Responses collected by Erika DiPasquale, Associate Editor
What have you been up to since graduation?
What haven’t I been up to since graduation?! Since last May, I’ve discovered what it’s like to be a nomad that lives by the seasonal work she can find. But I love it! Of course it has been a little stressful at times, but for the most part I’ve really enjoyed the freedom to move around and the different jobs I’ve done. Right after I graduated, I went home to New Hampshire and started working at a summer camp near my hometown called the Mayhew Program. I was co-leading outdoor trips of backpacking, mountain biking, and canoeing for groups of at-risk and low income boys. It was really exhausting, difficult work, but I loved it and learned a lot. After that, while I was applying for my next season of work and waiting to hear back, I worked a bunch of odd jobs…some apartment cleaning, babysitting, worked at a waterpark, paraprofessional at a high school, just about anything that came up. This was a little more of a stressful season and there were definitely moments when I wondered why I hadn’t gotten a “real job” after graduation…and then I heard back from the BOEC! This was an internship out in Breckenridge, Colorado that I applied for, and it was a position as an adaptive ski and snowboard instructor with the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center. So, I packed up the Prius and took a little road trip out to Colorado! I’m currently about halfway through my internship and loving it. I live with 11 other interns in a cabin, there’s always an opportunity to learn something new, and I’m outside working and playing every day! I plan to go back home for the summer and work with the Mayhew Program again, but next winter I hope to be back here with the BOEC. It’s been an adventurous year!
What do you miss about Goucher?
I miss the community of Goucher the most. Being able to walk two minutes and bust through your friend’s door is pretty great, and once you’re out of college it’s harder to connect with your friends in the same way. Even if you’re not living on campus, having all of your friends and a community of people to support you in the same area is really unique and a lot of fun. It’s also nice because you’re all essentially on the same schedule or are doing the same things so it’s easier to hang out…out of school people are working different jobs or living in different areas with time zone differences, so it can be tough to connect.
Any advice for seniors?
Relax! Enjoy your last few months together. Then when you do start looking for your job or next step, do what you want. It’s okay to not have every step planned out, but find things that you’ll be happy doing. In my last semester, I remember one of my professors saying that every person should have at least a little time post-college where they’re living in a nasty apartment, barely scraping by each month, and living off of ramen. And that’s okay! My best advice is to not worry about finding the perfect job that’ll last forever. Do something that interests you, meet new people in a new place, and get some fun life experience.
What do you know now that you wish you had known as a first-year or before graduating in general?
I wish I had known how important connections are. Most of the work and things that I’ve done in the last year have come from random conversations and people that I’ve met, so I’m learning how important it is to foster these relationships. Previous experience and having a college degree are also definitely important in landing jobs, but it really has been the personal recommendations and the connections to different people that make the biggest difference in getting an interview. Be nice to people because, if they can, they generally want to help out!
What part of your Goucher experience has had the most influence on your first year out?
This is a tough question to answer because there’s so much growth and change that happened for me throughout my four years at Goucher, and it’s hard to pick just one part that’s helping me now – being an athlete helped with time management, being a student taught me how to search for and use information, being at a liberal arts school opened my eyes to what’s happening in our world, having small classes taught me how to create relationships and get involved with people around me. Something that has surprised me, though, and has been more influential in my first year out than I expected, is my Spanish degree! Not only do employers love that I’m bilingual, but it’s also been incredibly useful (much more so than I expected in Colorado!). I give ski and snowboard lessons in Spanish, I can communicate with a lot of employees and people that work on the mountain, I can translate when there are language barriers on the bus, and just in general it’s been a great skill to have.