“Life After Scripps Week” began on Oct. 5 with a kickoff dessert reception, featuring a speech by Scripps’ new president, Lori Bettison-Varga. Also at the reception was a panel of Scripps alumnae speaking about their personal stories of “What I Wish I’d Known.”
As a senior who knows that she doesn’t want to attend graduate school or apply for a fellowship after graduation, navigating the intimidating job search process is certainly overwhelming. President Bettison-Varga eased these fears by reminding Scripps women of the value of a liberal arts education. Many employers are going to ask us, she said, if our “liberal education” just taught us how to be a Democrat; but our time at Scripps has provided us with so much more than that! Ask yourself what employers are looking for: someone with problem-solving ability and communication skills, a synthetic thinker who can write and speak well. Essentially, employers are looking for a Scripps graduate. Employers are currently trying to position themselves on the forefront of innovations. As Bettison-Varga said: “You’re creative. You own original thought. You think broadly! Own it. You go out there and own it…You are the future.”
So, if we are the future, is there any advice we should heed before venturing into the unknown? During the “What I Wish I’d Known” panel, Scripps alumnae offered wisdom to current students about the post-graduation job-search. A couple of especially pertinent remarks related to the group-pressure mentality that presents itself senior year.
Abby Stopper (’07) is studying interior design and architecture at U.C. Berkeley after having traveled and worked in France and Washington, D.C. Stopper reminded us that in college, professors want you to get an “A” and will put in the extra effort to help you succeed. In the real world, this is not so much the case, you have to be willing to put in your own effort. Stopper advised students to take some time to navigate the real world before attending graduate school.
Bonnie Brayton (’05) went straight to a doctorate program in plant biology at UC Berkeley, but dropped out after receiving her masters degree. She agreed with Stopper’s perspective and advised Scripps women to take their time to figure out what they want to do. There is no need to go straight to graduate school just because of a feeling of obligation or convention.
Mary Grimes (‘07) is currently pursuing an MFA at Mills College, and worked briefly for Teach For America following graduation. Her main advice was: do what is best for you! In the Scripps community, where everyone feels the pressure to apply for a fellowship, graduate school or certain jobs, it is easy to get caught up in a group-think mentality and plan your future based on what you “should” do instead of what is truly best for you.
You are not alone in the process of planning your life after Scripps. CP&R constantly plans events and workshops to ease the process, so be sure to take advantage of the resources they have to offer.
Well, class of 2010, whatever your future holds for you—be it graduate school, travel, fellowships, a job or just time off—let’s get creative! Own your strengths and venture out into the unknown.