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CAREER SERVICES AT ST. JOHN’S COLLEGE | SANTA FE | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014
The First Santa Fe Pathways Winners Please join the St. John’s College community in congratulating the first cohort of Pathways Fellows, who will be studying in the following programs during the summer of 2014.
Part of the Pathways committee at the Pathways Town hall meeting in December 2013.
Miranda Blas ‘15
Painting/Seminars, Marchutz School of Art, Aix-en-Provence, France
Ruochen Bo ‘14
French, Summer Language Institute, University of Virginia or Middlebury Summer Language School, Vermont
Hanbyul Cho ‘14
Film, USC Film Academy, Los Angeles, CA; NY Film Academy, NYC; or NYU Film School, NYC
Lysander Cramer ‘15
Digital Drawing Portfolio, Red Engine Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Omar Esparza ‘15
Summer Philosophy Seminar on Causation, University of Colorado-Boulder
Emma Goos ‘15
Studio Arts, Community College of Aurora, CO
Jackson Larson ‘16
Painting/Seminars, Marchutz School of Art, Aix-en-Provence, France
Luke Lea ‘14
Latin, Summer Language Institute, University of Virginia or University of California-Berkeley
Nina Medvinskaya ‘16
Acting Classes, William Esper Studio, NYC
Rebekah McLellan ‘16
Pre-Vet Chemistry Classes, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Vidya Ravilochan ‘15
Master Singing/Drama Classes, International Lyric Academy, Italy or Emerging Artists Program, OperaWorks, Northridge, CA
CONTENTS Dedicated staff left to right: Barbara Lucero Sand, Margaret Odell, and Lise Lookman.
> The first Santa Fe Pathways Fellowship winners > Interview with alumni Silas Peterson, Recruiter/Owner of The Hire Firm
> The Five W’s for Spring break
CHANGES! CHANGES! CHANGES! The new year brings with it new things! Career Services’ publication Odyssey Bound will now be split into two publications. One will focus on telling Johnny stories to encourage and inspire you with the possibilities that are around you. It will be peoplecentric, giving you insights into student and alumni activities. We have dubbed this publication Odyssey Bound Quarterly. It will be produced every two months during the school year. The other publication will be called Odyssey Bound Spotlight and will feature internships, graduate school programs, and postbaccalaureate courses. Most of these will be located on the West Coast of the United States and the rest will be international. We have chosen to focus on this region of the USA because the Annapolis publications – Horizons and Internships News – focus more on the East Coast opportunities. Odyssey Bound Spotlight will be produced on alternate months so we can get you as much information as possible about these opportunities. Look for these changes! To get a fuller picture of the possibilities
From The Editor One time during winter break I opened the gate to the house where I was helping friends shovel dirt around, stood by the road, and stared at each oncoming car until it had passed. I followed it with my eyes until I had to look at another car going in the same or opposite direction. I was reminded of my childhood when my friends and I would each pick a color. Then, we would sit a little ways from the road and claim every car that was the color we had chosen. We would then count who had more cars than the other. It felt nice to be doing nothing, to be thinking of nothing, to be gazing at cars passing, and smile back at people once in a while. My winter break was definitely well spent. Life can be fun, but at the same time it sure can be tough. But if you are tough with yourself it sometimes gets a little easier. Following one’s own advice is difficult at times and this winter break I took it upon myself to do just that. To those who had a chance to look at the article on how to have a productive break, in the last Odyssey Bound issue, I do hope you followed some of that advice. I did and it worked for me. I started off by sleeping. I was afraid I might never stop sleeping all day and all night but I eventually got tired of it. I called friends, emailed, Skyped, Face-Timed and connected with people close to my heart. I read some spiritual books and watched dozens of movies. I got my exercise from some manual labor which resulted in me falling in love with lunch. I have rediscovered my love for food by working hard. That is a relationship that was on the rocks and I am glad it is back on trackLUNCH!!! During some of the lunches I would walk to the road and start looking at cars, following them with my gaze and enjoying myself. I even found time to connect with alumni and search for internships and graduate schools. I talked about the St. John’s program, received advice and felt encouraged. In the midst of all this, Christmas came and went, New Year’s did the same, and soon I was getting myself psyched for school. It got a little lonely and I felt restless sometimes. Then I took a whole day off, switched off all my gadgets, disconnected my computer, slept in and just enjoyed my own company. I am definitely looking forward to another semester, to more work so I can have LUNCH, and the next break, which will be spring break. Until then, take time to read Odyssey Bound, use Career Services resources to your benefit and be practical about the philosophical. Hope your year began well and you are living an examined life.
available to you, read all publications out of the Santa Fe and Annapolis Career Services Offices.
