By Jim DeLa
4th-Year Kick-Off posterStudents entering their fourth year at New College certainly have a lot to think about, not the least of which is a thesis and bacc exam looming on the horizon.
But with graduation still eight months away, a lot of fourth years haven’t really begun thinking about life after New College. The staff at the Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity want to change that mindset.
The CEO is launching an informal event designed to keep every fourth-year student at New College on the right track to have a great final year and successful transition after graduation. The first annual 4th-Year Kick-Off will take place Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Sudakoff Conference Center.
The goal of the event is to help students connect with all of the campus resources they need for a successful fourth year, as well as help them start engaging in their career planning for post-graduation transition. Students should be working on their thesis and career planning simultaneously during their fourth year.
Offered in an informal setting with music, games, a catered lunch, and the official class t-shirt, students will connect with a wealth of campus resources to help them graduate, including the Counseling and Wellness Center, SAuCE office, Writing Resource Center, Quantitative Resource Center, and the Student Success office. Advisers for pre-med and pre-law programs will be on hand, as well as representatives from the new Thesis Living Learning Community.
Additionally, to jump-start career planning, students can schedule a new 20-minute CEO appointment, the 4th Year Check-In, at the event, where students will talk one-on-one with a CEO professional staff member about their plans immediately following graduation. “The goal is to get connected early to think about post-graduation,” said CEO Assistant Director Maddie Heath. The event’s presenting sponsor is the NCF Foundation, which wants to also help students continue their relationship with the college after they graduate.
Planning for post-college life needs to start now, said the CEO’s director, Dwayne Peterson. “It takes six to nine months to find a job. It’s important that they start early.”
Peterson added that the CEO has a goal to meet with every fourth-year student this fall. “The focus is the immediate next steps they should take. The hope is to meet with all of them.”
The event is sponsored by employers and graduate programs that will be in attendance and seek to connect with students early in a casual, low-key environment. “We want students to come as they are,” said Heath. “This is all about connecting and relationship building.”
Among the sponsoring employers and graduate programs are FCCI Insurance Group, ScribeAmerica, and Florida International University.
— Jim DeLa is digital communications coordinator at New College of Florida.

Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is a top-ranked public liberal arts college and the state’s Honors College of Florida. New College prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in arts, humanities and sciences, a master’s degree program in applied data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.

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