The Career Crossings office has developed a new program it will host once a month for Saint Mary’s juniors and seniors to help them prepare for life after graduation.
Stacie Jeffirs, director of the Career Crossings office, said she is excited for the two new programs, “Navigating the Journey” for juniors and “Planning for the Future” for seniors.
“We’ve been seeing quite a bit of traffic in our office. What we’re hoping to do with these monthly programs is direct students with either very specific questions, or by focusing on specific topics,” Jeffirs said.
Once a month, Jeffirs and assistant director Maureen Baska will facilitate topic-oriented discussions geared toward success upon graduation. There will be separate peer groups divided by year.
Baska will lead juniors on Tuesdays while Jeffirs will take on senior discussions on Wednesdays.
“As the months go on we’ll be talking about different topics as well. Discussions are very topic focused, whereas the junior group and senior groups are broader,” Jeffirs said.
A few weeks into the program, Jeffirs said the feedback has been mostly positive.
“We’ve had some interests from students already and I’ve had students planning on being there [at the discussion sessions],” she said.
Jeffirs said she hopes the students will serve as the primary facilitators of discussion, but that she will be available to answer any questions students may raise during the session.
Jeffirs’ aim is to keep the discussion groups relatively small because she said a smaller group enhances the depth of conversation and creates a sense of intimacy among peers.
“The aim is to keep it small but open to everyone,” she said.
The goal of the two programs is to provide social support for students who may feel alone and overwhelmed during such a critical point in their lives.
“This is a designated organization to let them know what kinds of resources are available,” Jeffirs said. “How do you get yourself unstuck from the situation so that you can keep moving forward?”
A benefit of the programs is that students are not obligated to commit. Jeffirs said the meetings are expected to be casual, which is a positive for students who have busy schedules.
“If students have questions they can come to these groups and get some support from their peers for whatever issue is affecting them,” she said. “The program is a nice and easy way to get to know other girls who may be overwhelmed with some of the same issues.”