Business, Life, and Happiness with Silas Peterson (SF02) By Allen Matsika
Silas Peterson (SF02) was a freshman at St. John’s College in Santa Fe (SJCSF), and then went home to Portland to finish his BA in French at Portland State University. He received a Master of Arts in Eastern Classics from SJCSF and then followed his heart until it led him to owning a recruiting business in Santa Fe. On the first handshake I could sense Silas’ confidence and passion for life. He prefers to talk while standing, as I do, but we sat down for coffee and had a wonderful chat on business, life, and philosophy. Read on for more details: Silas, you are a recruiter and owner of THE HIRE FIRM. What is your philosophy on career and jobs? Having worked with a broad cross-section of the community, my philosophy is that there is an ideal job for everyone. Almost like the one in The Republic, when Socrates talks about identifying people’s strengths and steering them in the right direction. I am not a big fan of that, but you could also look at it in a sarcastic way. Plato could be saying that this is the way we construct a perfect society, and who would want to live in a place like that? However, I do believe that there is something job or career-related that every individual has an affinity for and can do very well. When undergraduates see alumni working in Santa Fe, they are sometimes quick to conclude that they are stuck in Santa Fe. What do you think about that? I would like to point out that there are people who probably are stuck in Santa Fe. People get stuck for various reasons: some fall in love with Northern New Mexico and the outdoor lifestyle in the high desert. I’m from Oregon and I feel claustrophobic when I go back to the Northwest with so much cloud cover; I would miss the sun if I were not here. Yet, if you want to stay in Santa Fe it can be hard to make a living. There are certainly Johnnies who are twenty years in Santa Fe who might be working in jobs that make other 3
Johnnies doubt the value of their education. However, I think basically people are in Santa Fe by choice. I want to point out that being stuck in Santa Fe should not carry negative connotations. One of the wealthiest and most prominent business people in Santa Fe, Gerald Peters, is an alumnus of St. Johns. He is a good example of how far one can get, working hard and being ‘stuck’ in Santa Fe. There are two schools of thought concerning career paths. One says, “Be focused and stick to one thing,” and the other one says, “Explore your options and try things out.” What is your take on this Silas? My perspective certainly varies and has changed as I have grown, matured and become a little wiser. Part of my perspective became clear when I got married, had a child, and confronted the realities of taking care of a family. I can see the benefit of the traditional career path. I could have been like some of my friends and climbed the corporate ladder earlier on, and there is certainly some benefit to the security and the knowledge that one has a job and can keep on climbing. What I think, at the end of the day, though, is that was my friends’ path and not mine. I do think it is important, as an undergrad, to at some point recognize the benefits of each path and choose one. If you choose your own path it opens other kinds of opportunities. Maybe it means having the chance to wake up on a mountain with Montaigne by your sleeping bag, as opposed to a corner office with a vice president title and a big cushy salary. The former could be arguably a lot richer and the latter a little more secure. The non-traditional path is arguably more involving as one is constantly aware of the responsibility to manage that career path. It is less linear, less clear and a lot riskier, but could be more rewarding. Ultimately, I believe “different strokes for different folks.” How do you see your liberal education applied today in your life and in everyday things? Well, first I will point out how I brought up Plato’s Republic at the beginning of this conversation as a reference point. I carry with me the experience of a liberal education and so I can relate my life back to classical works like that. I think a lot of it has to do with the mental exercise that the process of pursuing and participating in a liberal education gives you. It is like learning to ride a bicycle as a child. You carry the skill with you for the rest of your life. The experience of a liberal arts education prepared my mind to approach challenges in a unique way. Every single day I face challenges: negotiations involving large amounts of money, diplomatic understanding of situations, and important career choices for clients and others. All of these are influenced by the exercise of reading and analyzing the classics. On my bedside table the books that are a constant presence are Montaigne, Shakespeare, Herodotus, the Bible, Don Quixote, to mention but a few. They circulate, but I always return to them because they are my center. On a daily basis, work, life, different challenges, they are a form of meditation and grounding. However, as a business person I also read other immediately practical books and they are not as fun to read. Silas, I am glad you mentioned reading practical books. What advice do you have for undergraduates concerning jobs, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like? One of the very practical things one could do is to sit down and consider: What am I going to do when I graduate from St. John’s? Think about this in a regimented sense 4
