The Carleton Scholars Program
What is the Scholars Program?
Carleton’s Scholars Program consists of exploratory industry tours that typically last 3–4 days at the beginning of winter break. The tours introduce a group of students to a variety of organizations within a particular field of interest (e.g., public policy, green tech, business/finance, film/television, public health/medicine, etc.). These tours include site visits, panel discussions, receptions, and group reflection. Some programs include home-stays with recent alumni in the area.
How It Works
The first scholars program was in New York City in December 2006. A group of 12 juniors and seniors met more than 50 professionals at finance firms over a four-day period. The program included formal visits to organizations including Citibank, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, HSBC, and Lehman, and alumni and parents also hosted informal dinner receptions that provided the students with additional networking opportunities. The students even experienced New York’s nightlife by attending a Broadway show. A professor who teaches in the field and a Career Center representative accompany the students on each program. Over the past three years, groups of students have explored such topics as public policy, green tech, business, film/television, public health, arts, and medicine, and visited locations in Washington DC, New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Silicon Valley, and more. The Spring Break 2014 Scholars Trip was Technology in the Twin Cities.
Why the Program is Effective
For many students, these programs have been transformative. Not only have they learned a great deal more about their field of professional interest, but students have usually walked away with the contact information of several experts who are willing to continue a personal dialogue about how best to pursue various career paths. The students have been very empowered by the experiences and connections provided by these programs.
Carleton as a whole has also benefitted from having these bright students as ad hoc ambassadors throughout the United States. During their visits, the students have raised Carleton’s profile at corporations, government offices, and organizations on the east and west coasts, where Carleton is less well known than in the Midwest.