As a part of sustainability month, the Office of Sustainability and Gateway Career Services partnered to host an Environmental Jobs Discussion.
The job searching process can be long and daunting. To help guide students through the process, we invited 3 recent Lafayette Alumni back to campus to talk about their job search experience and life after college. The 3 panelist included Shawn Hogan ’17, Peter Todaro ’16 and Emily Lindahl ’17.
Shawn majored in Economics and Environmental Studies at Lafayette and not works as an Inside Sales Specialist at Hello Inspire. Peter double majored in Government and Law and now works as a Fellow at Bon Appetit Management Company. Emily was one of the first students to graduate with an Environmental Studies degree and she currently works as the Chief of Staff at Blue Sphere Foundation.
Each Alumni stressed their experience of feeling pressured to find a career during the fall of the senior year but all reiterated to not panic as Shawn shared that she didn’t find Hello Inspire until the summer after her senior year.
At the end of sharing their experiences, students in attendance were able to ask questions to the panelists and these are their responses.
Question: Do you think what you learned in the classroom and skills gained through experiences at Lafayette have translated into work you do on the job? Or was it more learning on the job?
Shawn – “Things I learned at Lafayette classes I quite literally pull from every day.” Many of her decisions at Inspire require her to use economics all the time. Also, as a sales specialists she has to translate the nitty gritty of climate change to the average person and be able to communicate the bigger picture which she is able to do through training learned in her Environmental Studies classes.
Emily – “Soft skills I learned here (Lafayette).” She attributed her ability to manage projects and plan events to her sorority and involvement with Make a Difference Day.
Peter – Learning writing skills that can be applied to almost every job is very important. He also highlighted his experience of starting a student club (LaFFCo) to helping in his current role.
Question: If you were to go through the job search process again, what would you do differently?
Shawn – “Say yes to everything but give yourself space to be picky.” “Don’t say no too early and keep a notebook for everything.” Shawn emphasized tracking all connections and conversations for later reference and keeping leads organized. It was clear that she has found her dream job and would do nothing different in the process.
Emily – “Don’t be discouraged or think things are going to be perfect.” “Remember, you don’t have to be there forever.” Emily suggested keeping an excel sheet with dates of applications, interviews, and rejections. She wishes she would have kept in touch with random people for more connections later on in the job searching process. “Learn about what other people are doing and see if that interests you.”
Peter – “Make lists of companies you think you would want to work for.” “Put yourself out there even if a company or organization isn’t hiring.”
All of the panelists emphasized being open to the process but to be organized when keeping track of applications, companies, and connections.
Peter ended the conversation saying,
Go on an adventure.
As the environmental field grows, more exciting opportunities arise for graduating students. If you need help finding a job or resources, don’t hesitate to reach out to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Gateway Career Center.