Lessons Learned From The F&M Alumni Panel

Lessons Learned From The F&M Alumni Panel

Careers & Lives after F&M: Four English Majors Tell All

On Friday (October 14) of the Homecoming Weekend, F&M held a panel called “Careers & Lives after F&M: Four English Majors Tell All” at the Great Room of Ware College House. The panelists are the four accomplished alumni—Latanya N. Jenkins ’99, Reference Librarian for Government Information and Africology & African American Studies at Temple University, Keiran Miller ’15, College Advisor of Pennsylvania College Advising Corps, Elizabeth Ressler ’07, the Senior Director of Commercial Learning Development Advisory Board Company, and Jennifer M. Schlener ’94, the Chief of Staff of Association of American Medical Colleges. The panel was interesting; panelists’ experiences are enriching. Here comes the highlights of numerous lessons this panel provided us:

1. Every Experience Matters!

“It is hard when you are in college to know how the experiences shape you,” Elizabeth Ressler pointed out. She picked her daily routines at F&M as the experiences that benefit her in her career. Planning for deadlines, outlining for papers and writing these papers to meet F&M’s rigorous standards have put her ahead of her many colleagues in outlining, writing business emails, project management and problem-solving. Latanya Jenkins also mentioned that the tools she gained at F&M have made her job easier.

So, as Elizabeth Ressler pointed out, we should not underestimate what we are doing everyday.

2. Grasp the Opportunities at Hand!

Jennifer Schlener recalled that in her generation (i.e. during 1990s), F&M did not yet have mentoring programs for life after college. Students usually figured out by themselves. Now, the Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development (OSPGD) is doing a great job, supporting students for their careers at and beyond college. She mentions current student generations are fortunate enough to assess these wonderful resources: “You are afforded many opportunities to develop yourself as leaders.”

So, why don’t we recognize our privilege and grasp these opportunities?

3. Go to the Writing Center!

Elizabeth Ressler, an Honors’ Listed student as well as a Magna Cum Laude, mentioned: “I still went to the Writing Center when I was a senior.” After all, the Writing Center is not a place you go only when you have struggles; it is a place you go because you are willing to improve your work.

So, if we want to improve your work, why don’t we just go for it?

4. Extracurricular Plays a Role!

Jennifer Schlener mentioned that the best of F&M experiences was her extracurricular involvement. She was involved in music and administrative roles—admission and residential life. These experiences enriched her and almost seemed to be foreshadowing her career role, a development leader and the Chief of Staff. For Keiran Miller as well, his involvement in the College Prep Program and other mentorship positions made him realize his keen interest in leadership and mentorship. Through his experiences, he had come to appreciate different sets of personalities he encountered. He saw potential in these students, also saw that most of them did not know about opportunities available in them, and wanted to push them further so that they could stretch their full potential.

So, our extracurricular experiences might be telling something about us, though we might not have noticed yet.

5. Listen to Your Heart!

I believe this is the message which panelists did not explicitly mention yet their experiences suggest. None of them came to F&M, clearly knowing they are gonna major in English. Latanya Jenkins came to as a pre-med; Jennifer Schlener as an accounting major; Keiran Miller, although he knew his passion in creative writing, came with a mindset that he would pursue it just for passion, not for job. Yet, throughout their college experiences, they discovered what they loved, pursued it, made through struggles and now shine. It might sound like a cliché, yet does not make it less important:

So, at least, let’s not ignore our heart when it is telling us what we really love.

6. Yet, Do Not Overload Yourself!

Keiran Miller, a Posse scholar, recounted the story about his sophomore year: he took four classes, was on three executive boards and had three jobs. Back then, he somehow thought that if he was not doing something, he felt like he was doing nothing. He shared what he had learned from this tough, somewhat restless year: sometimes, people say, get involved as much as you can; yet, you should really think about what you are involved in and whether you really like it. Perhaps involving in two to three things of your interest and really delved into them would be better than just involving in several activities.

So, while we should be ambitious, we should not overwork ourselves.

7. Overall, Networking Matters!

The panelists generally mentioned that at some points of their time at F&M, they wish they were more involved, more bold, more courageous, and mingled more in the community. Their comments stressed the role of meeting with new people and creating social circles—networking. Today’s student generations have opportunities to network through OSPGD. Several alumni are also willing to support the students in their career development. So, all the students need to do is show up at such networking events and build relationships.

So, after all, let’s be bold, be curious and step out of our comfort zone!

Cover Image Credit: Franklin & Marshall College

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Trying to figure out what to do in life.


I never saw the crossroad

Where I could cross n' roam

Under an arch or dome. [1]

I just kept on the road

That was laid out,

Told to hold out

Till it pays out. [2]

Now I think its too late

Been walking too long,

Classes are all wrong

But masses too strong. [3]

So I follow with my head down

And chest up, succeeding cause

I'm too scared to fuck it up. [4]

But I have a need to lead,

Top-down and gears up

Leaving nothing to the dust.

But if I drop out, I'm a fuck up. [5]

Is it better to live and rust

Or drive till it busts

With trust you can find the way? [6]

[1] - Play on roam/Rome. Starts the poem by expressing the feeling of being trapped in my path in life. I felt like I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.

[2] - I think a lot of it was I was following what people told me I should be doing.

[3] - I have a feeling that it is too late to change my course of life. I'm in a college for business, taking classes about business, and everyone around me wants to do business.

[4] - This is saying that even though I am not passionate about what I am doing I am still trying to succeed only because I'm scared of failing or quitting.

[5] - I want to leave and lead myself, do something where I'm not following but I don't know how to do that. This part starts a car reference, idk I've been watching Formula 1 on Netflix and its dope.

[6] - This is the question I've been asking myself, wondering if I should continue on with my path or follow my passion.

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