With liberal arts degrees, alumni are prepared for careers in new fields

The "Sundays with Alumni" program allows current students to gain relevant knowledge in specific career fields and network with alumni from various industries.

You can’t imagine living without them, but social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter are less than a decade old. Once a way to interact with friends, they’ve now grown into ways to market and promote anything — from individuals to major corporations.

Employment opportunities have developed from this growth, and three Connecticut College alumni are demonstrating that their liberal arts education has prepared them for success in this burgeoning field.

Matthew Cooney ’95, Alexandra Krotinger ’08 and Andrew Margie ’96 recently returned to campus to share their stories with current students as part of the College’s “Sundays with Alumni” program, which allows current students to gain relevant knowledge in specific career fields and network with alumni from various industries.

Cooney, a government major, is social media manager at iRobot, a robotics company in Bedford, Mass.; Krotinger, an art history major, is senior enterprise account manager at HubSpot, a marketing software company in Boston, Mass.; and Margie, a history major, is cofounder of Advicedrop, an online marketplace for home improvement professionals based in Brooklyn, N.Y.

During the program, “Plugged In: Leveraging a Liberal Arts Degree for an eCareer,” the three panelists discussed their career paths, experiences with graduate school and career transitions. Each also explained how their Connecticut College experience readied them for their current positions.

Advice the panelists shared included:

  • Be aware of how you present yourself on social media; everything posted online is public and you should give the best possible first impression.
  • Do your homework by researching and reading everything you can about the company you are interested in interviewing for. Your knowledge will set you apart from other candidates.
  • Recent graduates may even be able to teach the president or CEO of a company about social media, so use your proficiency with these tools to your advantage.
  • To get your foot in the door, work for free or volunteer. Opportunities with start-ups or unpaid internships are always available and will give you valuable experience. This could also eventually lead to a paid position at that company.

Andrew Nathanson ’13, social media strategist in the Office of College Relations at Connecticut College and moderator of the panel, saw the program as a perfect example of how a liberal arts education produces versatile graduates.

“Technology and, in particular, social media are growing fields that didn’t exist when some of these panelists attended college. The fact that they have gone on to successful careers in these fields shows that no matter what you study at Connecticut College, you are acquiring skills that help you adapt to any career.”

Three additional “Sundays with Alumni” programs are currently planned: Nov. 3, “Intelligence, Counter Terrorism, National Security”; March 2, 2014, “Sports and Business Management”; and April 6, 2014, “Event Management.” For more information, contact Beth Poole ’00 in the Office of Alumni Relations at beth.poole@conncoll.edu.

September 27, 2013