Students Spring into the Semester – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Students Spring into the Semester

As seniors continue their countdown to graduation day, first years, sophomores and juniors are already beginning to gear up for summer.

“The spring semester is the busiest time of year for the campus,” explains William Smith Student Trustee Caroline Dosky ’12. “Seniors are readying for their post-grad careers, while the rest of the campus prepares to take the next step in their undergraduate years, including applying for internships, preparing to study abroad or registering for classes.”

Less than a month away, class registration is particularly important for rising sophomores and juniors who should meet with their advisers to declare their academic goals and make plans in preparation for registration at the beginning of April.

“Sophomores must declare their majors by Friday, March 9, and juniors must declare a minor or second major by Friday, March 16,” explains Associate Registrar Melissa Welsh. “Juniors are also responsible for submitting their goals form and major audit, both of which provide a specific plan for the completion of the student’s academic requirements. The advising hold must be released and all of these forms must be submitted before a student can register for fall classes.”

For the more than 84 percent of HWS students who receive some form of financial assistance, it is important that they fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid before Tuesday, May 1, in order to continue receiving federal and New York state financial assistance. For seniors, a final visit to the Financial Aid Office will be bittersweet as they prepare to say goodbye to their alma maters.

“Seniors getting ready to leave the Colleges should be watching their e-mail inboxes for notification of exit counseling presentations, which will take place in April,” explains Assistant Director of Financial Aid Dawn Langdon. “These exit counseling sessions get students ready for repayment, and answer questions concerning loan consolidation.”

In addition to making sure their HWS education is on track, students should head to the Salisbury Center for Career Services and Professional Development to begin thinking about their post-grad plans, locate internships and attain the skills necessary to succeed in the job market. Whether a first year or a senior, it is never too early or too late to make an appointment with Career Services and begin the four-tiered program that will help students assess their skills and interests, research potential careers, prepare for their career and create a professional network.

“First years and sophomore should be exploring career possibilities and looking at internship opportunities while juniors interested in Fulbright or other post-grad fellowships should meet with Scott MacPhail before the end of the semester as most of these application processes begin in the summer,” explains Director of Career Services Brandi Ferrara. “Students interested in grad school should schedule an appointment with me to talk about the timeline for the process, while seniors should, if they haven’t already, meet with Career Services to create a resume, engage in a mock interview and create a cover letter to send to prospective employers.”

Seniors should also join the HWS alum network on LinkedIn and establish a permanent e-mail address, explains Ferrara, who notes that these steps will help students to network and have an up-to-date resume. Career Services will also sponsor several speaker and workshop series throughout the semester, including the Professional Development series, the Professional in Residence speaker series and the Ready, Set, Go series, an internship and job readiness workshop. These events are aimed at providing students with the information and skills they will need to pursue successful careers.

As it is still not too late for students interested in a summer internship, a list of current offerings can be found on the database, Experience, or through the Office of Career Services, which employs full-time staff who work individually with students to help find jobs, internships and network in places and fields not listed in the database. Students interested in applying for an unpaid internship, but who do not have the funds to finance such a venture, can still apply for one of several Endowed Internship Funds, all of which are due by Wednesday, March 28. 

With nearly 60 percent of students studying abroad at some point during their time at HWS, many are preparing to make the journey, waiting to hear whether they were accepted or thinking about going abroad. Students who will be studying abroad in the fall have already received all the information they need to prepare them for going abroad.

“We have provided students with all of the resources they need to go abroad, including a checklist that details deadlines that students should be meeting,” explains Study Abroad Program Coordinator Doug Reilly. “Right now, students are working to fill out paperwork for visas and internships. They should also be looking into purchasing tickets, securing passports and meeting any medical requirements for their intended destination of study.”

Students who recently submitted their applications to the Center for Global Education (CGE) will hear back before registration in April and must pay close attention to any academic prerequisites, such as language or culture courses.

Students thinking about going abroad, can go to the CGE-sponsored follow-up events for returned abroad students, says Reilly. On Tuesday, April 3, CGE will sponsor a Global Visions Triple event, where students can see photos from abroad, read the 10th volume of the Aleph or meet with students who have been abroad at 4:30 p.m. in the Vandervort Room. Another event, on Sunday, April 22, will give students the opportunity to hear directly from students who studied abroad at the Away Café Open Mic Night at 7 p.m. in the Cellar Pub.

In the photo above, Professor Wes Perkins advises student Will McConnell ’12.