Beyond Four Years: Making Your College Choice

Where to spend the next four years? It’s an important question, and an enormous decision that colleges around the country ask students to make during the month of April.

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Hartford provides Trinity College students with the urban setting and career development resources to prepare them for life after college.

While I’d love to make that decision easier—and, of course, all of us in the Admissions Office are happy to help however we can—that’s not the purpose of this blog post. Instead, I want to encourage you to think about this decision as one that extends far beyond your four years on campus. Your college choice is really about charting a course through graduation into your career and the rest of your life.

So now that I’ve only raised the stakes of this already huge decision, allow me to share a bit about how we think Trinity serves students with an eye on life after college.

Perhaps the greatest strength of a liberal arts education is that it is an infinitely renewable resource. In every major and every course, students cultivate the critical thinking and communication skills that you will carry with you throughout your life. We don’t just prepare you for your first job after college, but for a meaningful career and life. Many of the jobs the Class of 2021 will hold haven’t even been imagined, and your liberal arts education prepares you to navigate that unchartered career landscape with confidence.

At Trinity, we pair the traditions of the liberal arts with a distinctive urban setting and extraordinary professional opportunities, both in Hartford and around the world. With over 200 pre-established internships in the Hartford area—including major employers just steps from our campus—and 40,000 alumni around the world, Trinity jumpstarts students’ careers with robust résumés and reliable professional networks. When a student graduates from Trinity, they are prepared for what comes next.

But preparing for life after college isn’t just about building a résumé and professional network. To embark on a meaningful and rewarding career, you need to take advantage of the opportunity during college to explore your passions and identify your purpose. Angel B. Péréz, Trinity’s vice president of enrollment and student success, recently wrote about this approach to career exploration for the Washington Post.

In his column, he wrote, “This generation of college graduates will embark on careers that have yet to be imagined, let alone created. Higher education must teach students how to make thoughtful decisions about the trajectory of their lives and empower them with the resources to do just that.”

At Trinity, we strive to offer that: the freedom to explore your interests; the opportunities to engage meaningfully on campus and in our community; and the support to take risks, identify your passion, and pursue it relentlessly. With our Office of Student Success, Career Development Center, and an enormous array of academic and co-curricular options, you have an entire campus community there to support you as you blaze your own trail for four years and beyond.

When you think about your college choice through this lens, it doesn’t make the decision any less difficult. (Sorry!) I hope, though, that it helps bring into focus the ways that a college can help you lay the groundwork for a fulfilling career and a life of meaning and purpose. It’s not too much to ask of the community you choose to join, and at Trinity, we hope you’ll insist on it.

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