Apr 17, 2007

Parachute: Going from college life to your career

by Natasha Kormanik, Life Reporter
Based out of San Francisco, the Para-chute College Program, which is dedicated to helping students make a smooth career transition from college to business life, visited the campus Wed., April 11, setting up in DeMoss Hall to catch students in between classes.

In addition to helping students prepare for their careers, parachute also guides companies on how to minimize management risk.

Every semester, the program tours over 20 different schools across the country in a peer-driven effort to teach students what they need to know about life after college.

According to Parachute’s press release, the organization was inspired after the book “What Color Is your Parachute?” by Richard N. Bolles, facilitating companies and individuals on how to “have fun, take action, make money, and give back.”

Senior Stephanie Gulamerian has mixed feelings of her own about post-collegiate life, feeling both scared and excited. She explained how it is so easy to get comfortable in the routines of college life, and leaving the familiarity of it all behind to enter a world of responsibility, where one is supposed to be the mature adult, is intimidating.

Adding her appreciation for the program, she stated, “It’s cool and comforting to know that people want to come and do this. They give us preparation and opportunities to help us establish a career, and the business cards were helpful as well, making it easier to network.”

As Gulamerian related, transitioning is never easy. Having to transition from high school to college was tough, but what happens after college?

It seems that many students eager for life after college graduate expecting the transition to be simple. Instead, they are propelled into the “real world,” where the demands are higher and the responsibilities bigger.

For most students, the idea of leaving college life behind and the comfort of home to live independently while working to network and job-hunt can be overwhelming and more than a little scary. Not knowing where to start or how to get started can make the transition even tougher.
The Parachute College Program, sponsored by Esurance, helps make this change easier for students by teaching them how to critique their resumes and how to create a proper cover letter, and by giving them advice on networking and job-hunting, as stated at www.parachutecollege.com. Students who stopped by their booth were offered practical resources and ideas and were given the opportunity to create business cards. In addition, the three college graduates representing the program were available for questions about life after college.

Esurance, an auto insurance company, is the program’s main sponsor, according to www.parachutecol-lege.com. The company, which is quickly increasing in growth nationwide, understands the needs of college grads and reaches out to students aiding them as they prepare for the future.  As noted at www.esurance.com, the company also offers students great auto insurance rates, online assistance and 24/7 service.

In addition to the resources offered at the booth, students were also able to partake in an audio project still under development. This project, called the Career Confessional, allows students to have a few moments alone on the bus to verbally express their fears, hopes and anticipations about the future. These confessions are online in audio format at www.parachutecollege.com.

The reason for this audio project, according to Mike Parker, who is the director of the Parachute College Program, is to help students articulate their thoughts and fears. Once this has been accomplished, it will be easier for them to focus on the future and receive helpful tips and advice.
“Our primary goal is to get people thinking about life after college. It is important to think about life after you leave the world of academia,” Parker said.

After Liberty, the group is to continue on to the University of Maryland at College Park to give other students the chance to learn from their guidance, instructions and experience as well.

Contact Natasha Kormanik at nnkormanik@liberty.edu.
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