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Life Skills

The Life Skills team offers programming and advice from alumni about topics such nutrition, transitioning to life after Hamilton, and much more. 

May Highlights

Food for Thought

Our campus dietitian, Lela Niemetz, holds cooking classes over Zoom every week! She leads the Quarantine Pantry, which features a new yummy dish every week, and co-leads the Cookie Pantry with fellow cookie-lover Brigit Humphreys ‘21. Upon signing up, you’ll receive a box filled with ingredients delivered straight to your door. Be on the lookout for emails about the upcoming pantries! Make some delicious food and cookies while enjoying the company of others.

All in a Microwave

Tired of Commons but the Bundy basement communal kitchen is "meh"? Try these microwavable foods in the convenience of your dorm room! 

  • Mug cakes
  • Nachos
  • Bacon
  • Mac and cheese (add REAL shredded parmesan for an extra kick!)
  • Cinnamon apples
  • Chocolate chip cookies

63 Budget Friendly College Meals separated into the categories: poultry, beef, pork, seafood, meatless, and hearty soups, sandwiches, and salads!

55 Easy Dinner Recipes for Beginners → they promise they are easy

Plan for the Fall: Grilling!

For those of you who want an escape from the dining halls and the microwave - why not grill your own food? Get on that portable grill wave! Here are some popular and budget-friendly grill products:

Expert Grill  ($15)

Portable Folding Grill  ($53)

Portable Easy Grill  ($58)

Blackstone Tabletop Grill ($84)

Quarantine Recipe Exchange

Remember when this baby was circling around last summer?? Let’s run it back. Here’s the email script, in case you forgot:


Subject: Quarantine Recipe Exchange

Hi friends! 

Including you all in a fun recipe exchange! As the world is social distancing right now, many of us are experimenting in our kitchens to help pass the time. So, you have been invited to be a part of a #QuarantineCooking recipe exchange. Yay! 

Please send a recipe to the person whose name is in position #1 (even if you don’t know them). It should be something quick, easy, and without rare ingredients. Actually, the best one is the one you know in your head and can type right now. Don’t agonize over it... It’s the recipe you make when you’re short on time. 

After you’ve sent your recipe to the person in position #1 below (and only to that person), copy this email into a new email, move my name to the top, and put your name in position #2. Only mine and your name should show when you send your email. Send to 20 friends via BCC. 

If you cannot do this within 5 days, let me know so it will be fair to those participating. You should receive 36 recipes. It’s fun to see where they come from! Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new ideas. The turnaround is fast, as there are only 2 names on the list, and you only have to do this once. 

1. [Use any friend’s name and email – with permission – if you’re starting the chain.] 

2. [Your name and email address]

In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and STAY HOME. Happy #QuarantineCooking! 

[Your name or email signature]

Event Highlight: Balancing a Budget + Planning for Financial Success

The Life Skills Connect Team has hosted two related events as part of their two-part program on financial planning and literacy for Hamilton students.

In the first event, Balancing a Budget, students sat down with alumni Lisa Yang ‘17 and Jeff Greenwald '17 to discuss tricks and tips on how to properly balance a budget. Lisa is currently an associate banker at Citi Private Bank while Jeff currently works as a research associate at Offit Capital Advisors. The two of them spoke about their formative experiences at Hamilton before giving their detailed perspective on how they managed their money after graduation.

Two weeks later the team hosted Planning for Financial Success with Noah Ennis ‘11. Ennis was an Economics and Hispanic Studies Major at Hamilton before starting his career in finance, where he first worked at UBS prior to joining Morgan Stanley as a financial advisor. With students, Ennis covered topics ranging from different retirement fund options to the different aspects of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). 

Keep reading below for key highlights from the two respective events! It is never too late or early to start planning for your own personal financial success.

Balancing a Budget:

Highlight # 1

Both Lisa and Jeff spoke to the importance of prioritizing your expenses. While many recent college graduates may not be able to look and accurately plan their spending for months in advance, what they can do is plan out which expenses take the highest priority. For most, these will be costs associated with housing and food during their early professional careers. Once one gets their footing, money can be properly allocated for activities and experiences that really give you a lot of value and personal significance and avoid wasteful expenses.

Highlight # 2

When asked what surprised her most about budgeting, Lisa responded by explaining her experience with savings accounts. She went on to elucidate that different accounts can have surprisingly variant interest rates and that proper research will always pay off. Jeff built on this answer by citing the COVID-19 pandemic, and how having saved 3-6 months on salary in their savings account can give anyone a comfortable financial cushion in the face of an emergency situation.

Planning for Financial Success:

Highlight # 1

While “Time is Money” is a very well-known phrase, Ennis gave the expression greater context and importance during his talk with students. Specifically regarding long-term retirement investing and how compound interest over a, consistently paid, long period of time is invaluable to later life savings. This means that even if it is difficult to allocate, his best advice is to start contributing to your retirement investment as soon as possible.

Highlight # 2

Regarding the different types of retirement funds that one can purchase and invest in, Seth went into great detail regarding the superiority of a Roth IRA compared to its counterparts. The Roth IRA is a vehicle for your retirement investment, meaning that you can have a diverse portfolio of investments within the retirement fund. Even more importantly, after the initial tax paid on the investment, one can recuperate their interest tax-free, as long as they continue to pay annually!


Pursuing Your Passion: A Career in the Sports IndustryJustin Brown "14

 Justin Brown graduated from Hamilton College in 2014 with a degree in sociology and Hispanic studies. After graduating Justin went on to earn his master’s degree in sports venue and event management from Syracuse University. Now, he is an account executive working for the Boston Celtics.

Read justin's Advice

Contact Information

Career Center

Third floor of Bristol Center
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323 
315-859-4346 ccadmin@hamilton.edu
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