On Thursday, January 16, Colgate launched its second annual SophoMORE Connections event on campus. This program is designed to give sophomore students at the university a glimpse of what life is like after Colgate and to help steer them in the direction of their future interests.
The event spanned from Thursday evening to Saturday evening and gave students the chance to listen to the experiences of faculty, alumni and upperclassmen in various fields. Many alumni and upperclassmen spoke about their careers and internships, giving sophomores the chance to learn about different programs available to them through Colgate and the importance of taking advantage of these programs.
“SophoMORE Connections featured alumni panels representing 14 different career clusters, presentations from faculty and staff members on connecting with faculty, off-campus study and maximizing campus involvement, and presentations from Career Services staff and alumni on career preparation techniques,” Alumni Engagement Coordinator Jillian Arnault ’10 said. Arnault worked to set up this event through Colgate’s Career Services.
In addition, there was a luncheon with alumna Lisa Hillenbrand. Hillenbrand, a successful Colgate alumna from the class of 1979, is Director of Global Marketing for Procter & Gamble.
This presentation, together with all of the other presentations, provided sophomores with the opportunity to see what their futures after Colgate could look like from different perspectives.
“Sophomores are faced with significant choices-major selection, how to start gaining experience to determine a career idea, considering off-campus study and focusing [on] extracurricular activities,” Arnault said.
She said that sophomore year is a pivotal time for making decisions about the future and that this program is a good way to help guide students in their decision-making.
One of the students who attended this event was sophomore Kayce D’Onofrio. D’Onofrio felt that taking part in this program was an important step for her to take in considering her future career plans.
“I signed up for this program because I thought it was time to start thinking about my life after Colgate,” D’Onofrio said. “As fun as Colgate has been and is, I can’t ignore the fact that it only lasts for four years and my career will (hopefully) last for 40-50 years.”
Another student, sophomore Elaina Atallah, said that she appreciates the program because it allowed her to get to know many alumni.
“The biggest benefit from the program was hearing firsthand from alumni about what their job entails and what makes someone successful in that position,” Atallah said. “I made quality connections with alumni and have continued career conversations past the context of the program.”
D’Onofrio acknowledged that it may be intimidating for sophomores to think about their careers so early on, but she said that this program is definitely something that sophomores next year should consider.
“I can’t express enough how unique the SophoMORE Connections program is. Even though it may scare sophomores to think about their future that soon, it is a truly valuable experience,” D’Onofrio said.
Career Services plans on hosting this event again next year, building upon this year’s program. Improvements were made from the first SophoMORE Connections event last year, such as an increase in some of the career clusters and workshops available to the students. There was also a greater number of participants at the event this year.
“One of the most significant differences this year was the fact that the number of sophomores attending increased by nearly 30 percent and the student presenters went up by about 50 percent,” Arnault said. “We are really excited by this increase in interest and attendance from students.”
Career Services plans to improve the program for next year to better suit the desires of the students.
“We will look to sophomores next year to help guide the program to make sure we are addressing their interests,” Arnault said. “Additionally, we will be reviewing the feedback from this year’s attendees to find out what adjustments to make for next year.”
Contact Holly Mascolo at [email protected]