Students and Alumni Discuss “Unexpected Career Trajectories”
On Sunday, October 3, the Worldbuilding Career Channel hosted an event for current students to virtually meet alumni and talk about how their Beloit College education prepared them for unexpected careers, from venture capital to coordinating an Asian American Writers’ Workshop.
Current students congregated in-person in the Science Center for pizza and community, while alumni joined virtually through Zoom. The alumni were Charlie Baxter (Assistant Director, Experiential Learning Network at the University of Buffalo), Jason Brenier (Head of Product & Innovation, Georgian Partners), Katie Vahey Gaebler (Founder and Consultant, Neurodiverse Education Resources of Denver), and
Lily Philpott (Program Manager, Asian American Writers’ Workshop).
Katie, who started her autism consulting organization in Denver after studying religion at Beloit and then pursuing a Ph.D. in higher education in Colorado, emphasized the importance of “getting outside your comfort zone while still in the comfort of Beloit.” A liberal arts education provides an opportunity to explore and connect diverse experiences, making students versatile for future career paths.
When one current student asked about how the alumni deal with the fear that they might end up taking a wrong step in their career path, especially when unexpected opportunities open up, the alumni responded by encouraging students to lean into the support of faculty and advisors at Beloit. As Katie put it, “Don’t ever feel like you are making these decisions on your own.”
Jason, whose career path from a major in modern languages at Beloit to now leading innovation at a venture capital firm included a stop at a professional clown school, closed the night by re-iterating four rules for clowns that apply to anyone trying to be adaptable in their careers: breathe, be visceral, go for the unknown, and follow the rhythm.
A liberal arts education, the alumni concluded, helps students follow the rhythm of their own passions, and to be ready for the unknown.