The academic year may be just beginning, but for seniors, this final year at the Colleges marks the beginning of a lifelong exploration of life after graduation. In an effort to help William Smith students with this journey, the William Smith Deans Office is inviting all senior women to the Countdown to Commencement: Senior Supper Series.
“Students think that life is a train on a track,” says William Smith Dean Susanne McNally. “But nobody’s life is like that.”
McNally hopes that the dinner and speaker series will debunk this myth, and introduce seniors to women with vastly different lives and careers. “During these dinners in past years, we have heard inspiring stories of fabulous careers,” explains McNally. “Every alumna has a story like that.”
Every William Smith senior will be invited to at least one dinner tailored to her major during the academic year but William Smith seniors are invited to attend all of the events. Each dinner begins with a short talk by a recent alumna, often by a graduate school student. While enjoying a nice meal, women will hear from several older alumnae, introducing the senior students to their lives and careers and giving them the opportunity to interact with women in their field, receiving one-on-one advice.
In addition to the talks, each senior will also be given a copy of the book “Life After School Explained,” which contains helpful hints on everything from filing taxes to paying a landlord.
Upcoming speakers come from a wide range of majors including political science, anthropology, English and biology, and are now leading careers as attorneys, investment bankers, museum curators, nutritionists, wine makers, and marketers.
The inaugural speaker is Lauren Shallish ’05 who will give a talk titled “Experiencing the World in the World” in Comstock Living Room starting at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10. The dinner will focus on the careers of social science majors, including anthropology, economics, political science, psychology and sociology.
Shallish is currently at Syracuse University as a doctoral student in Disability Studies and Cultural Foundations of Education and a graduate assistant to the Dean of the School of Education. She also is a research assistant for the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia University.
Additional events will be held throughout the semester; the next speaker, alumna Sarah Canavan ’11, will join campus on Monday, Sept. 23.
Any WS student may attend any dinner that appeals to her, by RSVPing to Gretchen DeWall at firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, Sept. 8.