the critical thinking they learned at Connecticut College, in addition to small class sizes and a supportive atmosphere, all factored into their success in the working world.

Müller, a corporate attorney, cited another advantage of their alma mater: “It really means something (to other alumni) that you both went to Conn, and they care. That’s why my boss hired me – his wife went to Conn.”

This year’s rigorous program, attended by more than 80 students, offered a variety of resources they can use to their advantage.

“The reality of the job process hits hard. It doesn’t take just sending out a resume anymore,” said Director of Alumni Relations Bridget McShane, whose department organized the January event.

Keynote speaker Frances Cole Jones ’86, a corporate coach and author, reminded her young audience to be mindful of body language and tone and that what they say at a job interview is as important as how they say it.

Brooke Smith ’09 says the Seminar on Success made her feel “empowered,” adding, “It gave me a sense of how much of a team we are, as opposed to competing with one another, and how much of a support system we have.”

-Arielle Shipper ’10

February 13, 2009