and jot down some ideas and possibilities. In a very practical sense, not necessarily traditional but practicable, one can manage one’s life. I did start thinking to myself in my thirties that eventually I would like to retire and when I retire I would like to be wealthy. Then I asked myself, how can I get there? Furthermore, your LinkedIn profile is your virtual resume. Do a little research, find resumes you think are totally kick ass and incorporate the good you find. Don’t be sloppy about this kind of stuff, use all of your resources, stay in touch with Career Services at St. John’s, capitalize on the Johnny network and reach out to alumni on Facebook and other forums. Contact alumni and let them know you are around, even if things may not be clear for you yet. If what you want to do will require additional schooling, then go on and do that. Silas, we are winding down and I have a question I feel is important. Would you say you are happy? Yes, yes, yes definitely (with a smile). I am still passionate about life, about everything, and that is due to curiosity and constant learning; there are a lot of things to learn out there. Yes, I am happy. Happiness just might not be a myth after all. THE HIRE FIRM assists in job recruitments for positions ranging from janitorial to executive. Follow Silas’ advice, get in touch with him – an alumnus – and get in touch with THE HIRE FIRM. You can find them at http://thehirefirm.com/
“Doing Science” with Elliott Chen By Allen Matsika
Elliott Chen spent the summer of 2012 working with the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he “learned the secrets of the universe”. He worked on the question in Cosmology known as the “cosmological constant problem.” Odyssey Bound caught up with Elliott to ask him a few questions. We hope his answers will inspire other St. John’s students to prepare for their future. Elliott is now a senior and preparing for his life after St. John’s and he sounded ready. Elliott, your relationship with science doesn’t feel like a new romance. Could you tell me more about what your specific interests are in the broad field of science? I’ve always liked science, and, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve figured out where my interests in the field lie. It’s usually in physics and biology, but primarily in the area of theoretical physics. Why did you choose to spend your summer at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)? I wanted to do some research and I was glad to learn about the guest program at LANL. The guest program is an application process that allows you to get a spot at LANL without going through the regular application process. This is very convenient for St. John’s students who are qualified for the work, but not in the same sense as physics majors at other universities. I also chose LANL because the lab itself is really great. That’s where the atomic bomb was developed and a lot of other scientific discoveries have been made there since then. One of the phenomenons I was studying was called the “Casimir Effect” and it involves vacuum energy. A physicist at LANL was studying this and he was 5
“The guest program opportunity at LANL came up in a conversation I had with the Career Services Internship Coordinator; at that time it was Terrance Manning.”
acknowledged for proving that it exists. The Lab is a really great place, it is also close to campus, and accessible. These are some of the many reasons I chose LANL. Sounds like you were methodical and practical in your choice. So how did you hear about the guest program opportunity at LANL? It came up in a conversation I had with the Career Services Internship Coordinator; at that time it was Terrance Manning. I asked him about internship opportunities in science and he said, “Check out LANL, great Lab and you can get in.” Getting in is always the priority and then after that passions can be set ablaze. I was encouraged and uplifted by Terry’s words. Add this aspect to the other practical considerations I made and you have a pretty good picture of why I was at LANL in 2012. So what’s next for you Elliott? I think I am going to go back this summer (2014), with Ariel funding I hope to receive. I was talking to my mentor recently—the one I had when I did my Ariel Internship at LANL – and he suggested that I get some funding for the summer time. That way I can put my foot in the door and LANL could fund me for the year after that. Some St. John’s graduates who now work there did the same thing. I hope that I get an Ariel and can make this happen. The general idea is that I go back to work there and continue working on the projects that the team was working on: muon-tomography. There are two things on which I want to focus; first I want to learn more basic physics. We learn a surprising amount of science at SJC, but we don’t get some of the areas which tests look at. Learning more basic physics will assist me when I eventually take the physics GRE. I will take this GRE exam as part of my preparation for applications to graduate school for a physics major. The second thing is I hope this opportunity will allow me to work on other skills such as program modelling. I have always wanted to do this, but before, I didn’t know the programs, but I hope I can do it this time around. From there I am hoping to apply for a graduate program in either philosophy of science or physics.
Plaza Spring, Photo courtesy of the Socorro website.
