Friday, July 29, 2011

Tips from Alumni - Part 2

Hi Everyone!

I am pleased to say that I have had an overwhelming number of responses to my discussion in the SMC Alumni Group! They had a ton of great advice! Therefore, I felt it necessary to make a Part 2 post to give the most beneficial answers to my question:

What is the one thing you wish you knew before coming to SMC?


        Matthew Hobin '05
I wish I had known how to get more involved in internships. It's key to get real job experience while in college and I didn't really see the resources there, although they may be now, to work with students and get them involved in an internship in the community or somewhere else. 


Craig Duffy '06
I agree regarding having a study abroad experience. I was a Spanish major and was fortunate to be able to study abroad for both Fall and Spring semesters my senior year. Although I didn't pursue internships (which I agree would have been a help) study abroad really opens your eyes to the world and, in my opinion, makes you more attractive to employers. The world is global, there's no doubt about it, and having extensive global experience is truly invaluable.


Michael Gizzi '90
Maybe its because I am a college professor, but I wish that 25 years ago, when entering St. Mike's, that I had explored a few more academic areas that at the time I thought uninteresting or irrelevant. One of the great things about St. Mike's was the liberal arts curriculum offered through the general education "core." I am thankful now for the broad exposure it gave me, but also wish that I had put a little more effort into going beyond my comfort zone. As an undergrad at St. Mike's you are given an opportunity to explore so many things. Take advantage of every moment.

For example, while I took an honors class with George Dameron on Renaissance and Reformation, and to this day I still remember examining the debate between Luther and Erasmus on free will (as well as being utterly befuddled by being required to write a five page paper on a PAINTING!), I realize now that there was so much I DIDN'T GET, and would so much love to have a "re-do" today!

Enjoy every minute, and maximize the opportunities you are given. 


Craig Davignon '96
One thing I would tell all incoming students is to get involved in new experiences. Don't just waste your free time (although I don't think socializing with friends is included) hanging out. Study hard and work hard freshman year, as I learned the hard way that too much partying and juggling social life with academic life is detrimental to your overall GPA. Go to Burlington and see what it has to offer ( a lot). Embrace the snowy winters by skiing, snowboarding, or buying a $10 sled and heading across the street to do some sledding. Meet as many people as you can- even if you don't have a lot in common at first. Freshman year in the dorm was an awesome experience for me; I learned to get along with so many different people that I wouldn't normally socialize with. Internships are huge for test driving careers. I interned at a life insurance firm and learned so much. It wasn't what I wanted to do with my life, but sometimes you need to try it to really find out. One regret is not going on a semester abroad- I had a friend who went and he said it changed his life. Have fun and don't get overly stressed about the finances. It took me ten years to pay off my student debt, and the reality is that a liberal arts degree gives you a wonderful background for many careers- but most require an advanced degree. I, like many of my friends, decided to get a graduate degree to help open more doors (and advancement). The sad part is that so many young teenagers are going with the cheapest state schools and are hyper focused on careers due to the Great Recession and pressure from parents. I'm happy my parents supported my decision to go to Saint Mike's - and I don't regret the debts, part-time jobs, and struggling to make my payments each month. 

These were responses that I felt would inspire you to get the most out of SMC! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. 



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