Fun fact: Siena’s Promethean newspaper is the oldest student-run club on campus, even predating the Student Senate. The newspaper is written by students and for students and is published online and in-print biweekly. I’ve been the Academic and Social News editor of the Promethean for over a year now, and I love writing and editing for the paper.
As an editor, I work with my writers to assign them events and edit their articles, providing constructive feedback. By working on the paper, I know about all the upcoming on-campus events at Siena. It also encourages me to attend events I would not have known about otherwise. I recently attended the “Making Molecular Monsters” lecture, and I know next to nothing about chemistry, but I found the lecture fascinating! Writing for the paper encourages me to step outside of my bubble, talk to different professors and students, and helps me to be more engaged on Siena’s campus.
Students can find physical copies of the paper in the library, SSU, and Lonnstrom, and the online copy of the paper can be found here!
You may be wondering why I am welcoming you home… after all you are just going to Siena, right? You’re only going to be here for four years, right? It’s just a place you’re going to get your degree, right? Wrong. You may not believe me now, but this place will become your home. One day you’ll go home on winter and summer breaks and you’ll begin saying you have to go back home and you’ll mean you have to go back to Siena. It happens in the blink of an eye.
While I may be graduating and leaving this amazing place, you guys are just beginning your journey here at Siena. You may already know your major, you may not. You may know a bunch of people already at Siena, you may not know a single soul. It’s completely normal not to know what you’re doing. Almost all of us didn’t when we were in your shoes!
Since I am now an established pro of all things Siena, I figured I would give you guys some tips on how to make the most of your Siena experience:
Get to know the campus
There are so many nice places on campus to eat, socialize, and study. Don’t limit yourself to your dorm (or if you’re a commuter, your house). Walk around campus and into the buildings (even if you don’t have classes there) and check them out. There are hidden gems on this campus that even I don’t know about!
Join clubs and organizations
An amazing way to get involved on campus is by joining a Siena club! We have over 80 clubs to choose from. Look out for the club fair in the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters to check out each club for yourself.
Take fun classes
Seriously, even if you end up loving your major (like I did, go English!) It’s really beneficial to take a class or two that isn’t in your field and that you will actually enjoy! While Siena makes you take core classes that are non-major related, try and take a class or two that you might really enjoy! Some examples include, Sign Language, Creative Writing, a travel course, an art class, etc. The possibilities are endless!
Go to professor office hours
I can’t tell you how many times I have felt 10x better after speaking to my professor in their office hours. Office hours are a set amount of time that your professors are in their office to meet with students one-on-one. Even if you aren’t struggling in the class, still consider going to talk about an upcoming project, paper, or assignment. I guarantee you will get a better grade after going and seeing them!
Socialize…in all different ways!
Obviously there are lots of different ways to socialize here at Siena. However, it’s not as crazy as you may think. People at Siena enjoy chilling out in their dorms and watching Netflix just as much as they enjoy going out at night. And each weekend there are fun events on campus that everyone goes to! Not only is there often free food at these events (Score!) but it’s also a way to meet new people who don’t live in your dorm or are in your classes!
Each month, the Career Education and Professional Development office showcases an alumni of the month. In January, Alana Strassfield was chosen. Alana graduated from Siena in 2014 with a B.A. in Economics. I asked this former Liberal Arts student 3 questions about her time at Siena!
1) What made you decide to pursue the Bachelor of Arts in Economics? Why the Bachelor of Arts over the Bachelor of Science?
I decided to do the B.A. so that I could take a wider range of electives and theory based Econ classes, as opposed to the core business classes which I felt I could learn at a later time.
2) What was your favorite non-major Liberal Arts class you took at Siena?
One of my favorite non-major classes was Literature of the Enlightenment with Dr. Thomas Akstens.
3) How did your liberal arts education prepare you for the job you have now?
My liberal arts education was inextricably tied to my work with the Women’s Center and the Damietta Cross Cultural Center. Managing projects for both campus organizations and learning how to communicate across cultures through active listening have been some of the most valuable assets that I’ve brought to the organizations I’ve worked at.
What did you do for Valentine’s Day this year? Were you out with your S.O. or did you sit around in your dorm wondering why you were single as a Pringle?