The Five W’s for Spring Break By Lise Lookman
Spring break is approaching – two weeks with nothing to do! Sure, you’ll sleep in, hang out with friends and family, and just goof off. But these two weeks would also be a wonderful opportunity to decide what you will be doing on your next break—summer! Some have already done this and are getting ready to receive responses from potential employers. However, it can be tough for some people to decide on what they want to do for the summer. If you are one of those people you can use some of your spring break time to brainstorm. To make it easy for you (after all, it is a break) I have broken it down into five questions: What? Why? Where? When? Who? Answer these questions and you will have a platform to launch from. What do you want to do? Do you want to work, take classes, or volunteer? This might depend on your financial needs or your future career plans. Why do you want to work/take classes/volunteer? Do you need experience in a certain field? Do you need money for tuition? Do you want to meet a certain group of people? Write down the motivation behind your desire. Where do you want to be? Do you want to go abroad, or spend the summer in your hometown? Do you want to stay in Santa Fe? When do you want to work? What’s the time frame? St. John’s students are off from the end of May until the end of August, but you still have to consider other events that may impact your summer, such as weddings to attend, wisdom teeth to be removed, or family vacations. Who do you want to work for/learn from? Is there a particular company or school that you would like to work for or attend? Is there an alumnus or family friend who could become your mentor? Now that you have narrowed down what you want to do, get to work and answer the question of how to get what you want or need. Research employers/schools, polish up your resume, write letters of application, and mail/email them off. Don’t forget your contacts—previous employers, relatives, Agora, and Johnny Jobs. There are a lot of opportunities out there; you just have to give up a few hours of your spring break to find them. 6
Events RECRUITING Santa Fe Public Schools Recruiting Event February 19 Junior Common Room 12:10 – 1:15 p.m. Dr. Joel Boyd, Superintendent of the Santa Fe Public Schools (SFPS), will be introducing the new “Santa Fe Teaching Fellowship” program which begins in June, 2014. For this year, SFPS is particularly soliciting applications from St. John’s graduating seniors and GIs, as well as recent alumni who are still living in Santa Fe. This fellowship program will provide tuition for alumni to complete the Alternative Teaching Licensure program through the Santa Fe Community College, as well as paid positions as elementary, secondary, bilingual or special education teachers for 3 years in the local public schools. Come and learn how to obtain NM teaching certification, while jump-starting your teaching career with actual jobs.
Resume Workshop Part I Senior Common Room, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Put your best foot forward. This workshop will offer discussion and examples of good and bad resumes, and an opportunity to work with Career Services staff on your resume.
March 7 & 8 Great Hearts Academies Interviews (Seniors, Graduating GIs, and recent alumni, by appointment only) Fireside Lounge Great Hearts Academies are a growing network of classical liberal arts academies in Phoenix and San Antonio. They teach a classical, liberal arts, Great Books curriculum to K-12 students. If you are interested in teaching at Great Hearts Academies next year or in future years, you MUST schedule a preliminary interview with Jerilyn Olson (email@example.com).
Resume Workshop Part II Senior Common Room, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Bring your resume that you worked on in Part I of this workshop to have it reviewed. Make sure that your resume impresses the interviewer and gets you that job or internship.
DEADLINES February 21
WORKSHOPS & PRESENTATIONS April 1
Careers with USAID and the Peace Corps Senior Common Room, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Foreign assistance is a highly rewarding career field. Peace Corps is one of the best ways to accumulate the experience necessary for entry into this highly competitive field, in addition to being tremendously fulfilling in its own right. John Heard and Bob Huddleston (both of USAID) will give firsthand information about careers with USAID and the Peace Corps April 12
LSAT Strategy Seminar Junior Common Room, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. This Saturday seminar is presented FREE by Aprendia Learning, a local Santa Fe company that assists students who are preparing to take graduate school entrance exams. Learn about LSAT structure and question types, especially strategy for learning to complete the “logic game” questions within a limited amount of time. Learn techniques to maximize your LSAT score so you can get into a top law school.
Ariel Internship application deadline 5:00 p.m. in Career Services Office.
Career Services Office
CONTACT: Career Services 505-984-6066 Fax 505-984-6167 Web address: www.stjohnscollege. edu/admin/SF/career.shtml AGORA: www.myinterfase.com/sjcsf/student Facebook: www.facebook.com/sjcsf careerservices Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Office located in the basement of Weigle Hall, Room 13 Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. or by appointment Career Services Staff: Margaret Odell Director Barbara Lucero Sand Assistant Director and Internship Coordinator Lise Lookman Administrative Assistant Allen Matsika Publication Editor Pari Sitaula Research Assistant Melissa Latham-Stevens Art Director
Disclaimer: The St. John’s College Career Services office produces Odyssey Bound as a service to St. John’s College students and community members for their career development and educational and life planning. Any jobs or other opportunities listed herein do not indicate an endorsement or recommendation from St. John’s College or the Career Services office. Students and individuals from the St. John’s College community are responsible for all necessary precautions when interviewing for or accepting these positions or awards. They are also responsible for checking the credentials and integrity of all employers or organizations. St. John’s College and the Career Services office assume no liability for acts or omissions by third parties or for material supplied by them. The St. John’s College Career Services office is not responsible for anything that happens at a given job site. The presence of an employment listing in Odyssey Bound does not guarantee any given employer’s compliance with legal behavior. If a student or individual experiences discrimination or sexual harassment on the job or in a job interview, he or she is encouraged to call the Department of Fair Employment in the state in which the violation occurred. Career Services makes every effort to publish the most current information, but unforeseen publishing problems may render some events obsolete. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause the reader.
ENDNOTES We’re on Facebook! Look us up – www.facebook.com/sjcsf careerservices — and stay updated on important dates and opportunities.
Check us out online! www.stjohnscollege.edu/admin/SF/ career_newsletter.shtml or in the Agora Resource Library