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ISSUE 120 VOL 7 PUBLISHED 11/10/2006

Seniors plan their futures

By Stephanie Soucheray
News Editor

Friday, November 10, 2006

"Life as a senior is strange. I feel torn between the consistent life of an Ole, and the very real, 8 a.m. world of an adult," said Liz Frosch ’07. "There is never a moment when I'm not thinking about the future, about ‘one year from now…’”

Many Oles in the class of 2007, like Frosch, find that November brings the first burst of job applications, graduate school applications and panic about the future.

The Center for Experiential Learning (CEL) keeps data on where St. Olaf graduates are six months after commencement.

The data from the class of 2005, which is statistically similar to other years, shows that 29.3 percent have gone onto further education, six percent volunteer and 64.7 percent enter the work force.

"Our students are very well-prepared for life after St. Olaf College," said Pat Smith Director of the CEL. "Our work at the CEL is often just showing students how to package their skill sets from a liberal arts college."

It's too early to tell if the class of 2007 will diverge from these statistics, but so far, the class has proven to be remarkable in some areas.

This year, 18 seniors applied for a Fulbright scholarship, a higher number than years past.

"Clearly, more than other schools in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference [MIAC], it seems we have more applicants for the Fulbright scholarship and for volunteer programs, like the Peace Corps," Smith said.

Smith also said that large, Twin Cities-based companies who recruit employees out of college favor St. Olaf graduates.

"People from area school districts also want to hire teachers trained at St. Olaf," Smith said.

Anne Stadler ‘07 will be joining the Private Placements Group of Piper Jaffray’s Investment Banking division in July of 2007.

"I had an internship with this group over the summer and was fortunate enough to be offered a position for this coming fall,” she said. “St. Olaf professors and the CEL were unbelievably helpful in the job search process."

Stadler credits the practice interviews she had at the CEL with helping her land her job. Stadler also used the CEL as a resume-writing resource.

Graduating seniors, Smith emphasized, should take comfort in knowing that employment predictions show companies hiring more and more in the coming years.

That being said, recent statistics show that a graduating senior will hold their first job for an average of 1.1 years.

The average St. Olaf alumnus will change jobs five to seven times in his or her lifetime.

Frosch is looking for her first job after graduation, but avoiding typical job markets.

"I am presently looking for one or two-year fellowship experiences that will provide me with the skills and knowledge I may need for master's level learning in policy or public health," Frosch said

Some seniors, like John Deck ‘07 and Amy Hammers ‘07, plan to attend pre-professional graduate programs next fall.

Deck would like to go to law school; Hammers, medical school. Both feel anxiety when it comes to the uncertainty of their futures. "I am applying to range of schools," Deck said. "A few I should get into rather easily, while others … I just hope that they do not laugh at my application."

Hammers has spent four years preparing for this semester, when she applies to medical school. "It has been time- consuming and stressful these last few months with filling out applications and missing classes for interviews," she said.

Nathan Hopkins '07 is applying to graduate programs in philosophy, a very competitive field.

"For as long as I can remember I’ve been preparing for this encounter with the real world," Hopkins said. "And now the real world is just going to send me a letter in the mail."

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