This past weekend included the Inauguration of the seventh president of St. John’s College, Santa Fe, several celebratory alumni Homecoming events like seminars, field games, a piano master class and panel discussion with Seymour Bernstein and Michael Kimmelman, and an Alumni Networking Breakfast for current students and alumni.
Having graduated from the college 20 years ago, I have a great deal of familiarity and certainty when it comes to touting the benefits of a St. John’s education. I can attest first-hand to the striking variety of career paths our alumni follow. In a graduating class of slightly fewer than 100 people, I have friends that have started successfully businesses, become lawyers, professors, surgeons, and writers, but I was still amazed to see how the alumni organized themselves into such a huge array of career areas on Saturday morning. Areas included, Library Science, Information Technology, Law, Medicine/Neuroscience, Computer Programming, and Education, and many , many more.
One alum stood up at the podium and strongly encouraged all current students, even freshman, to start a LinkedIn profile and to seek out other Johnnies to learn about graduate school and career options.
One thing that many alumni at this career event had in common is a deep adaptibility. Professional flexibility is invaluable and because all St. John’s College students have to do every part of the four-year curriculum, students develop comfort with studying something difficult; students become accustomed to learning about things that fall outside their area of expertise. Through the classical liberal arts core, students gain a facility with making connections across areas of content. They begin to see how studying a geometric proof connects to the study of the structure and mechanics of a language. Many alumni started in one field, only to find that a transition to another profession proved to be a more meaningful and worthwhile opportunity. Alumni were extremely eager to connect with students and to share their experiences. Students attending the event received vital information about finding internships, interviewing for jobs, as well as, assistance weighing the pros and cons of grad school.
All in all, the event was heralded as a huge success!