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Saint Mary’s Career Crossings Office creates ’90s-themed escape room

| Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Saint Mary’s students have been challenged to bring out their inner creativity and best detective skills throughout the month of February in order to learn more about the Career Crossing Office through their ’90s themed escape room.

There are two sessions of the escape room taking place in the Holy Cross parlor on both Feb. 12 and Feb. 21. The rooms were announced in an email on the morning of Feb. 6, and quickly filled to capacity by the end of the day.

Cristina Interiano | The Observer

The escape room concept was thought of by the assistant director of the Career Crossings Office Sarah Enck. Enck said she wanted an interesting way to get students to focus on career readiness and to encourage more student engagement in the Office’s programs.

“The escape room event primarily focuses on the career readiness concepts of problem-solving and teamwork,” Enck said. “Whether you are in a group of friends or working with students you may not know, you can develop these two skills through the series of puzzles within the escape room.”

Saint Mary’s College senior and Career Crossings worker Clara Chang participated in a walk-through of the escape room and found the event promoted teamwork by initiating bonding between team members.

Not only is this escape room different from others available because of its emphasis on career readiness, but the unique ’90s theme helps distinguish it as well, Enck said. Upon entering the room, students are transported back to the ’90s and have to find a way to get back to 2019 based on a series of clues. Ecnk said she tried to make the room feel as if one was living in Holy Cross Hall in the ’90s.

“There were lots of posters, props and games that made it interesting and gave the room a throwback feel,” Chang said.

Tammy Wever, the administrative assistant in the Career Crossings Office, also participated in a practice run of the escape room. Wever said it was challenging to solve the clues once you had found them, but other people in her group who had done escape rooms before helped. Enck said she anticipated team members having different strengths and weaknesses, so she made sure the room’s challenges were diverse.

“I have tried to do a mix of different puzzles to cater to different personalities,” Enck said. “There are cyphers, binary codes, various types of locks and combinations and physical puzzles that must be solved.”

More sessions might open up later depending on student involvement in the first four sessions. Both Chang and Wever said it would be something they would be interested in doing again. The Career Crossings Office, Enck said, hopes that this fresh idea will inspire more student participation in the services they provide, such as interview preparation, major declaration, resume and cover letter building.

“[We] structure these events in such a way where it would accomplish students learning and growing in new concepts while having fun,” Enck said.


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