As my time at Connecticut College winds down and I begin the tedious process of applying for jobs, a question that I find myself discussing time and time again is “What is a pathway?”
The pathway program at Connecticut College is a relatively new concept, but it’s something that I’ve found myself to be quite eager to share with prospective employers due to the value that I personally gained from the experience and its applicability to the jobs that I’m applying for.
I chose the Media, Rhetoric, and Communication pathway because I felt that it would marry my majors, English and Government, in an effective way. What I didn’t realize when I casually filed my pathway application was that doing so would guide my academic journey through Conn by leading me to take courses that were intellectually challenging and stimulating.
Everyone who takes part in a pathway has to take a “Thematic Inquiry” course, which basically encourages you to think about questions regarding the way you interact with the world, a question that you would like to answer based on your academic and intellectual interests.
Given my pathway’s focus on the way news and media is manipulated using specific and curated rhetoric to convey ideas, I found myself thinking a lot about the way that I personally interact with media, and all the thought that goes into creating a specific response to many of the things that I consume.
With this developing thought swirling around in my head, I began to think more about how large organizations and companies use social media platforms to curate their public images and messages, creating consumer personalities in ways that we’ve never seen before. This intellectual curiosity is what led me to pursue an internship in communications for my “global/local engagement” aspect of my pathway. I had the opportunity to work for Major League Baseball as a Corporate Communications Intern, which proved to relate so perfectly with the questions I had developed for my pathway.
Even further, I was able to share the lessons and revelations I experienced during the school’s All-College Symposium. My presentation was titled “Meaningful Actions: Communicating Diversity in Athletics,” and it was an incredibly satisfying way to mark the culmination of my work at Connecticut College.
The day was spent walking around to different presentations given by my senior friends and peers, learning more about how we’ve all embraced our interests and translated them into meaningful experiences. It was bittersweet to see how much we’ve all changed since our first year at Conn and to know that we’ve achieved what we needed to and are readying to move forward.
Ultimately, I think that the Center and Pathway experience at Conn is what you make of it. My one piece of advice is to pursue what interests you, not what you think will look best on a resume. When I was an underclassman, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted my professional career to look like or how I could translate my academic interests and strengths into a career. By choosing a pathway that I was genuinely intrigued by, I was able to curate my collegiate experience in a way that has really helped me nail down what I want to do with my education and how I want to apply it to my life going forward. My hope is that the Pathway program at Connecticut College continues to develop and grow stronger so that more people can experience the same guidance that I did.