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Miracle Network Dance Marathon May Webinar: Leveraging Dance Marathon Experience Post-Grad

Below is a brief recap of the first monthly webinar in May, “Leveraging Dance Marathon Experience Post-Grad.”

Skills & Experience

Peer management, teamwork, communication… Whether as a general participant or in a leadership role, as a student involved with Dance Marathon you have gained valuable skills and experiences that have prepared you for the professional world and contribute to your value as a prospective employee. It is important that you take the time to assess what these skills and experiences are so that you feel comfortable articulating them in your application materials or in an interview. By sharing the development you received through Dance Marathon, you will show a potential employer the strengths you possess and would bring to their company or organization.

Career Guidance

It is estimated that this generation is going to average 15-20 different jobs in 2-3 different industries over the course of your career, which just highlights how the transferrable skills you develop in college—both in and out of the classroom—can often be more impactful on your career than your specific major. That means it’s okay if you’re not sure exactly what you want to do after college graduation, but it’s still important that you begin planning early for your next steps.

Guest speaker Ashley Byrd-White, Assistant Director for Career Education at the University of South Carolina, shared some great tips on how to prepare yourself for whatever your post-grad plans may be by making the most of your summer (or whatever season in which you’re preparing). There are three stages to consider:

Reflection and Connection: Using methods like journaling, reflect on your past experiences, what you learned, and what skills you have gained. Also keep in contact with and lean on mentors, advisors, and other professional connections—these connections will be most helpful as you make decisions and prepare for your job or graduate school search.

Learning and Experience: Take some time to learn something new or gain more experience to strengthen your resume and sharpen your skills. There are some links below to help get you started. 

Planning and Readiness: Even in uncertain times such as this, it’s important to create a plan for yourself to keep your momentum moving forward. Laying out a plan (i.e. by semester leading up to graduation or by month post-graduation) will help you stay on track to meet the goals you set for yourself. Do remember, though, to be adaptable and flexible as things change!

Post-Grad Panel Perspective

Panelists were asked if they could give one piece of advice to a rising senior or a recent graduate, and here are some highlights from their responses:

“It’s important to be really flexible, and I think as Dance Marathoners you have so many skills and such an interesting set of values and things that you can offer to graduate programs and jobs that I think just take the time to figure out what matters most to you and then be really flexible about what’s out there right now.” (Dr. Tessa Bonney, Post-Doctorate Fellow at University of Illinois-Chicago)

“Networking is a little bit awkward but if you can break the ice with one thing that you have in common, whether it be a skill or an organization, a club, whatever it might be, those connections will definitely be valuable in your career and make it more enjoyable along the way.” (Madison Grasty, Software Development Engineer at Comcast)

“Don’t be afraid to try something totally new. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. … You just don’t know what you will find or what you’ll fall in love with if you don’t try different things.” (Ashley Byrd-White, Assistant Director for Career Education at University of South Carolina)

Hear more about these topics by watching the full webinar here or accessing the webinar slides here. You can find this and many other past webinars on the Miracle Network Dance Marathon YouTube channel.

Some additional career preparation resources: