life after Smith for an '06 grad

<p>On another thread, another Smithie parent asked about my D, who graduated in May. I thought I would copy and paste the query and response here, as some other Smithie folk might have an interest. Smith was such a great experience for our D that I feared it would be a tough act to follow. Fortunately (so far) that has not been the case and D is quite happy in her life after Smith. Details available via e-mail as my D likes to protect her privacy.</p>

<p><a href="sorry,%20following%20off-topic">quote</a></p>

Originally Posted by pesto
Speaking about what the kids have been up to, what is your Smith grad doing now? What is life like after Smith? </p>

<p>Pesto, you asked about my Smithie-grad D. She is happily employed in her field (economics) with a very interesting firm which has international clients and allows her use of her foreign language. Surprisingly, it was her foreign language proficiency as much as the econ degree that got her the job. </p>

<p>There's something neat about having your kid sign up for her first 401-k plan!
PLUS she has started paying off her (modest/Strafford only) student loans!</p>

<p>We all wanted her to have some "real life" work experience before considering grad school. I would be happy to provide details via PM or, better still, e-mail. (Kid prefers to avoid having her life detailed on a public forum.) All is good (even better than I would have realistically hoped) and we have no regrets about Smith. My e-mail addy should be on my profile - same as posting name at aol.


<p>Jyber, I'm so glad to hear she's doing well! </p>

<p>Since other Smith parents might be interested, I'll follow up with a question: Did your daughter use Smith resources to find and get her job? Would she recommend anything in particular that Smith offers to help Seniors in the transition from college to employment?</p>

<p>My D is still just a junior (third-year?), but I figure, since the topic arose, it was worth pursuing it even though she won't be facing the issue for another year.</p>

<p>Pesto, Smith's CDO was certainly proactive and supplied D with a steady stream of queries from prospective employers, interview opportunities, etc. As a matter of fact, she sometimes had to tell the CDO that she did not have time for some interviews (particularly the ones that involved travel), as she had to give some priority to her academics! My D (with a group of others) also had the opportunity to take a Smith van to a career conference in NYC. I would say there was plenty of activity and support. They also provide resume guidance, etc. </p>

<p>However, most firms that recruit on campus and/or work through Smith are the larger firms, and my D, although she did consider that kind of situation, was really looking for something more boutique/individualized. For a good fit for herself she really had to be proactive in seeking things out rather than just responding to what came her way via the CDO pipeline. So for her needs, the CDO provided plenty of interview experiences, but no "match." </p>

<p>It took her months after graduation (time she had anyway while she was rehabbing from knee surgery - the result of a dance injury at Smith!) to "figure out" a path for herself. Meanwhile she turned down some opportunities that were just "not quite right." Had me really anxious, for sure! Did the kid have unrealistic expectations? (I am not referring to salary, but rather to personal fit and interesting career path.) Would she need, at some point, to take just any job? Would she find her place in a post-Smith world?</p>

<p>Well, either there really is a God who for some reason smiled on her OR her approach ended up working (perhaps both?) but finally she got several appealing (to her) offers within a few weeks of each other. A firm that had not even been in the running at first ended up being her top pick. It has been a wonderful match and it is a joy to watch her enthusiastically moving on in her adult life. </p>

<p>So for her, the CDO did not "get" her a job, and she was unemployed for several months after graduation, but it came to a happy conclusion and I am sure the senior year exposure and interview experiences she had were of great benefit. I also imagine the confidence she gained at Smith enabled her to hold out for the right thing for herself rather than "settling" for whatever came along early.</p>

<p>P.S. CDO = Career Development Office</p>

<p>Hi Jyber, great story. I can't ever see a Smithie settle for anything! It's nice to read of your D's success after Smith, and to read about how the CDO really did what it was supposed to do. I have heard many interesting stories about how the CDO helps grads and future grads find jobs in their field of interest. They'll even provide suits for interviews, and as we all know, the Smithie alumnae association is quite deep and helpful.</p>

<p>Sounds like your D found a job the same way she found a college to attend; well thought out, and looked for a good fit. It's that fit word that keeps coming up time and time again.</p>

<p>A good anecdote, Jyber. Thanks for posting. I'm sorry your D suffered the knee injury...ouch.</p>