No matter what you did, you missed out on Professor Ray Boisvert’s special Frankenstein themed presentation, “Would He Bring Her Flowers and Candy? All The Creature Wants is a Girlfriend.”
Boisvert argued that the Creature in Frankenstein wasn’t a destructive being, all he wanted was love and affection. This idea is something that all living beings need. His two main arguments were, 1) Everybody needs to be loved, and 2) The lack of touch affects the Creature negatively in Frankenstein.
He discussed how just like the Creature needed touch, people in real life also need touch to feel good. He cited a study in which monkeys were tested with their real mother versus a terrycloth fake monkey mother. The monkeys who were given the fake monkey mother were content with it and enjoyed the comfort and touch from the cloth.
Boisvert believes that through this study we can learn something about how primates act. Since primates need touch to survive, we as humans also need touch to survive. Gestures are not trivial, touch is essential.
Rev. Sharon Washington Risher began her speech last night citing some words from St. Francis. She said, “As I was trolling through your school’s website I ran across this and it has stuck with me […] We must never desire to be above others but instead we must be servants and subject to every human creature for God’s sake”
This idea of “not being above others,” and “loving one another” was what Rev. Risher believed to be most important to learn from her story.
Risher describes herself as “a proud daughter of the American south, a true Geechee girl […] and a product of the civil rights era.” Since this speech was a part of MLK week, Risher shared her own experience with Dr. Martin Luther King.
Her mother took her to a rally that Dr. King was speaking at. While she was in the back of the room and couldn’t see Dr. King, she entails that she “could hear Dr. Martin Luther King’s voice and […] thought he sounded like God to me”
Risher unfortunately lost many loved ones when Dylann Roof, a lone gunman, entered and killed nine worshippers at the Mother Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015 in Charleston, SC. Among the people she lost were her mother, Ethel Lee Lance, her two cousins, Tywanza Sanders and Suzie Jackson, and a childhood friend, Myra Thompson.
Because of everything she was forced to endure because of this tragedy, she considers herself to be an “accidental activist.” Risher was interviewed for TIME magazine and the New York Times. She has also become a national advocate for gun control.
Risher ended her speech last night with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King. She quoted that, ‘nothing will be done until people of goodwill put their bodies and their souls in motion. And it will be the kind of soul force brought into being as a result of this confrontation that I believe will make the difference.”
Each year, the Creative Arts department presents their fall production. This year they presented Noises Off!
If you enjoy plays within plays. You would love Noises Off! The play is broken up into three acts but within each act they are performing one act of the play within the play, Nothing On. The entire play is set in a living room of the Brent’s country home.
I’ve never seen a play within a play type of production and it was definitely interesting! I think it’s cool because the actors and actresses that are in plays know first hand what it is like to be in a production so because of this, I think it can make for a very interesting performance.
To make it believable, inside the program for Noises Off there was a program for the play within the play, Nothing On. Not only was their a playbill but they had an entire cast list with bios and everything! I thought that was very interesting and cool that they were able to make the performance even more authentic.
I also enjoyed the fact that there were many underclassmen involved in this play. Upon reading the program, I learned that a majority of the people involved with the play are freshman and sophomores. It’s great to see new Siena students getting involved in Stage III and Creative Arts!
As always I would like to thank the Creative Arts department and Stage III for putting on these shows every year! If you didn’t attend this production be sure to attend the next one! Not only do they do a fall performance but they always do one in the spring too!
If you’re interested in a performance by Creative Arts coming up soon, be sure to attend the Siena Chamber Orchestra performance this Thursday November 30 at 7pm in Foy Hall!
In a day and age where STEM fields are the most lucrative jobs to go into, Liberal Arts fields tend to be stigmatized for not having a lot of jobs. I’m here to dispel this myth and explain why it’s actually amazing to have a Liberal Arts degree!
The concepts, ideas, and skills you learn in your Liberal Arts classes are what employers are looking for and not finding with other majors!
Analytical thinking is a skill that Liberal Arts majors know how to do so well. A New York Times article stated that, “the competencies that liberal arts majors emphasize — writing, synthesis, problem solving — are sought after by employers. A 2017 study by David J. Deming, an associate professor of education and economics at Harvard, found jobs requiring both the so-called soft skills and thinking skills have seen the largest growth in employment and pay in the last three decades.” This is great news!
