Sophomore Fair Opens up New Conversation for Careers
During the first-year on campus, students are given many resources such as advising circles, a whole office devoted to thinking about their experience, and several different orientation programs that students attend to help them begin their college career.
Junior year is a time when many decisions are made: students are looking to find their path in life and their career, often taking more challenging courses, studying abroad, conducting research, leading student organizations, and obtaining internships.
Senior year focuses on finishing research, networking and pinpointing a job for after graduation.
But what goes on for sophomore year?
“There’s a lot going on for sophomores,” says Associate Director of the Knowlton Center, Michele Doran. “They’ve completed their first year and underwent many changes in their majors or academic interests. Maybe they thought they were going to keep their high school identity once they got to Denison, but realized that they were going to change and grow more. Maybe they had a set career path but fell in love with something else after taking a specific class. Things change a lot for them in the span of one year.”
The Knowlton Center wants to help bridge that gap by helping students discover resources for their future career, starting the process early. Thus, the Sophomore Fair was born.
“Fifteen different campus offices participated in the program,” says Doran. “It was different than the involvement fair because the tables were spaced out and it’s more relaxed. People were able to have really stimulating conversations. We have had some positive feedback from Sophomores and Juniors wanting us to expand on the program. We have to think through how to expand it without watering down the important conversations.”
The earlier career exploration starts, the better. There are many different segments of each career field and if students come into the Knowlton Center or attend informational events like the Sophomore Fair, Denison staff can give them tips on how to explore, networking and other aspects of modern day career searching in the future.
“There are a lot of other things going on with Sophomores,” says Doran. “They have to declare a major and figure out how it aligns with their career and that can cause a lot of angst.”
“Also, if students can do an externship during winter or summer breaks, where they are shadowing everyday lifestyles, students can have a better sense of what’s to come in that field of work.”
Denison offers other programs through the Knowlton Center such as the Career Ready for Interview Success Program, or CRISP. CRISP is a program that helps students prepare with mock interviews, cover letter and resume workshops and more.
Whether students know or don’t know anything about jobs, they can stop in the Knowlton Center for advice throughout the school year and up to five years after graduation.