As a sophomore who is currently enrolled in the one-credit Launch course and has heard a plethora of attempts by faculty to elucidate the program in its entirety, I have not once felt impacted by the opaque initiative. After extended reflection, I have recognized that I have always been chasing my own “Launch Plan” subconsciously, as we all are. Colleges and universities across the country have an unspoken Launch initiative. It is a given for students who are pursuing a degree. Gaining transferable skills, connecting to inspiring mentors and partaking in “immersive experiences” are all already incorporated in the college experience. Drew is not special by enacting such a broadly muddling initiative. Opportunities grow organically on campus and already present themselves to students in profuse settings. In other words, the Launch program essentially spells out what already exists on Drew’s campus, making itself out to be a rebranding of some sort. This is why upper-classmen taking off for post-graduation life are not missing out on anything revolutionary; they have already pursued their own manifestations of Launch. They pursued research and internships, extensively organized on-campus events, connected with inspiring professors, took advantage of work-study opportunities and so forth.
Furthermore, the one-credit Launch course does not accommodate for advanced levels of career-paving. I do not reap benefits from listing my dependable strengths, passions and such categories because I am already acquainted with them. They are ingrained in my psyche, mold my every-day decision making and help maintain my grounding. Perhaps there may be students who gain from these list-making exercises, but these kinds of activities are not tailored for many Drew students. I have met such passionate students on campus who need not spell out their passions, as they are defined by and operate based on them. In summary, the one-credit Launch course is too premature and does not allow students to truly hone in on their skills and interests.
GRAPHIC COURTESY OF DREW UNIVERSITY
Instead of marketing the hard-to-buy Launch product, it is more impactful on the Drew community to revamp departments on campus, especially the Center for Internships and Career Development, a pivotal but overwhelmingly underdeveloped department. I found it impossible to discover any striking opportunities on DrewLink, and the same narrative applies to HandShake. The latter was surprisingly disappointing and reassembled the former. I appreciate the Center’s attempts to increase its visibility on campus through networking workshops and events; nevertheless, its pitfalls are evident. I hear from many students how Drew never brings companies or organizations on campus that they would work for, nor invites alumni to networking events that they would be interested in as a mentor. I relate to these sentiments because I am one of those students.
Moreover, I am quite surprised at the Career Center’s inability to promote worthwhile internships, particularly due to New York City’s proximity. Frustrated by the lack of help from the Career Center, I employed Indeed to locate internships resonating with my interests and passions. I was eventually hired by a think tank in New York City, which has granted me such an indispensable experience. A few students have asked me about my internship and have applied or planned to do so. Although I love that I am helping out other students, I am disappointed that the Career Center is not exposing them to these kinds of opportunities. There is an enormous number of fascinating internship opportunities in New York City that the Career Center should be linking students to. Why are they not on HandShake? Why hasn’t the Career Center said a word about them?
Marwa is a sophomore Philosophy and Political Science double major with a minor in Economics.