Wheaton to the World 2024

In February, Career Services continued its annual Wheaton to the Word (W2W) “conference” for juniors and seniors. The event has evolved from a senior only event to include juniors in preparation for post-Wheaton life. W2W involves collaboration with alumni, in a collaborative effort with Alumni Relations, which provides a robust and engaging platform for students to hear insights from industry professionals while networking with alumni, faculty, and staff members.

Alumni Relations coordinated with Career Services to engage alumni for the keynote speaker role and content experts for topics requested by the students through a fall semester survey. This year’s success is an example of collaboration delivering exceptional experiences and value for all participants.

An interview with Beth Moriarty, Interim Director of Career Services:

Career Services: What are the objectives/goals of Wheaton to the World?

“Think of ‘Wheaton to the World’ as the ultimate college-to-career playbook! Our main aim is to get juniors and seniors all geared up and ready to tackle the real world after graduation. We want to arm students with the skills, smarts, and savvy to make smart career choices, set solid goals, and figure out a game plan for life post-college. It’s like a crash course in adulting.”

Career Services:   Why is it important to keep a program like Wheaton to the World on the annual calendar for students?

“Keeping “Wheaton to the World” on the annual calendar is like maintaining a lifeline for students navigating their way into the professional world.  It ensures that students have ongoing support, resources, and opportunities to thrive as they transition from college to career.”

Career Services: Are other departments involved in presenting Wheaton to the World? If so, how or why? What about funding?

“In presenting Wheaton to the World, Career Services teams up closely with Alumni Relations to ensure its success. Alumni are invaluable partners, helping us find speakers for sessions and participating in our networking reception, which greatly enriches the experience for our students. Additionally, Dining Services plays a pivotal role in both the networking reception and the business strategy dinner, ensuring these events run smoothly and leave a lasting impression.

As for funding, we’re fortunate to have a donor fund dedicated specifically to programming aimed at supporting students as they navigate life after graduation. This fund provides the financial resources necessary to organize and execute events like Wheaton to the World, ensuring that our students have access to the tools and opportunities they need to thrive in their careers beyond college.”

Career Services:  What was the event format for the 2024 Wheaton to the World?

“Wheaton to the World 2024 was structured into four main components, offering students a comprehensive experience tailored to their career goals. Participants had the flexibility to engage in all segments of the day or choose specific sections based on their interests and needs.

The professional conference kicked off with a keynote address delivered by an alumni, setting the tone for the day. Following this, students had the opportunity to attend various breakout sessions covering essential topics such as financial literacy, negotiation skills for job offers, and apartment hunting strategies.

The graduate school fair featured representatives from 10  graduate schools in the area, providing valuable information and networking opportunities for students considering further education.

During the networking reception, participants enjoyed passed appetizers and mocktails while mingling with faculty, staff, and alumni. This informal setting allowed for meaningful connections to be made within the Wheaton network.

To cap off the day, the business strategy dinner was led by Jean Papalia from A+ Etiquette. Through a four-course meal, Jean provided invaluable tips and tricks on professional etiquette and effective communication, equipping students with essential skills for success in the workplace.

Overall, Wheaton to the World 2024 offered a dynamic and immersive experience designed to empower students as they transition from college to career.”

Career Services: What were the highlights from this year’s event, from your perspective?

‘There were many highlights in my opinion, it’s hard to pick just one.  The breakout sessions covered a range of relevant topics, including financial literacy, negotiation skills, and apartment hunting. These sessions were interactive and engaging, offering practical advice and strategies that students could immediately apply to their post-graduation plans.The networking reception provided a chance for students to mingle with faculty, staff, and alumni. The business strategy dinner was a standout moment of the event. Students had the opportunity to refine their professional dining skills while enjoying a delicious meal and valuable insights from the facilitator.”

Student Evaluation Feedback:

Regarding the Professionalism Dinner

“It was my favorite part of the night, enjoyable and informative.”

“Was great getting to connect with my classmates in this setting”

Regarding the Networking Event

“That was vital practice, and I’m so glad to have gotten the opportunity.”

“All of the alumni were eager to speak and spread knowledge of their fields.”

Overall Feedback

“I thought this was very relevant to me and many other students getting ready to graduate.”

“I think making the breakout session shorter and providing more options would be helpful.”

“Amazing resources and advice!”

“I learned a lot of useful information about the grad school application process.”