Sophomore week arrives just in time

Freshman year: you are given as much attention and advice as possible as you embark on the newest journey of your life.

Junior year: you have it figured out. You look for new internships and build your resume.

Senior year: you are almost done. From jobs to grad school to a gap year, nothing is off-limits to your future.

But what happens sophomore year? The Knowlton Center is here to help you figure it out, starting with their first event, Sophomore Week.

“Sophomore Week developed organically through conversations at lunch with my colleagues Chris Wood and Apollo Harris from Residential Communities,” said Associate Director of the Knowlton Center, Michele Doran. “The Knowlton Center had developed some recommendations for sophomores and specifically our Career Ready for Internship Success Program (CRISP) at the end of last year and we were thinking through the best way to get this information to sophomores. Realizing that other offices had important information that sophomores should be aware of, we came up with Sophomore Week. We talked to some other offices which thought it was a good idea so we moved forward with planning.”

“A lot of institutions refer to the struggles that sophomore students face as the ‘Sophomore Slump.’ Our goal with the entirety of this week was to assist sophomores in feeling connected. As I’m new to Denison, I am excited to consider how we can assist Denisonians in having the best possible sophomore year experience,” said Assistant Director of Residential Communities, Christopher Wood.

The big highlight of the week was the kickoff event on Monday. Doran said the Knowlton Center received positive feedback from both sophomores who attended and staff that participated.

A key factor to this success was the dynamic space in the room. The Knowlton Because focused on the placement of people in order to engage in conversations. The past week also facilitated staff working closely with students during workshops, helping them get started on resumes and practicing networking so they can become CRISP certified.

“At this point, it should be about gathering information so sophomores can plan for the next few years. You don’t have to know anything for sure but having a plan and foundational skills will allow for deeper conversations during the junior and senior years,” said Doran.

This past week was a joint event between the Knowlton Center and Residential Communities, as both focused intently on the sophomores.

“Res Comm’s role for the week was helping to plan the resource fair, since it was occurring on a residential quad,” said Wood. “We also assisted the Knowlton Center in finding space for their other events throughout the week. For the resource fair, we wanted to remind sophomores of the resources that they have at their disposal. A multitude of research shows that the sophomore year of college can be the most challenging. As a first year student, students are taught about their resources during orientation. During the junior and senior year, students are typically focused on internships and preparing for life after college, with which offices like the Knowlton Center regularly assist. The sophomore year is an awkward ‘in-between’ phase where you’re not new to the institution, but you’re also not at the point where you’re really planning for the future.”

Although last week was dedicated to the sophomores, the Knowlton Center is excited to help all students this semester. Doran said the important thing to get started on is exploring and planning for your summer.

“There are many ways to learn about different career paths so we are really encouraging students to start with the basics,” said Doran. “Our workshops will continue to be offered throughout the semester and we want to help as many students as possible become CRISP certified. We are currently planning First Looks, day trips which will allow students an up-close view of different industries and companies. These will happen over Fall Break so stay tuned for details! I would also encourage students to visit as many info sessions as possible to learn about potential careers and make an appointment with a career coach whether they know what they want to do or have no idea! Last but not least, read the Knowlton Note each Monday, which will keep students informed of everything going on in the Knowlton Center.”

All of the Knowlton Center’s workshops are listed under “events” in Handshake. Details on CRISP can be found under Career Center> Resources in Handshake.