Major Meals provide opportunity to learn, network

After navigating their way through a variety of courses in their first year at Trinity, students in the sophomore college are able to begin thinking seriously about committing to their majors. By considering potential careers and paths they can take, sophomore students are able to narrow down potential degree plans they may consider pursuing.  Sophomores with inquiries about potential careers or majors they’re strongly considering are encouraged to attend a Major Meals session for the appropriate degree plan. Major Meals is an event in which sophomores are able to interact with various representatives in fields they’re interested in working in. With different dates and sessions for each of Trinity’s unique majors, sophomores have several opportunities to speak with faculty members, alumni, and current students in their field of interest.

Starting with its formation in 2008, Major Meals provides students with a relaxed environment to get to know and make their potential connections in a stress-free environment.

“It’s a great opportunity for students who do know their major to network and get a little more settled into it. We really just want students to have the opportunity to learn more so they’re not floundering. It’s low-key, low-pressure; we want it to be really approachable and easy,” said Lisa Petrakis, Residential Life Coordinator of sophomore college.

As the event facilitator, Petrakis has worked to ensure the event runs as smoothly as possible.

“The tables will be split by department. Faculty, alumni and current students will be there to talk about their experiences, what they can expect out of the requirements for each department. It’s just a conversation driven by the students, so they’re given the opportunity to ask whatever questions they may have,” Petrakis said.

With the power to direct the conversation in their own hands, sophomores have the potential to lead the topic down several paths. The idea of leading a conversation can be overwhelming, however.

“If you take time to think about what’s important to you, that’s how you can get the most out of this.” Petrakis said.

According to Petrakis,  preparing for an event while simultaneously considering every aspect of the major they’re discussing, students will get the most out of the event.

“Be open-minded! It’s easy to sit down and be like “˜maybe this isn’t what I expected’, but you can learn a lot and find out about a lot of things, so be willing to learn and ask questions. Don’t be shy,” Petrakis said.

Several professors have used Major Meals as an opportunity to approach students in a more relaxed, hassle-free environment.

“I’m a fan, it’s fun. So much of time, there’s an urgent, “˜pants on fire’ purpose for doing something, but this is a casual affair with a horizontal conversation kind of thing. It’s more fun, it’s a less of an anxiety-provoking environment,” said Harry Wallace, associate professor of psychology.

Although the flow and amount of attendees can be hard to predict, it’s important to be patient while waiting to talk to a representative.

“If there is a ratio where a lot of students show up without many representatives, be patient or strategic and as the table moves around, position yourself in a good place,” Wallace said. “It can sometimes be difficult, but it’s just a way to get to know somebody else in the department.”

Major Meals will take place on October 26, 27 and 28, with majors assigned to specific days. For questions or inquiries, students are encouraged to contact Petrakis.