Tough Times, But There ARE Jobs Out there!!!

After folks have gotten settled in to their semester routines, Octobers are usually a very busy time at the Gordon Career Center. And this year is no exception. Surprised? I was, too. After all, unemployment is high, and the pandemic is having a dramatic impact on the workforce. Yet, companies and not-for-profits are still recruiting, and many of them are interested in college graduates with a well-rounded education. In changing times, those practiced in liberal learning are empowered to continue to adapt and make contributions to the organizations of which they are a part.

The Gordon Career Center has many resources to help Wesleyan students navigate the current internship and job environment. Most importantly, a visit with the staff at the GCC will help students reflect more deeply on the connections between what they are studying at the University and the the kinds of work they would like to explore after their undergraduate years. Becoming more intentional and strategic about their work goals will serve them well in the long run.

The GCC is open for operation virtually, with 100 events still to go this semester. They include information sessions with employers like the National Health Corps, Urban Teachers, and Venture for America; “Ask Me Anything” conversations with career advisors; and Cardinal Connection meetings with alumni in a variety of fields.

The Executive Director of the GCC, Sharon Belden Castonguay recently answered questions on Coursera Live about finding meaningful work in our current context. You can find a link to her presentation here, and, better yet, you can find out more about connecting with the staff at the Gordon Career Center here.

Good luck!

The Work You Want to Do After Graduation

Many readers of this blog know that I have championed pragmatic liberal learning—a broad education that combines skills and contextual understanding to provide a resource for life “beyond the university.” Students at Wesleyan hear me repeat the great line of former Wesleyan president Victor Butterfield: “If these turn out to be the best four years of your lives, then we have failed you.” Wesleyans learn to translate liberal learning into purposeful work after graduation.

A great resource for this translation is the Gordon Career Center. Led by Sharon Belden Castonguay, the GCC provides Wesleyan students with various vehicles for connecting their interests on campus to work around the world. I was pleased to hear that more than 20% of the frosh class visited the GCC in their first days on campus, and I hope that all our students find their way to the GCC for ideas about meaningful work and how they might prepare for it.

In that regard, Sharon offers an online class through Coursera. Here’s a recent report:

The Gordon Career Center has launched “Career Decisions: From Insight to Impact” on Coursera, an online course provider. The class aims to help learners understand their motivations, strengths, and goals, and appreciate how personal identity affects decision making. The course is taught by adult developmental psychologist and career counselor, Sharon Belden Castonguay, Director of the Gordon Career Center at Wesleyan University, and is offered free of charge to Wesleyan students and alumni.

“Entering today’s dynamic employment market requires self-knowledge, the ability to persevere and no small amount of bravery,” says Castonguay. “We feel strongly about educating our students and alumni not just on how to get a job, but how to manage their careers over a lifetime. We’re thrilled to be able to offer the Wesleyan community what we feel is a best-in-class career development program to prepare our graduates for a dynamic employment market.”

There are so many useful tools at the GCC for internships, interview preparation, job searching….and so much more. It’s never too early to sharpen your translation skills to prepare for the work you want to do!