Students explore endless opportunities during Liberal Arts Career Night
The School of Liberal Arts, in partnership with the O’Brien Center for Career Development and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, hosted its inaugural Liberal Arts Career Night on Wednesday, April 5. Students were encouraged to explore the endless possibilities of a liberal arts degree and, ultimately, the career paths that may be of interest and available to them following graduation.
“We wanted our students to see that part of the value of a Liberal Arts education is its potential to provide a foundation for a great variety of lucrative and rewarding career paths,” offered Dr. Sean Condon, interim dean for the School of Liberal Arts.
The event attracted nearly 80 students, who throughout the evening had the opportunity to participate in several networking sessions and an alumni panel moderated by Dean Condon. The panel covered an array of topics, including recognition that a bachelor’s degree includes much more than simply one’s major; the college-to-career transition; and the value, and ultimately practicality, of a liberal arts major. Alumni industry professionals, ranging in years of experience, spoke enthusiastically to careers in business services, law, media/performing arts, government/nonprofit, marketing/advertising/PR, research/education, and social services/clinical.
“Take a look at some of the people who inspire you in the business world, or in activism, and find out what they studied,” offered Sarah Bourouphael ’08 M’15, during the alumni panel. “The people who are the most successful are the ones who are passionate about something, and liberal arts give you something to be passionate about.”
Bourouphael, who majored in economics and political science with a minor in religious studies, also obtained her Master of Science in Management from the College.
“Through liberal arts, I started to assert my own viewpoints. When you are young and impressionable, you are floating from viewpoint to viewpoint,” recalled Bourouphael of her undergraduate experience at Merrimack. “But, this program exposed me to so many things, and I was able to own my perspective and grow my confidence. The faculty really inspired me and empowered me to ask questions, be more vocal, and assert myself.”
Prior to the event, the O’Brien Center also hosted a pre-event networking workshop, where students could learn secret tips for career networking, including how to make introductions, what questions to ask, and how to follow up.
“With the creation of the Liberal Arts Career Night and pre-event workshop, the O’Brien Center continues its mission of empowering students to lead meaningful lives through student-centered initiatives,” said Katie Fell, the O’Brien Center’s career advisor for liberal arts. “By us meeting students where they may be in their career exploration and preparation, students continue to gain confidence in themselves and leverage the value and skills they bring to opportunities. Merrimack’s continued collaboration across offices and academic departments is critical to the success of events like this, the Professional Development Retreat, and career fairs.”
Panelists for the evening included:
- Sarah Bourouphael ’08 M’15: Sourcing Manager, Nike
- Noreen Chase ’09: Marketing & Communications Specialist, Apps Associates
- Erika (Walsh) Fitzpatrick ’96: Media Coordinator, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
- Kathryn Mariano ’12: Communications Specialist, Boston University School of Medicine
- Michael O’Neil ’13: Research Assistant, Harvard University – Center for Education Policy Research
ContactO’Brien Center for Career Development
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