On a cold January morning, as students gathered for YPIE’s first “Coffee & Career Talk” event, the warmth inside the room was palpable. Excited college freshman and sophomores were met with hugs and smiles as they reunited with their peers in the YPIE College Success program.
The session opened with a short guided mindfulness exercise focusing on new beginnings and building self-awareness. It was the perfect introduction to a presentation led by Cynthia Michalewski, Assistant Director of Career Advising at the Anisfield School of Business at Ramapo College, and Pamela Cohen, Associate Director of STEM Career Advising at Princeton University.
Cynthia and Pamela began their talks by sharing stories about their personal career journeys. They humanized the experience of finding fulfilling jobs by emphasizing the importance of ups, downs, and failures as key learning points.
The session was filled with invaluable guidance on exploring different career paths, including identifying transferable skills, resources for internships, and online sources for career counseling. Our speakers provided individual and group activities to help students recognize their potential college-to-job market skills, build a personal roadmap for post-graduation careers, and understand common traits among a variety of occupations.
Central to our mission, YPIE’s College Success Program provides support to students in their first two years of college as they navigate the complexities of college. YPIE’s success speaks for itself with 91% of the 2017 College Success students persisting into their 2nd year, well above the national average.
After the event, Jenny, a sophomore at Mercy College shared, “I learned a lot and appreciate all the things that the YPIE team does for us. Most importantly, thank you for always believing in me and making sure I thrive in my academics.”