Campus News

Could We Talk?

February 19, 2014

Marvin Krislov

Marvin Krislov
Photo credit: John Seyfried

This is addressed to all students, but especially graduating seniors.* We all know that Oberlin is an immersive, exciting place of exploration. It can be challenging to think about life beyond Oberlin, especially since you may have developed many different skills and passions here. Life’s journey will take at least 99 percent of you away from Oberlin post-graduation, and, at least in the short run, there are many paths to choose.

Now is a wonderful time to have those discussions about what you should do post-Oberlin. More than 20 percent of you will head to graduate or professional school this fall. While your short-term plans may seem set, it’s still worth talking with members of this community (faculty, staff, students, alumni) about where you might want to go eventually and what you might want to do. These discussions can help focus you as you head off to that graduate or professional program.

Others of you already have jobs, fellowships, or gigs lined up post-graduation. To you, congratulations and the same advice: take advantage of what you have here. Many of you are aiming to create a new organization or business or become part of a start up. You may have learned about this through our Creativity and Leadership Program or by connecting with alumni.

But for so many of you who are not sure exactly where you’re headed after Memorial Day, here’s some advice—and a special offer that costs nothing but time.

Here’s the advice: While it’s tempting to avoid this topic until after graduating, start the conversation now. Many moons ago, I was in a similar position during not the easiest of economic times, and I know how easy it is to procrastinate or focus elsewhere. This strategy actually may exacerbate whatever (normal) anxiety you feel.

Better to engage in discussions with your faculty, staff, and fellow students. Sometimes recent graduates are actually the most knowledgeable, because they’ve been through the same experience and they may know more about openings for graduating seniors. Go to the Career Center—Richard Berman and his team have hundreds of listings of job opportunities and alumni who are more than willing to talk with you. Check out Obie Web to connect with other alumni. Suggestion: if you haven’t already, put together your résumé—the Career Center can help you with this—and think about the big questions: what do you want to do, and where might you go.

Here’s the offer: After you speak to Career Services, fine tune your résumé, and prepare career goals, I will brainstorm with any graduating senior about job opportunities. Call my office—440-775-8400—and make sure to send a résumé. It’s best if you’ve started the process of discussing and thinking next steps with the folks mentioned earlier. I can’t promise you a job, but I will try to help you think about your life post-Oberlin. There’s no time like now to get started. You may be surprised by what you learn about yourself when you get down to these discussions. Do it!

The first Koffee with Krislov of the spring semester takes place Monday, February 24 at 10 p.m. in Azariah’s. See you there!

*For first years, sophomores, juniors and other non-seniors, the summer offers similar opportunities for growth and development. It’s not too late to find a great summer job or gig—but it is time to get going!

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