Alumni Share Post-Swarthmore Career Advice with Students

by Mariam Zakhary '13
Theater career alumni panelists
Serge Seiden '85 (left), associate producing director at D.C.'s Studio Theatre, and actress Eva Amesse '11 recently discussed their careers at an event sponsored by Career Services.

Senior year is a time for students to prepare for a future after college. To help ease the transition, Career Services regularly invites Swarthmore alumni to campus to share their thoughts and advice with students to guide them through the process of exploring career fields.

"It's an exceptional way to keep a window open to the student world at the College while providing some insights into my former work world," says Koof Kalkstein '78, a consultant and former managing director of Boston Consulting Group who gave a presentation on consulting careers earlier this fall. Other events this semester have featured alumni talking about careers in environmental sustainability, investment banking, theater, think tanks, and commercial writing. Career Services also sponsored a Wall Street student-alumni reception and a panel of alumni who discussed how economics prepares students for a wide range of fields.

"Swarthmore students are so wonderfully trained between the ears," Kalkstein adds. "These sessions help them think a bit more about how to convey that preparation in circumstances they are neither trained for nor experienced in." At right, hear some of the advice he shared.

Joanna Venator '13, an economics major from Hackettstown, N.J., actively participates in programming with visiting alumni and employers recruiting Swarthmore students.

"These are all employers who are actively looking for Swatties," says Venator, who also serves as a Career Peer Advisor. "It's nice to know when you're applying to a job that the company or organization knows what kind of academic background you're coming from."

Venator also uses the online services available to students to streamline their job search. "I really appreciate that Career Services resources include databases with job postings that are tailored to what Swarthmore students are looking for," she adds.