On May 15 and 16, 30 rising juniors and seniors will tackle resiliency in this year’s fourth annual Rising Senior Symposium, “The Road to #Adulting.”
Anna Squires ’17, outgoing Marketing and Communications Fellow at the Career Center, and Michael McNamee III, Assistant Director for Career Volunteer Initiatives in the Office of Alumni and Family Relations, have spent the last four months planning and coordinating the symposium to ensure all enrollees are set up for a successful senior year and life after graduation.
“The symposium started [in 2015] on the recommendation that the Career Center could be doing more to help our rising seniors launch well into their final year,” Squires said. “Really maximizing their senior year and getting set up to enter the real world after graduation.”
The symposium has two tracks: a general track, open to all rising seniors, and a consulting, finance, and business track open to both rising juniors and seniors. Over the two-day event, attendees hear from alumni keynote speakers and work alongside Colorado College career coaches, strengthening both hard and soft skills for senior year and life after graduation. This year, Squires and McNamee III decided to focus speakers, activities, and conversations around the topic of resiliency, given its increasing importance in modern employment.
“This year, we really wanted to get speakers who could talk about resiliency since … the career services world has determined that resiliency is a really important skill set for young alumni to have,” Squires said. “The workplace is changing so quickly, young graduates have to change jobs and pivot so nimbly, that it’s important to be a resilient person who can bounce when you face rejection.”
However, the symposium’s focus on resiliency is not reserved exclusively for the workplace; rather, Squires hopes attendees feel resilient and supported going into their senior year, where they will inevitably face challenges in their personal, academic, and professional lives.
“I hope that they [the enrollees] get out of the symposium the knowledge that they have enough support and they are strong humans who can go into senior year with all of its accompanying fears about applying to grad school, about finding a job, about leaving their friends, about transitioning into the real world,” Squires said. “I hope that after the symposium they can look at those challenges and say … ‘I know that there are people on this campus who are really committed to my success, who are going to help me get through it.’”
Crane Friedman ’20, a rising senior, enrolled in the symposium with this more holistic hope in mind. He is seeking not only help in job searching and networking, but also for the opportunity for self-reflection and intentionality.
“I am most excited to get all the questions I have about my senior year out of the way so that I can hit the ground running,” Friedman said. “My senior friends tell me that the number one piece of advice they can give is to start as soon as possible with job searching and networking, so I want to get all the tools I will need for a successful senior year and transition to my adult life. I am also excited to hopefully do some self-reflection and learn a bit more about how to make intentional choices in my career and life.”
Finally, Squires reiterated the Career Center’s mission to help all students — not just the symposium enrollees — navigate their time at college and the transition to “adulting” post-graduation.
“This is sometimes daunting work, but we are committed to breaking it down and making it accessible,” Squires said. “I think all students should feel like this [the Career Center] is their space, and they should feel welcome to come and do this work.”