Maybe in the past the salaries of Liberal Arts majors were low, but now they are increasing tremendously!
Andy Anderegg graduated with an English degree and went on to get her Master’s in Fine Arts. Her first job was at Groupon where she started off making $33,000 in 2010. However, she ended up rising up the ranks and now she makes well over $100,000 in 2016 (Wall Street Journal).
A LinkedIn study showed that over HALF of the top twenty highest paying fields were Liberal Arts majors. Some of these majors included, Visual Art, Sociology, Journalism, and History!
There are MANY jobs for Liberal Arts majors because our field is so diverse and we can do SO much with what we learned in school.
Many companies are seeking out Liberal Arts majors like English and History. For History, a Forbes article cited that “career options for history majors include intelligence analyst, management consultant, research analyst, and patient services rep.” Meanwhile, “The top positions for English majors include writer/editor, communication specialist, marketing coordinator, and sales manager.”
These jobs aren’t just your run of the mill office jobs. Companies that are currently hiring English and History majors include, United Healthcare, Oracle, Amazon, and the National Parks Service (Forbes).
So before your parents or your friends tell you that your useless English, History, Religion, Sociology, etc, degree isn’t going to get you a job, show them my article! Better yet, don’t feed into stigma and do your own research on a major that may have a bad rep. You may be pleasantly surprised in what you find out!
Siena has just been given the approval to begin promoting a new major that will be offered in the fall and I’m wicked excited to announce that freshman and returning students will be able to declare a Health Studies major! The course of study will allow students to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and will feature three tracks of study: health administration, health sciences and health policy. This is the FIRST major here at Siena that will truly be considered interdisciplinary, as health administration will be offered through the School of Business, health sciences through the School of Science and health policy through the School of Liberal Arts. Through my own job search over the past few months, I have come across a TON of businesses that are offering a multitude of careers through these courses of study, so if you are even the slightest bit interested in the field of health studies, consider taking advantage of this fantastic opportunity!
The Health Studies major will not only feature a set of core and elective requirements, but will also contain lessons that are based in Siena’s Franciscan values. Dr. Matcha, one of Siena’s Sociology professors and the new director of the Health Studies program says, “The idea of serving others is at the core of the Franciscan tradition. We want our students to learn about the scientific and business aspects of health care, but at the basis of this needs to be a sense of compassion and responsibility.” The American health care system, as well as international health care systems will be studied in order to ensure full understanding of how to properly work with patients around the world.
This new major could be the very foundation of so many careers in the world of medicine.This major has been a work in progress for the past two years and has brought together a huge team of people from all departments around campus, including our very own Donna Tytko, Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts. If you’re interested or have any additional questions, PLEASE contact Dr. Duane Matcha at email@example.com
What do you think about the new Health Studies Major? Let me know in the comments below!
I hope you’re staying warm on this strangely freezing March morning, I hope spring gets here soon! To all my fellow seniors out there who are currently applying for jobs and grad school, the process is incredibly STRESSFUL. The applications, the interviews, the desperation to make yourself stand out among others can be very overwhelming, but I have learned through my own job searching and affiliation with the CEPD office that networking is the KEY to helping this process be successful! This past Tuesday, I was able to attend Siena’s 14th Annual Career, Internship and Grad School Fair and I was SO glad that I did! Over 120 businesses set up tables in the MAC on Tuesday afternoon and a huge amount of students from all majors attended, handing out resumes and business cards and having conversations with employers about possible opportunities. This was the biggest networking event I have been to thus far and I have to admit, it was a bit nerve-wracking at first! Talking about yourself can definitely feel a little strange at first, but events such as these are a huge opportunity to talk about the skills and assets you can bring to a school or a team. I talked to about five or six different employers (even the Boston University Grad School) and they were all incredibly nice and interested in what I had to say. I was even able to speak with the team from Habitat for Humanity International about future volunteer opportunities, who told me my course of study (English and Marketing) would be perfect for their team!
