The Online Beacon

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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Alumni Shannon Welch Sheds a Light on “Life After College”

Alumni+Shannon+Welch+Sheds+a+Light+on+Life+After+College

On the afternoon of September 19th, the Environmental Science department’s Entering Student Seminar course, taught by Daniel Shustack — Professor of Environmental Science, met in CSI for pizza and a stimulating seminar titled “Life After College: Environmental Science” given by MCLA alumni, Shannon Welch ’22.

Throughout the semester, various speakers visit the class to give seminars about life in Environmental Science to help prepare and guide them as they integrate their studies into their everyday lives. For Welch, she structured her presentation around what she thought would be most useful for the students, and as it turned out, Welch’s advice can span across many different fields of study.

Welch began with what she considered to be three of the most important questions when it comes to employment after college:

  1. Do you want to stay in this area of work?
  2. How do you feel about field work?
  3. What relationship do you want to have with your job?

“Figuring out what you love and don’t love in your field of work is so important to narrowing down what you want to do,” said Welch. “Try things out, take advantage of different opportunities and see what works for you.”

She also emphasized that there is no judgment on your answers to those questions and the path that is right for you, “Yeah, field work [in Environmental Science] is fun, but if you hate doing it in the rain then maybe don’t follow a path that leads you to be outside 24/7, and that’s okay!”

Welch also acknowledged that it can be scary to “strike out on your own”and that not having a college community supporting you can be hard in your first few months post-graduation. Her remedy for that is simple:

“I would say that the biggest thing you’ll have to do is learn to trust yourself and your knowledge. And also learn the value of hobbies, you’re going to have a lot more time on your hands!” she said.

When it comes to steps students should be taking to further prep themselves for life after college, Welch says, “Start networking! Not only with people in town but with your advisor and professors, too! Share your excitement about your future! Talk to them about your interests in the field, listen to them talk about theirs! And also take advantage of internships, every semester is an opportunity to do something new and cool!”

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Macayla Flanigan, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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