The Career Center’s Student Connect Team led an overnight trip to Boston designed to offer fellow students the opportunity to explore potential careers through site visits, panel discussions and networking with alumni employees at various companies and organizations.
Twenty-one first-year students, sophomores and juniors split into three different industry tracks – STEM, consulting, and education – on Friday, April 21. Over the course of the trip, students collectively met with more than 25 Hamilton alumni.
Participants from all three tracks started the day together listening to a panel of diverse alumni from the class of 2004 through 1985. The panel’s goal was to provide multiple perspectives and to highlight the various career paths students can take after graduating with a liberal arts degree. Several alumni revealed that they are now in roles that they never imagined during college or even a few years ago.
Sofia Rachad ’18 was “most surprised by the contrast of what people majored in at Hamilton versus the career that they ended up in.” She thought it really exemplified the uniqueness of the Hamilton liberal arts degree, that students are equipped with a vast array of skills to be successful.
Later, the group split up into the three tracks, each featuring two site visits. The STEM students toured Brigham and Women's Hospital and Biogen, a biotechnology company. The education students visited Harvard University Law School Office of Admissions and EF Education First Education Tours.
Meanwhile, the consulting students met with alumni from Cambridge Associates, an investment consulting company, and L.E.K. Consulting, a management consulting firm. Serena Smith ’18 said that, “as someone currently interning with a small policy consulting firm in D.C. this semester, I was curious to learn more about what other types of consulting were out there. I came away with a lot more knowledge about management consulting and plan on looking more into the field in the future."
Most of the site visits consisted of a tour of the company, an introduction to the alumnus’ role and career path, and a Q&A session at the end. Each track also featured a lunch with young alumni in those respective career fields.
During these informal conversations over lunch, students had the opportunity to ask alumni what they were involved in on campus and how they navigate post-Hamilton life in the Greater Boston area.
This trip was a great opportunity for students to acquire knowledge and to gain the confidence to interact with alumni. Many learned how valuable utilizing Hamilton's network could be and left feeling excited to contact more alumni. They also felt more prepared for taking the next step towards their desired career, especially after talking to young alumni who recently went through the process.
The alumni were excited to engage with the students and enthusiastic about their liberal arts degree. Several alumni even expressed interest in hosting another site visit and serving as a resource to students.
Doug Wheeler ’01, one of the STEM lunch participants and a postdoctoral fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Broad Institute, said that he wished he had a similar opportunity when he was a student. He shared that “it was also great fun to chat with other area Hamilton alumni and seeing where they have gone in their lives and work.”