On Jan. 29, upstairs Worner housed a small job fair. However, this was no ordinary job fair. In true Colorado College style, this fair had a strong, woodsy smell and the flavor of camp spice. Booths with banners that read “NOLS,” “Outward Bound,” and “Wilderness Ventures” lined the space, creating a small hallway of job opporunities that closely resembled Outdoor Recreation Committee trips.
Freshman Jamie Sarafan is an avid mountaineer who spent her winter break on Mount Washington and spends her time at CC balancing homework and her love of rock and ice climbing. After spending a semester at High Mountain Institute and participating in two Outward Bound courses, she hopes to spend this coming summer doing something more exciting than her house-painting job last summer.
This year, she applied to work with Overland, Outward Bound, and High Mountain Institute.
“I’m interested in a career in education, more specifically outdoor education, and the symposium gave me a great feel for the kinds of jobs out there,” Sarafan said.
It is often difficult to find a guide job without being on-site, so outdoor job fairs assist students in learning about available opportunities. Senior Grace Brofman worked as an outdoor guide for Wilderness Ventures last summer.
“[I] can’t say enough positive things about it,” Brofman said.
Her smile said it all; it was clear that Brofman truly enjoyed her summer. Other students, such as Olivia Coble, a junior sociology major, were thinking beyond summer jobs.
“It was nice to start thinking about them now since I’ve still got a fair bit of time to worry about after graduation,” Coble said.
Coble worked for Moondance Adventures last summer, a program based out of Asheville, N.C., that focuses on leading groups of teens on adventure trips in both the U.S. and abroad.
The symposium involved small-group sessions in the classrooms of Upstairs Worner, which minimalized the amount of time spent waiting in line that sometimes characterizes job fairs. Each participating program was given a half-hour time slot to speak to students in a quiet setting. This allowed each program to hold the full attention of students, avoid repetition, and give out more information.
In addition, it allowed interested students to pick and choose the sessions for specific programs that they were interested in. As senior Briana Hoy-Skubik said of Outward Bound, “I loved how much time they took to talk with each individual student about how their personal interests could fit into the organization as a whole.”
CC students crowded each table when not in the small-group sessions, displaying the student body’s enthusiasm for jobs and careers related to the outdoors. The groups ranged from trios of freshmen looking for summer jobs, to pairs of sophomores searching for fun internships, to seniors such as Hoy-Skubik looking for post-graduate jobs.
Overall, it seemed that students, organizers Elizabeth Pudder and Ryan Hammes, and presenters from each host organization alike were pleased with the process and turnout. Some students started work on their applications right away, only hours after the symposium ended.
For more information on participating programs, contact the specific program through its website or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Ryan.Hammes@coloradocollege.edu for additional information.