Dear Class of 2009,
Another freshman class has moved into Page and Clark and begun a new chapter in their lives at Westmont. Similarly, I started a new chapter of my life this fall by beginning law school. Starting school again has caused me to reflect on my time at Westmont, especially the first few months. I have felt very prepared by my time at Westmont to face the intellectual, social, and ethical challenges that a non-Christian law school presents. I am exceptionally grateful for the friends education with which Westmont blessed me. I am sure most of you feel the same way.
On a more exciting note, Homecoming weekend is just around the corner and many fun events are planned. I encourage you all to take a look at the Homecoming webpage westmont.edu/alumni/Homecoming.html to see what will be happening. Some of the more exciting events are tours of the newly renovated library and the newly finished buildings; a Clark Reunion to honor Mark McCormick; and, of course, the soccer games with a young alumni tailgate party. I hope all of you will be able to participate in at least part of the weekend.
The rest of this newsletter has updates from two of our classmates and links to other Westmont news, homecoming, alumni job searches, and Westmont Impact. I encourage to take a look at them.
After graduation (which seems like it was just yesterday), I spent the summer in Santa Barbara working as the Westmont Orientation Assistant. After the chaos of orientation finished, I packed up and moved back to my home state of Colorado. Since arriving here, I feel as if I have been on a personal mission to set the record for most jobs held in one year! Things have been a little crazy. However, I have recently settled into a job that makes me happy and challenges me and will hopefully lead to a career. I am working as a paraprofessional aide for special needs students at the local high school, where I also coach the freshman/sophomore girls basketball team. I also spend a few hours a week working at a nearby before and after school daycare program. I spend a lot of time with my family, a lot of time with my roomate ('08 Westmont grad Megan Lovingier) and a lot of time enjoying God's amazing creation. The last year and a half has been far from easy (as I'm sure most, if not all of you, have also experienced), but in the midst of chaos and moving and searching for jobs and the "what am I going to do with my life?!" freakouts, I have been further reminded of the boundless faithfulness of our Heavenly Father. He has truly worked all things for good in my life.
It seems the dirty little secret of the liberal arts education is that your major doesn't really matter. (Okay, it influences your undergraduate course load, many of your close college friendships, and can serve to shape the way you frame the world around you, but who pays attention to those sorts of trivialities anyway?) So when I set out to secure a job just days after my graduation from Westmont, it hardly mattered that I knew how to pronounce "Yeats" or that I had the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on CD-ROM. Mostly, potential employers were happy to know I had a (generally) clean criminal record, was willing to work full-time, and could cobble together an answer to an interview question without commenting on whether I could see Russia from my house.
I flitted around from one possibility to the next over the following weeks (read: got rejected): a tea shop here, an upstart electronics company there (called "Apple." Ha! We'll see where that goes.) With a rent check looming in two weeks' time, I settled for a valet gig at the Four Seasons, barely knowing how to pop the hood on my own car.
Meanwhile, I got it into my head that I might succeed in law school (probably the exhaust from all the cars I parked). So I began studying for the LSAT. You get to answer questions like these: If Stacey will attend a party only if John attends, but John will not go unless Rachel attends but Steve doesn't, then which of the following is an acceptable guest list?
Doesn't that sound like Westmont? But I digress. As the summer season drew to a close and the LSAT approached, I knew I would be facing the long, slow winter months at the Coral Casino, so I refreshed my search for a job. My mom directed me to an advertisement on the employment portion of Westmont's website. (Yes! There is an employment page on Westmont.edu! Who knew?) It had been posted by Kevin O'Connor, a local entrepreneur who just happened to be starting a new company, FindTheBest.com. Basically, it's a website that allows you to compare just about anything-colleges, ski resorts, dating websites, fast food nutrition-in much the same way one compares flight info on a travel website. Need a dating website with over 70% female subscribers? No problem. Want a burger with fewer than 500 calories? Just adjust the sliders to refine your results.
After a tricky interview with Kevin (sample questions: Are you smart? How do you know? How many people die every year in Santa Barbara? What eight, specific things do consumers want to know about Tennis Clubs?), I became the first employee of an extremely promising tech start-up. Since then we've grown to over 20 people, and I feel very blessed to be able to work in the environment I do with the people I do, all while getting to research, rank, rate, and order information on a variety of topics (before the job, I had literally made charts, graphs, and tables in my spare time). Law school, to say the least, will have to wait.
So although I haven't gone on to write for the local paper or teach high school English, I wouldn't change anything about my college education, choice of major, or current job. Westmont may have a dirty little secret-that it prepares you for the world regardless of major-but it's a secret I think every Westmont student would be happy to know.
Homecoming 2010 is October 1 & 2
All paths lead to Westmont for Homecoming Weekend. The schedule and registration details are online at westmont.edu/homecoming2010.
Voskuyl Library has been transformed!
Students are grateful for the newly renovated Voskuyl Library. Thank you for your generous support during our Class Challenge! Read more...
Fall 2010: Adams Center and Winter Hall are finished and open for class
After nearly 2 years of construction, Adams Center and Winter Hall are now complete. Together they offer nearly 80,000 square feet of new space for students and professors. Read More...
Westmont Impact tells the story of us!
Why is the world different because Westmont College exists? For the answer go to westmontimpact.org.
Westmont and your job search
WestmontLink is Westmont's free online job site for alumni. Sign up to search for jobs. Or if you'd like to share an opening with Westmont alumni, click here.
Blessings to you all! Reply to this email if you have any questions.
Carolyn Joens '09