The transition from student to graduate, always a daunting challenge, has been made easier for DeSales seniors, thanks to the Senior Success Series, a new program introduced at the University this academic year. The year-long program offers opportunities for students to address concerns regarding networking, job searches, interviewing and finances, among others, in a very practical, direct, hands-on manner.
Currently, the program has an enrollment of 22 students. The students were selected by faculty and staff based on their involvement on campus and in the community, grade point average, and potential to succeed in the program. As the program grows, the hope of coordinators is that all seniors will participate in the program.
"We believe this program is succeeding and will continue to succeed, in large part, due to the fact that it was developed by university administrators in both academic affairs and student life," says Scott Mattingly, director of academic advising at DeSales. "The support received from both areas has enabled us to develop a program that addresses the personal and professional aspects of life after graduation and addresses topics which are not typically covered in academic courses."
Students in the program take part in eight events that focus on areas which have caused recent graduates anxiety. The areas include networking, creating a personal brand, job searching, personal and professional character, interviewing, finances, and community engagement. The eighth session, "What's next?," will provide students with information and strategies for distinguishing various types of benefits packages, completing tax and other forms, and navigating company culture.
Each of the eight sessions will offer students the opportunity to gain additional insight into topics that might not yet be familiar to them, but which they will soon confront as they endeavor to become successful and responsible citizens.
Students should find the finance session particularly timely, given the economic climate. At this event, they will become more familiar with the concepts of budgeting, budgeting, debt, student loans, and savings. Also, they will learn about renting an apartment, buying a home, leasing or buying a car, building credit, and accounting for any incidentals. Each student will be required to create a personal budget by applying the aforementioned concepts.
Mattingly, in collaboration with Kate Hunter, director of career services and internships, and John P. Kelliher, associate director of residence life, designed the Senior Success Series at DeSales because they witnessed a growing need in the senior students for such a program.
"I am honored to be part of the Senior Success Series," says Sophia Senyk, an accounting major from Reston, Va. "It goes beyond teaching students the basics, like how to make a good resume and what to do at a career fair. It offers students a look at reality and what the future will hold for us."
The eight events feature sessions facilitated by DeSales faculty and staff members, as well as presentations by professionals from companies in the community at large. The companies include Independence Planning Group, Blue Bell, Pa.; Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Bethlehem, Pa.; Clear Channel Radio, Whitehall, Pa.; Lutron, Coopersburg, Pa.; Automatic Data Processing, Allentown, Pa.; and U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pa., Philadelphia, Pa., among others. The goal of all the events is to enhance both personal and professional skills of students who are about to graduate.
"Through the Senior Success Series, students are afforded multiple opportunities to network with community members through formalized networking sessions as well as more casual interactions with presenters," says Hunter. "Our students have said they appreciate the practical nature of the information covered in the various sessions, as it helps ease their anxieties about the 'real world',"
"The Senior Success Series has a great schedule of events over the course of the year," says Sarah Ball, communications major from Nazareth, Pa. "The year long program offers students a better chance to learn and develop skills, rather than trying to cram everything into a one-day workshop."
"Presentations and events in the Senior Success Series don't just provide students with a few things we think are important," says Pat Seward, a pharmaceutical marketing major from Centereach, N.Y., "they offer students critical information that is very beneficial to our future."
For more information on the Senior Success Series at DeSales, contact Scott Mattingly, director of academic advising, at 610-282-1100 ext. 1408.
Press Release: New Senior Success Series at DeSales Helps Students Transition to Professional World | Posted on: 1/5/2009
For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034
610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu