Proctor Alumni: Tori Smith '13 - Preparation for the Job Search

Posted by Tori Smith '13

04/25/2017

It is hard to believe 4 years ago I was applying to college. It is even harder to believe I am in my last semester at St. Lawrence University preparing for my next journey in life… a career. It is a common understanding as a senior not to talk about the dreaded "J" word because we get enough inquiries from parents, relatives, and professors who constantly ask, “Do you know what you are doing after graduation?”

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I am thankful to say that I have accepted a job at WinterWyman in the greater Boston area. I attribute this to the strong impactful relationships and the experiences I had at Proctor and St. Lawrence. Both schools have provided me with endless academic and personal tools. They pushed me to go beyond my comfort zone. They taught me the importance of being a global thinker, to be a community contributor and how to speak and work with all types of people. They also championed individuality. These attributes in each school are why I fell in love with them and what helped me prepare for the next chapter in my life.

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Tori '13 studied abroad on both Proctor en Segovia and Mountain Classroom, before studying abroad at Chiang Mai University in Thailand during the fall of her junior year (above) at St. Lawrence and has served as an International Studies Peer Advisor encouraging other students to study abroad. 

Looking back on my school journeys, I would not be the person I am today without Proctor or St. Lawrence. Applying for jobs is a very stressful time. It requires a lot of time, connections, interviews, time management and courage. While searching for a job, it is essential to network and not be afraid to ask for connections. By being part of the Proctor and St. Lawrence communities, I have been fortunate to have endless resources to establish connections and help promote me. By building relationships with professors and alumni, I learned about various career paths, which helped me determine the occupation that I desired to pursue.

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Proctor gave me the opportunity to help develop and follow my true passions and to learn what motivates me. My teachers’ ability to push me outside of my comfort zone allowed me to develop my identity and cultivate my passions. Through spending a term abroad in Segovia, Spain and a term on Mountain Classroom, I learned how to adapt to ever-changing environments, and to easily transition between cultures. It is a skill that led me to a smoother transition into college and I know will continue to serve me well later in life.

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Tori '13 with her sister, Abigail, mother, Liz Blodgett-Smith '81, and father, Tim, at her senior game for St. Lawrence Univeristy Women's Lacrosse. Tori played four years at St. Lawrence (including serving as team captain her senior year) alongside Proctor classmate Nicole Adee '13 (below)

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A common misconstrued ideology of recent college graduates pertains to the perceived need to join an industry simply because of monetary incentive. At Proctor, I was encouraged to select courses that I was passionate about to help pursue my dreams, not just courses that would get me into the ‘right’ college or set me up for future ‘success’. This ideology was the foundation on which I was able to base my job search. There is no single perfect job for a person, and rarely do people stay in the same job or profession for an entire career, so my goal was to find a job that would challenge me, push me outside my comfort zone, and allow me to learn new skills. My advice to other soon-to-be college graduates is to do the same - follow your passion, believe nothing is unreachable, step out of your comfort zone, and find creative ways to apply what you have learned from your academic experiences. Lastly, don't be afraid to take a chance, because you will never know what you want to do until you learn what you don’t want to do.

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