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Westminster Career Center equips students to enter a competitive workforce

The Kim T. Adamson Alumni House of Westminster College hosted a ‘Take a Griffin to Lunch’ tabling event Tuesday, where students were invited to sign up for a mentor opportunity which pairs them with an alum in the same field or interest for a lunch sometime in February 2023, according to the Alumni Office on Westminster’s events webpage

“[Our conversation] really kind of jolted my decision,” said Ashlynn Talcott, a double alum who majored in business administration and finance in 2021 and participated in the ‘Take a Griffin to Lunch’ program. “I asked a lot of questions about — and kind of shared my experience as — a woman being in the business fields, specifically the finance industry, and where I have seen some discrepancies.” 

Talcott graduated in December 2022 with a master of business administration and said she found ‘Take a Griffin to Lunch’ helpful for navigating life after college and offering perspectives she had never considered.

During COVID-19, unemployment rates increased for college graduates and workers without a bachelor’s degree, according to an article published by the Pew Research Center. The statistics have since returned to pre-pandemic levels as of March 2022, according to the article. 

A graphic depicts U.S. unemployment rates during COVID-19. During COVID-19, unemployment rates increased for college graduates and workers without a bachelor’s degree, according to an article published by the Pew Research Center. The statistics have since returned to pre-pandemic levels as of March 2022, according to the article. Graphic courtesy of Vanessa Eveleth. Image description: A bar graph shows three different categories, those who have completed college, those with some college experience and those with no college experience, and their respective unemployment rates during COVID-19.

Talcott said she had a lot of questions about graduate school for the alum she was paired with, Lee Payne, who is also a master of business administration alum. The two met at Tsunami restaurant and sushi bar near campus, and spoke about whether graduate school was the right choice for her and how soon she wanted to go back to school, according to Talcott.

Talcott said Payne provided experienced and perspective-based answers to her questions, which “we kind of bonded over,” Talcott said. 

Talcott said she loved the ‘Take A Griffin to Lunch’ experience and still stays in contact with Payne. They are connected on LinkedIn and he was one of the first people to congratulate Talcott on her recent graduation, according to Talcott. 

Connor Craig, a senior neuroscience major, discusses with Audrey Clare, Career Center coach, about life possibilities after college during the ‘Take a Griffin to Lunch’ tabling event hosted by the Kim T. Adamson Alumni House in Shaw Student Center on Tuesday. The program pairs current students with alums in the same field or interest for mentorship and a lunch sometime in February 2023, according to the Alumni Office on Westminster’s events webpage. Photo courtesy of Devin Logan. Image description: A student and staff member speak at a purple table with drinks and snacks. A poster reads “Take a Griffin to Lunch.”

Westminster’s Career Center has a wealth of resources for students and alum, according to career coaches Lisa Heiskell and Audrey Clare in an email interview. 

“You’re looking for your next step on your career journey, not your forever job,” Heiskell and Clare said. “You will have many different jobs over the course of your working life. Right now, you’re looking for that first professional role.”

Heiskell and Clare said they want students to know Westminster alumni have lifetime access to the Career Center. 

“We are here for you, whether it’s five days before graduation or five years after,” Heiskell and Clare said.

Some of the resources the Career Center offers for students exploring career options are: 

  • Handshake, a job-finding resource for students and alumni  
  • One-on-one alum coaching 
  • 30-minute coaching session with a certified career coach 
  • Weekly posts to the Westminster Network group on LinkedIn

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Rylee Brown(she/hers) is a senior Communication major with a minor in Spanish. She is a reporter and the Business and Advertising Manger for the Forum. In her free time she also works as a social media manager for local business, loves to spend time with her siblings, playing board games with her fiancee, and traveling whenever she can.

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