Career Services aims to ease career anxiety

Maranda+Larsen+for+the+CELCS+story+Photo+credit%3A+Millie+Eckel

Maranda Larsen for the CELCS story Photo credit: Millie Eckel

Photo by Millie Eckel

Has any student ever escaped the anxiety of going to interviews and finding a job? I figure the majority of people reading this cannot say they are immune to the stresses of planning our futures.

Luckily, the Office of Career Services is working to relieve that career anxiety. That is why they created the Tiger Connections program.

Tiger Connections is a program Career Services is putting on to connect Trinity students to alumni. Maranda Larsen, Associate Director of Career Services, spoke about why Career Services decided to start this program.

“The purpose was to help students who need to broaden their network, do informational interviews, and reach out to people they don’t know. We wanted to create a way for students to have those connections in a less stressful environment,” said Larsen.

All of the Tiger Connections meetings are on Zoom, so Trinity students do not have to be on campus to participate. The Zoom format also means that Trinity students are able to talk to alumni wherever they are.

To participate in the program, all students have to do is show up. Career Services takes care of the rest.

“I set up a Zoom meeting and ask students to sign up on a Google Calendar with appointment slots. Each student has 15 minutes,” said Larsen.

Career Services is taking a very diverse approach to Tiger Connections. They have alumni and parents from all fields and interests offering to talk to students, so there is something for everybody.

Katie Ramirez, Director of Career Services and Co-Director for Experimental Learning and Career Success, spoke about some of the opportunities Tiger Connections offers.

“The fields have been incredibly diverse. [We] have someone from a museum and a parent that works with a wine company. We’ve gotten to the point now where we’ve had an athlete edition. We’ve had a DEI day, where recruiters talked about DEI. Specific events for different pockets of students. Maybe a Greek one. Also, we have someone who has lived internationally,” said Ramirez.

Right now, we are obviously going through a global pandemic, and that means a lot of things for Trinity students. One of which is that Trinity students are looking at graduating in a recession.

The prospect of graduating in a recession makes some of the benefits Tiger Connections offers even more important.

“You’re expanding your network. When there is a recession in a labor market, expanding your network is especially critical. You are practicing articulating yourself in a career oriented way. Liberal arts students can do so many things by the time they graduate. Talking to an alumni will expand your horizons so you can see who is out there. Most people don’t have a linear career path. The ability to reposition yourself and be curious is especially important in a recession. People can give you advice on your professional decisions,” said Ramirez.

Overall, the students have had a very positive reaction to the program. Trinity students Shivani Alur and Nicholas Friedman shared their Tiger Connections experiences.

“I have learnt so much about business, consulting, and professional advice from alumni, and I think this Trinity sponsored event for students to chat with alums is awesome!! Alison’s advice was very helpful and insightful for my questions about a career abroad. Thanks so much for putting this together,” said Shivani Alur.

“This is an incredible program and Alison seemed really interested in talking to us. Please keep doing more of these, and we have to find a way to let more Trinity students know this is available. I am incredibly grateful y’all put these together, and I am going to share with some peers about this opportunity,” said Nicholas Friedman.

These students are not alone in gaining confidence and insight from this experience.

“From our surveys, students reported increase in the likelihood of reaching out to someone for informational interviews from 3.9 to 4.4,” said Larsen.

Whether looking for a job, thinking about a field, or wanting to meet people with interesting experiences, Tiger Connections can be a great way for Trinity students to learn something new and hopefully clear up some of that anxiety about our futures.