Choosing a career path is a big decision. It might even feel like an impossible task. But it doesn’t have to.
In fact, the Knowlton Center ensures that students have opportunities to sample a variety of career fields before making their post-graduate plans. One way we do this is through our First Look programs, which allow students to experience potential professional interests through informational sessions, trips, networking, and tours.
These short, exploratory meetings equip students with the self-understanding and professional knowledge that is key to making future plans. Our First Look programs are varied to cater to a range of experiences and interests, and they fall into five major categories:
- First Look Road Trip — an alternative spring break trip that sends a small team of students to four or five cities where they can meet with our alumni, parents, and friends of Denison, to tour companies, ask questions, and learn about specific topics and career paths.
- Externships — off-campus experiential learning opportunities, similar to internships but shorter in duration. These are ideal first introductions to potential career fields. They allow students to build meaningful relationships with other Denisonians and gain some skills along the way.
- Informational Interviews — opportunities for students or alumni to meet with professionals and learn about their career paths. Conversations cover all sorts of topics, including job descriptions, average daily responsibilities, company cultures, and career paths. We strongly emphasize the importance of relationships at Denison, and informational interviews are a great way to start a conversation.
- Grad School Up-Close —students take a day to visit a university of interest with their Denison classmates. Learn about the grad school experience and particular programs of interests from alums attending the school and the university’s admissions staff.
- Employers Up-Close —students spend the day touring a company and learning about the employer on a deeper level. They have the potential to meet with employees, senior-level staff, and alums who work there, to discuss company culture, job responsibilities, and opportunities.
Not only do our First Look programs offer students defining professional experiences, but they allow us to further leverage our networks of alumni and parents.