Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another busy weekend on campus

On Thursday afternoon Jim Wall, Global Managing Partner for Human Resources and Talent Management for Deloitte, Touche, Tohmatsu - one of the largest accounting firms in the world and a '74 alum of SMC came to campus for the Career Symposium sponsored by the Alumni Board of Directors, Institutional Advancement, the Business Department and the Office of Career Development. This was a two day event which featured Jim's keynote address on Friday and several workshops, a dinner and an excellent chance for our students to learn HOW to network and to actually network with over 30 SMC alums who generously gave of their time to return to campus for this event. Jim also agreed to meet on Thursday afternoon with five students who are working with Dr. Carolyn Whitney and me on researching the impact of the "New Millenials" (Generation Y) on the corporate and business world. It is fascinating to watch these five students as they research the "traditionalists" - "baby boomers" - "Generation X" and now Generation Y or the New Millenials. Our discussions and their initial research has been challenging, collaborative and exciting. Jim shared HIS perspective on how the corporate world has adapted to the New Millenials - his visit was much appreciated by the students and by Carolyn and me.

His talk on Friday began with his showing the YouTube video DID YOU KNOW - you can find this on if you just search for Did You Know 4.0. This was developed initially by a high school teacher several years ago and now it is updated every year. The video shows in a very stark fashion how our world is not only changing VERY rapidly, but how the issue of GLOBALIZATION cannot be ignored. Jim then provided his own insight into the current job market and stressed that there were two specific things that Saint Michael's College is preparing our students for - since so much information is now available at our fingertips due to the astronomical increase of technology, what is ESSENTIAL in today's world is for students to LEARN HOW TO LEARN - Jim explained why this is so important in today's global economy. He then went on to explain that the second thing that SMC prepares our students for is LEARNING HOW TO INTERACT WITH OTHERS on a personal level. Jim is always a well-prepared and well-received speaker and he continues to live up to his reputation. He challenges people, engages them and provides timely and very helpful advice and his love for this institution is always very clear and present.

On Saturday afternoon, after grading papers and constructing the first exam for my Theories of Counseling class, I presented information to two groups of prospective students and their families during our Office of Admission Fall Academic Preview Day. My workshops focused on those students who are EXPLORATORY and who have not yet decided on a college major - this is NOT a bad thing. Since I had been so impressed by Jim Wall's presentation I decided to show the same YouTube video to my two workshops. I had very packed sessions of students and their families and after showing the video and processing their reaction to it I then read part of an email I had just received from Chris Rovero who graduated from SMC four years ago and who just graduated from law school and also just passed the CT Bar Examination on his first try :0. It is always nice to be able to share with PROSPECTIVE students what FORMER students have to say about their education both in and out of the classroom at SMC. The students/families seemed to appreciate both the reality of the video and the challenges that presented AND the messages from both Jim Wall and Chris Rovero. Several folks stopped to ask specific questions and to comment on this sometimes frustrating and draining process of college selection. I know that this is NOT an easy task and I hope that I was able to provide some helpful insight and information to these folks. Here is what Chris wrote to me:

. "On a more serious note, I have to give some well-deserved credit to the faculty/staff at St. Mike's for preparing me for the rigor of a legal education. And I'm not talking merely about academics here, though my ability to think critically, write effectively, and communicate confidently are well-rooted in the liberal arts curriculum at SMC. I'm speaking, too, of "bigger" values: empathy, charity, humility, self-awareness. What I learned outside of the classroom at SMC was equally, if not more valuable than specific texts or theorems highlighted in the classroom. What I guess I'm saying is: a) THANK YOU; and, b) I approve of the new catchphrase promoted on the college's website ("Learn What Matters") :)"

Back to grading papers - our foliage is still spectacular as we missed the snow that hit south of here - take care, be well and yes, as always, please keep all of the members of our military and their families in your thoughts and prayers.


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