Archive by Author

Getting a Jump on Life Beyond Smith

2 Apr

Like many seniors at Smith College, I am in the process of figuring out life after commencement. Finding the right job, internship, company, or organization to work for takes time, and applying to countless opportunities can be a very arduous task.  Some of the tactics that have helped me and some of my fellow Smithies successfully land interviews, gain contacts, and even secure jobs and internships over the past few years include are listed below:

1) Connections, Connections, Connections!

  • Reach out to former professors, bosses, supervisors, and co-workers, in addition to family and friend connections in the desired industry. Even if they are not in the exact line of work you wish to pursue, they might have connections—either personal or professional—in the field that will help you get to the next step.
  • Reach out to former Smithies—the alumnae directory can allow you to identify alums working your dream job who could help you discover possible positions or connections.  Even recent graduates working in your field of interest may be able to provide you with information about vacant positions or internship opportunities within their office.keyboard-job-search

2) Identify companies, businesses, or organizations that you would like to work for, regardless of their vacant positions. Even if no current openings for your particular skill-set exist, try to find an individual who you can contact directly—they might be aware of an opportunity that is not yet posted or could be impressed by your drive to work in the field and offer to create a position.

3) Companies and organizations are often members of forums, organizations, networks, and initiatives.  Identifying these connections could help you discover similar companies or organizations with job opportunities.

4) Last, but definitely not least, keep track of all these job applications! I record the company/organization name, job title, job posting link, date applied, and contact name in an excel document.

Never leave any stone unturned! Explore all your options!

We all have preferred methods of identifying and landing internships and jobs—please use the comment box to share a tip that you think could help other Smithies!

-Emily Dwyer, ’13

Photo credit: http://www.silverlakelibrary.org/job-search-assistance-the-library/

Reflecting on the Lisa Brooks Lecture

15 Mar

Lisa Brooks, Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College, visited Smith last month to give a lecture titled “Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Indigenous Protest and Revitalization in the Northeast” for the Environmental Knowledge, Indigenous Knowledge, Local Knowledge Lecture Series sponsored by the Environmental Science and Policy Program.

Although I am somewhat familiar with the geographic area Brooks discussed in her lecture—namely northern New England and the Connecticut River—I knew little about the Native Wabanaki roots tied to this region; a place I now know is also known as the Wabanaki coast.  And though I was raised and educated in Massachusetts, I was, perhaps not surprisingly, taught to observe our local history through the European (conquerer) lens rather than understanding historical events from multiple perspectives.  Brooks made me reflect upon the fact that few individuals—including me—actually understand the Wabanaki’s relationship with the land and how it was affected by the arrival of the settlers. And perhaps as importantly, how this relationship with the land informed their relationship with the settlers.

During her lecture, Brooks discussed examples of Native protest and revitalization from the rivers of the Wabanaki coast to the Connecticut River in order to illustrate that environmental protest, something many think of as being a modern experience, actually have historic roots in New England.  The idea of ‘traditional ecological knowledge’ was emphasized throughout the lecture—that is, understanding the relationship of living beings with one another, as well as their relationship with the environment. In particular, she focused on building an understanding of the importance of fish to the cities of Portsmouth and Falmouth, New Hampshire—predominant fishing and logging communities–and the native villages which relied on fish as a food source, and how the relationships each group had with the fish and the world around them eventually led Wabanaki leaders to express great concern about the misuse of this precious natural resource.

The Wabanaki people felt that a respect for the land was lost during this time of colonial industrialism.  The combination of fish and logging in the area kept settlers so busy that shipping food to the cities was necessary to feed the community—signifying that people were distancing themselves from the land. Furthermore, ecological damage arose from the (over)use of the two natural resources (fish and lumber) and the establishment of dams, which prevented the natural movement of the river and its organisms- fish in particular.

Brooks pointed out the uniqueness of this situation as a whole, in that the colonial governor at the time supported the Wabanaki people in their request to uphold laws to protect the land and rivers and creatures.  However, there was no enforcement, and the Wabanaki, and later the settlers, suffered the consequences. Many years later, the established dams were released, and land that was intended for development became protected and preserved.  Brooks concluded the lecture with a brief explanation of how she came to learn about this history from the Wabanaki elders on an area of preserved land on the Wabanaki Coast.  However,  I found myself wanting to know more about her personal ties to the Wabanaki coast, and more about how she was able to piece together this history and understanding of the ecological knowledge she spoke of—something she only touched on, but which I think is an important aspect of the lecture as a whole.

-Emily Dwyer, ’13

First Environmental Science and Policy Program Lunchtime Event!

21 Feb

On Thursday, February 14th, the Environmental Science and Policy Program held a lunchtime event for ES&P/MS&P majors and minors—the first gathering of the semester! We had the opportunity to meet new people in the major, exchange advice about courses at Smith, brainstorm ideas for future ES&P events, eat delicious pizza and apple cider, and embroider cloth napkins!

Utilizing cloth napkins can help reduce generated waste. According to Tree Hugger, a cloth napkin that is washed about 50 times per year will produce 2.5 grams (for linen napkins) to 5 grams (for cotton napkins) of GHG emissions. Conversely, using one paper napkin per day for an entire year would generate 10 grams of GHG emissions.

ES&P/MS&P students: Keep an eye out for emails regarding future lunchtime events, program lectures, and outings!

‘LIKE’ our new Facebook page to learn about program events and activities

– Emily Dwyer, ’13