Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
This semester, Swarthmore’s Career Services Office unveiled its first ever career-oriented workshop series titled “The Breakfast Club”. Unlike the angsty, teen movie of the same name, this 7-session program centers around career planning and development. Jennifer Barrington, Assistant Director and co-host of the Breakfast Club, hopes the program will help students to understand themselves better, build confidence in using available resources, and develop essential career-oriented skills for the long term. Barrington believes “career decision making is a long process. It’s important to know yourself, talk to the right people, take advantage of opportunities around you, and really just understand what makes you happy”.
The Club aims to be interactive by incorporating various activities and group discussions. Participating students also complete career development exercises outside of class that include going to assorted Career Services events such as the upcoming Etiquette Dinner in March. Barrington says she ultimately strives to “create an environment where students can come in and share their frustrations or fears and realize that they are not alone.” In the increasingly pressurized job atmosphere, she feels that it is certainly necessary to provide an outlet where people can work together in confronting the “real world” where the student’s journey is no longer pre-set or scripted.
Over the course of the semester, the program will cover career exploration, internship search skills, professional etiquette, networking and communication, as well as workplace culture. This year’s launch of the series proved very successful, drawing over 20 students and even necessitating a short wait list. Career Services will certainly continue The Breakfast Club next spring and possibly fall semesters after that. Interested students should look for fliers and sign-ups near the end of this calendar year.