English Honor Society Encourages Students to Seek Alternatives

By Brittany Baker

On Oct. 23, Furman’s English honorary, Sigma Tau Delta (STD), will be hosting their Career Planning Session.

The informational session aims to expose current humanities students to options in both career planning and applying for graduate school. Furman alumni will come to speak of their own experiences and help students plan for after college.

In years past, the session focused primarily on providing students with information on applying and attending graduate school. However, due to a change suggested by STD advisor Dr. Margaret Oakes, the session will now also focus on finding careers immediately after college.

According to Oakes, a similar successful session was held by STD last fall. Oakes says that the session works better when it is focused on career planning than it does on information about graduate school alone.

“We have done sessions in the past on graduate school, but we thought that was too limited, and that students needed to know more about other options as well,” she said. “Our emphasis is on careers, not just graduate school, which a lot of students think—unrealistically—is always a good fallback option.”

In presenting career options and pathways to students, Sigma Tau Delta will bring a number of speakers for discussion from the Furman community.

Among the speakers are Internship Director Susan Zeiger and Larry Hudson of Career Services, who have presented at previous sessions for the past two years. Both will speak to how students can use their own college experience and market themselves to employers. They will also discuss where Furman students have successfully been able to find employment, as well as what kind of employment they find.

Dr. Aaron Simmons of the Philosophy department will also speak at the session. Formerly the Distinguished Scholarships and Graduate Admissions Advisor at Hendrix College, Simmons has worked with students on applying for both the Rhodes Scholarship and the Fulbright Fellowship and will speak about applying to graduate school and the admissions process generally.

Also expected to speak are two Furman alumni, Olivia de Castro and Dorothy Self. De Castro, Communications Studies graduate of the class of 2006, owns A Public Affair, a public relations firm with offices in both Greenville and Miami.

Self, who graduated in 2004 with a Philosophy degree, is a senior accounting executive for Crawford Strategy, a local public relations and marketing firm. Both de Castro and Self will speak to finding employment without graduate degrees in the humanities.

According to Oakes, the session as a whole will provide information to students before they find employment.

“A lot of students wait too long even to think about this, and they should be starting to consider career options by the end of their sophomore year,” she said.

Sigma Tau Delta’s Publicity Chair, Shanda Edwards, says that the session will allow them to consider other options that they may have ignored because of their humanities degrees.

“There is a common misconception that a humanities degree is useless, especially in today’s job market,” Edwards said.

“Our goal with hosting the Career Planning Session is to show them that it is not true. We want every student to be aware of the possibilities that are available to them and for them to know that [humanities majors are] not a dead-end and that grad school is not the only option.”

The Career Planning Session welcomes all humanities majors and will be held in McEachern lecture hall on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 5:00 p.m.

Categories: News

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