Arcadia’s students are familiar with the tight-knit community within the university, but it is especially exceptional to experience the way that Arcadia alumni stay connected to the school after they graduate and move on to their careers. This is exemplified by Take A Knight to Work Day, a program that Arcadia offers for students to connect with alumni in a career or field similar to their interests. This year, Take a Knight to Work Day was held virtually during consecutive “Wellness Days” from March 16 to 18.
Through this experience, students get to learn about options in their fields of study and receive professional advice about their futures. This year, 75 alumni from a wide variety of careers participated, with organizations and companies ranging from hospitals to Google. They were matched with 73 Arcadia students.
First-year student Dhristi Padhiar shared how beneficial her experience was, having received useful advice to help in her career path in Biology and forming a connection with her alumni partner. Another student who appreciated the opportunity was third-year Diana Steele, who was grateful to learn more about Politics, Government, and Law from someone who was successful in the field. The participating alumni also shared positive thoughts, commenting on the thoughtfulness and excitement they saw in the students they were matched with.
I also believed this was a great opportunity and signed up to take part. Currently, I am double majoring in English and Politics, Government, and Law, but I decided to request someone in government work so that I could learn more about potential careers I might want to pursue. I was matched up with Jade Bechelli, director of Policy to the Majority Leader in the New Jersey General Assembly Majority Office. I was excited to learn more about what Jade’s position entailed and how she got to her career after graduating from Arcadia.
I learned so much about the broader field of government work. Jade’s job focuses on policy work and allocating finances to policy areas, and she also works on subcommittees that have specific priorities, such as education or agriculture. Jade shared that she did not always know that her education path would lead her to this type of job, but Arcadia helped her find her passions and she was able to attend a great graduate school after receiving her undergraduate degree from Arcadia.
Since I am a first-year student, I am still uncertain about what exactly I want to do after I leave Arcadia. Jade told me she experienced the same struggles, and talked about the benefits of exploring different fields while in school, encouraging me to do the same. She also urged me, and other students, to participate in school-based programs and internships that will expose us to opportunities and options we may have not been aware of before.
Take A Knight To Work Day was met with such positive responses from those who participated that the University is hoping to organize it annually, with plans to increase the number of students and alumni participating. Every student can benefit from learning about different careers and developing connections in Arcadia’s professional network, so I encourage anyone interested to look out for this opportunity next year.