From the moment you step onto campus to begin first-year orientation, a key pillar of the St. Lawrence experience, and one of the primary reasons I decided to become a Laurentian, sticks out—the community. All the individuals on this campus are here to support you and that support extends past graduation, even from the Laurentians that haven’t been on campus for several decades.
St. Lawrence has one of the best alumni networks in the country according to The Princeton Review. This ranking is far more than just a number. Another definition could be that we have an alumni base looking to be a helping hand to any student that reaches out. This means that the alumni of St. Lawrence are ready and willing to get to know students and they enjoy doing so!
One program that allows students to connect with alumni is the LINC mentor program. The LINC program stands for Laurentians Investing in Networking and Careers, and I was able to take part in this program throughout my sophomore year. This program allowed me to get a jump start in learning how to connect with individuals in my field of interest and was my first introduction to our impressive and expansive alumni network.
I am an environmental studies major, and while I knew that I was interested in the environmental advocacy realm, I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go. The LINC program allowed me to explore my interests for a better understanding of what I was and wasn't curious to pursue. I was lucky enough to be paired with an alumnus that works in environmental policy and analysis.
While I was most definitely daunted by this title, I was excited to see what I could learn from this year-long mentorship. And saying that I learned new information doesn’t quite sum it up. I learned SO much about networking, crafting cover letters and resumes for specific jobs and internships, and what it truly means to be a Laurentian for Life.
My mentor and I spoke every three weeks throughout my sophomore year. Each Skype call was met with interesting conversations and advice in order to have the most productive college experience and new comfort in navigating our Laurentian network.
While I learned many new skills throughout our time together, the most profound new knowledge was that our alumni network is there for students to utilize. There are thousands of St. Lawrence alumni out there willing to speak of their experience and share how they were able to use their degree far beyond just their four years on campus. We all eventually have to physically move on from St. Lawrence, but it is evident that St. Lawrence is very much still in the hearts and minds of our alumni and they are very willing to offer advice and talk frankly with students.
The LINC program allows students to take advantage of our top-tier alumni network and utilize the resources that Career Services promotes. While connecting with professionals is daunting, I have learned that they want to share their journey with students and relive their college experience vicariously through each Laurentian they speak with.
I am so glad that I was paired with a mentor that allowed me to venture into the environmental field, ask questions, and learn from his experience. I am even more grateful that St. Lawrence creates this community that allows for Laurentians to connect with each other weeks, months, or even decades after we last listen to the chapel bells ring. We truly are Laurentians for Life.