Fifty-three Wesleyan students explored the workforce firsthand during the Gordon Career Center’s Fall 2019 Career Treks.
Through five experiential learning trips, students directly connected with Wesleyan alumni and engaged with employers across a wide range of industries.
During the fall 2019 semester, the Gordon Career Center’s team of career advisors facilitated career treks to local, Connecticut-based employers: ESPN, Hartford Hospital’s Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI), LEGO Systems, Inc., and Pfizer. Additionally, the GCC hosted a day trip for students to Boston to attend the Reach(OUT) LGBTQA+ Career Conference at Northeastern University.
Alumni hosts included Rob King ’84, senior vice president of original content at ESPN; Jordan Schildhaus ’15, assistant account manager, and Ethan Sack ’97, head of US marketing at LEGO; and Giselle Reyes ’18, MA’19, senior associate scientist at Pfizer.
On Nov. 15, 14 Wesleyan students traveled to Enfield, Conn., to learn about a large global, family-owned company: LEGO. Ethan Sack ’97 presented an informative overview and Jordan Schildhaus ’15 moderated a panel discussion that included perspectives from other LEGO staff. Students toured the company, visited the company store to view LEGO product lines, and engaged with model shop staff.
On Oct. 21, 10 Wesleyan students traveled to Hartford Hospital to visit the Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI) and to receive an overview of the Summer Premed Program by Research Director Dr. Liz Roper. CESI is the largest robotic surgical center in the northeast. The 90-minute guided hands-on tour of the center included an overview and a viewing of two videos showcasing some of the exercises CESI has performed to simulate response teams in difficult situations, one taking place in a helicopter and another in the hospital.
Students practiced CPR techniques and delivering a baby, and practiced hand-eye coordination with depth perception using pincers to practice moving pegs from one location to another. The visit provided students with an overview of a clinically-based research program at Hartford Hospital that pairs students with a physician.
On Oct. 29, students traveled to Groton, Conn., to attend Pfizer’s “From Student to Specialist” college night. The goal of the trek was to introduce Wesleyan students to the various career opportunities available in the biopharmaceutical industry. Giselle Reyes ’18, MA’19 led a campus tour of Pfizer, and students attended a short presentation on the drug development process, Pfizer’s mission, and its specific disease focus areas (i.e., rare diseases, vaccines, oncology). After the presentation, students attended a panel discussion with six Pfizer employees that covered research and development, manufacturing operations, and computational sciences in drug design. The event closed with a networking mixer where Wesleyan students were able to further talk with panelists and other Pfizer employees.
On Oct. 18, 14 students visited the ESPN campus in Bristol, Conn. Students spent time with Rob King ’84, pictured fourth from left, hearing about his career in journalism and viewing some of his current video projects. They also participated in a full studio tour, including watching the taping of segments for SportsCenter.
Additionally, on Oct. 26, three seniors traveled to Boston and attended the Reach(OUT) LGBTQA+ Career Conference at Northeastern University. The career conference is designed to focus on the perspectives and concerns of queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender-nonconforming, nonbinary, intersex, and asexual students in preparation for co-op, internships, and professional life beyond campus. Presentation topics/titles included Assessing Fit and Culture, Working OUT: Navigating Visibility at Work for transgender or gender-nonconforming (TGNC) People, and Rights Benefits and Negotiation. These workshops touched on subjects such as navigating micro-aggressions, corporate culture, and gender presentation.
The next career trek will be offered March 18–20, when students can participate in a three-day immersive career exploration program. Participants will begin with a day of career development work and preparation on campus, followed by a day trip to Boston to meet with Wesleyan alumni at their places of work.