Although I’m from out of state and was not able to find any immediate job openings in the Boston area that were offered at the career fair, I am so glad that I was able to attend. I met some fantastic people, particularly from Linium Recruiting, who have offered to see what they can do with my resume. In addition, I received some advice about how to enter the Marketing and Public Relations field, which has helped me tremendously in continuing my job search. Networking is about creating relationships with experienced professionals and about learning as much as possible about creating a strong future career; over the past four years as a Siena student, I have truly learned how to network. Having a Liberal Arts education has not only provided us with hard earned degrees, but has also provided skills that we will take into the professional world and beyond. If you come across large networking events such as this one, or even smaller meetings, go to them! They may be nerve-wracking and you may think, “Well, how is this going to help me?,” but I promise, it’ll be worth your while. Networking events are like informal interviews and they will give you the chance to practice presenting yourself to employers, something that one can never do often enough. You’ll learn so much about the career field you’re pursuing. Even if you don’t find a job with that particular company, odds are they are going to know someone who will be able to help you!
Check out my article at http://www.hercampus.com/school/siena to see a list of tips on how to network the right way! Did you go to the career fair on Tuesday? Let me know in the comments!
So, the 14th Annual Career, Internship and Grad School Fair is taking place right here on campus TODAY from 3:00-6:30pm in the MAC and this event is a huge deal. There are over 120 businesses coming from all over the area and beyond, there is going to be a FREE LinkedIn Photo Booth and I am honestly super excited for the event! The Career Fair is a fantastic opportunity to make connections, network your skills and to discover some of the companies you may be interested in working for, but preparing for this event is equally as important. Here are my top five tips on getting ready for today and other networking events:
Resume:I know this may sound obvious, but your resume should be a clear description of your skills and the experience you have! You should know your resume better than anyone, make sure everything is correctly written and formatted. Make sure your resume has been properly critiqued and that you overprint copies to bring to the event! You don’t want to be speaking with a potential employer without a spare copy of your resume to give them. Career Education and Professional Development is located in Foy 203 and their office hours vary from 8:30am-4:30pm Monday through Friday. Please check in with the CEPD office to inquire about specific times by contacting them at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518)783-2339
Dressing for Success: Your outfit for the Career Fair will make a huge statement about your interest in entering the professional world, so take the time to choose something! I was able to attend the Dress for Success Fashion Show last week and they provided a TON of ideas on how to look good while making a great first impression:
For girls: Conservative is always the safest route! Knee length dresses or skirts with a nice blouse are always great options, plus you can add a cute statement necklace or a sweater/cardigan to make it pop just a bit! Pumps or flats are ideal, but stay away from anything that may appear too flashy, short or inappropriate. In terms of makeup, a neutral eye and lip will always make the best impression!
For guys: You don’t have to wear a tux, but make sure you’re dressing to make a positive impact on future employers. Dress pants, a dress shirt and a tie are absolutely essential for this event, as are dress shoes. Suit jackets don’t hurt either! PLEASE don’t wear sneakers or jeans and make sure that if you do have facial hair, it’s clean and trimmed.
Business Cards: Having personalized business cards will provide potential employers with easy access to your contact information AND will make you more memorable during that two minute conversation. Career Education and Professional Development will print out sheets of business cards for FREE and all you have to do is fill out a form, which you can find here. Fill out this form as soon as you can, they take up to three business days to print!
Research: Know who you’re talking to! Learn as much as you can about the businesses that are coming, you don’t want to be caught by surprise when an employers asks what you know about their company and you don’t have any idea what they’re talking about. Here is the list of ALL of the employers and grad schools that will be attending the Career Fair today, don’t hesitate to take a look at it! See which businesses you’re interested in and look up their website to see what they do, where they’re located, what their mission statement is, etc. If you can have a conversation with someone about their company during the Career Fair, you’re going to stand out among a lot of other candidates!
Elevator Pitch: This is almost like a sales pitch, but instead of telling someone about a product, you’re telling them about yourself. An elevator pitch just has to be two or three sentences long, but make sure that you’re telling employers things about yourself that will incite them to want to continue the conversation. Tell them who you are, what you’re studying here at Siena and what career path you’re planning to take and PRACTICE this! Make sure you can recite your elevator pitch exceptionally and avoid using the words “like” or “um.”
I hope this tips help you prepare for today, as they are the key aspects to making a good impression on the attending businesses! Pre registration for the Career Fair is now closed, but walk-ins ARE welcome, so register TODAY and come to the MAC to join us for this exciting event! Even if the right business for you isn’t here at the Career Fair, odds are there will be someone there who will be able to lead you in the desired direction!