<p>Thanks TheDad, but among surgeries and injuries it was relatively minor (torn meniscus). She could have lived with it a good while but it would have put a cramp in her plan to remain physically active and we figured it was better to get the surgery behind her right after graduation -- before her life got more complicated. She was lucky it happened just when it did. She finished rehab in September and is back dancing now -- taking evening classes after work several nights a week. </p>

<p>I think one big adjustment will be the loss of school vacations and the time flexibility of a college schedule. Her free/discretionary time is very limited now.</p>

<p>Jyber, re loss of flexible college schedules: after working an 8-5 job for five months, D was deeply appreciative of a half day off. The "no time to do stuff" syndrome hit.</p>

<p>Jyber, thanks so much for sharing your daughter's post-graduation experience with us. With one kid in the throes of the college application process and my Smithie preparing for a second semester abroad, I've been busy with other preoccupations, but it is good to have a glimpse of the future.</p>

<p>One of the more poignant pieces of my daughter's preparations for next semester is her realization that there are so many people she won't see again -- sophomores who will be doing JYA next year and won't be around during her senior year, and seniors who will have graduated. Her desire to linger on campus as long as possible points to one of Smith's more unsung virtues -- the ease of developing friendships that cross boundaries of class year. At least it has been so in her case.</p>


Pesto, your point is a good one and my D says she does miss the communal living aspects of house life. </p>

<p>I myself remember feeling a bit wi****l (sorry, filter at work! Think wist and ful.) when a housemate a couple of years ahead of D graduated, because this senior Smithie had been very nice to D when she was a first-year new to the house, and H and I had become friendly with this young woman's parents over several shared Family Weekends. </p>

<p>Certainly, D had many teary times during Senior Week/Commencement Weekend at Smith, realizing all that she was saying goodbye to. </p>

<p>On the other hand, with e-mails, IMs, etc. those connections are easier to maintain than they were in our (or at least my!) day. She is in touch with many of her Smith friends regularly and has gotten together with several in the months since graduation. D even plans to take her first work vacation with another Smithie, even though they now live in different cities.</p>

<p>The Smith connection does continue post graduation. My D has attended an alum session chaired by Carol Christ on future directions for Smith. She was one of only two '06's in this (regional) session and their feedback was particularly encouraged. D met and exchanged contact info with other Smith alums who live in her area.</p>

<p>Just this past weekend D got an e-mail from one of her favorite profs. He was updating her on the success of a program, implemented this year, that had gotten started through the class D had taken with him. She was able to tell the prof that Carol Christ had referred to the program several times in the alum session.</p>

<p>Several Smith organizations (Glee Club among them) have alum participation opportunities.</p>

<p>By the way, have you ever witnessed the Alum Parade on Ivy Day? (Because D sang with the Glee Club for Commencement Weekends before her own, we caught it when we picked her up each year end. It is amazing, with some of the eldest alums "marching" in wheelchairs!) The alums, attired in white with class year color sashes and banners for their class theme, parade through the seniors (each holding a red rose) lining the route, who then join the parade at the end to proceed into the Quad for the first time as members of the alum community. </p>

<p>So the Smith community does continue afterward, although certainly there is nothing like "being there."</p>

<p>Best wishes to your D for her JYA experiences and senior year at Smith! (As well as to your h.s. senior. I have an 11th grader -- a boy, so Smith is not an option -- although his girlfriend is considering it!)</p>

<p>Yeah, the overlapping but-you-won't-be-here-next-year thing is a bummer, but as Jyber notes, the IM's, e-mails, and things like LiveJournal help. D has one reversed experience: all during her first year, people in her House were telling her, oh, you'll really like X, who's abroad in Y right now, but will be back next year. During D's sophomore year, X did indeed become one of her best friends.</p>

<p>From Jyber: "On the other hand, with e-mails, IMs, etc. those connections are easier to maintain than they were in our (or at least my!) day."</p>

<p>I made exactly the same point to my D. It's much easier to fire off a quick e-mail about any old silly little thing than it is to sit down and compose a proper letter (although I do mourn the loss of the latter). And judging from the way she has stayed connected to her HS friends, I expect she will keep up with Smith friends as well. as a perpetual series of receding relationships now begins in earnest.</p>

<p>No Smith in my HS senior's future either. It's the Y thing.</p>

<p>While it's true that connections are easier via e-mail, PM's, etc., one of my favorites is still the hug at the airport. We live only 20 minutes from LAX (though I give it 30 just in case of traffic snarl) and I leave in less than two hours. :)</p>