What should I be doing during the summer—interning in a field that interests me or working a shift job to earn more money? How do you choose a graduate program? When should I create a LinkedIn profile? How do I evaluate a job offer for non-salary benefits like health insurance and retirement savings? Should I be building an emergency fund even if I have student loan debt?
These were just a few of the questions asked by the 30 Johnnies who came to our Nuts & Bolts Workshop, which was co-sponsored by Career Services, Financial Aid, and the Alumni Office. Also in attendance were seven recent alumni currently attending graduate school or working in such fields as education, sales, the tech industry, and management. While the free pizza and chocolate chip cookies may have been the initial draw for some, students stayed nearly three hours for an energetic and wide-ranging conversation covering topics from networking and the job or graduate school search to budgeting, credit scores, and saving—all workings of what one sophomore called “learning to be a functional adult.”
The event was our second Nuts & Bolts offering. The first, held last Spring, focused on answering juniors’ and seniors’ questions about student loans and making financial decisions after graduation. Our second program was open to all Johnnies, and attendees came from every class. Although the academic year began only weeks ago, many applications for Summer 2016 internships and fellowships have deadlines in the coming months, and the workshop offered current students the chance to get alumni perspectives and advice about these opportunities.
We’re hoping to offer a few more Nuts & Bolts workshops on other “practical” themes throughout the year, to encourage Johnnies to take advantage of campus resources earlier in their college careers. (Although students may sometimes feel like the Financial Aid Office exists solely to email them relentlessly about missing documentation, we’re also a resource for questions about student loans, scholarship opportunities, campus employment, budgeting, and other money matters!) At the end of the day, we’re all here to support the work of the Program—helping students become effective problem-solvers, thinkers, communicators, and leaders—to prepare them to define what it means to have a good life, and to go out and live that.
Here are links to some of the resources we covered:
Annapolis Office of Career Services
Hodson Trust Internship Program
Pathways Fellowship Program
September 2015 Horizons Newsletter
Annapolis Financial Aid Office
The 411 on Managing Your Finances
Free Budget Websites to Help You Manage Your Money