Over the past month, the Student Project Management Team (SPMT) has worked hard to create a blueprint for the Arts & Science program’s inaugural New World of Work Forum in March 2018. Last month’s intensive discussion and research culminated on October 30th when the Team met the four Arts & Science alumni who will act as their mentors: Evan Jones (’01), Stephanie McLarty (’03), Jackie Brown (’14), and the Forum’s founder and benefactor, Bruce Miyashita (’84).
The meeting began with hot coffee and introductions, with the mentors describing the details of their post-graduate experiences and the watershed moments that have guided their careers. From wrestling with the routes of “starving artist” or entrepreneur, to translating lessons honed from eight-month grunt work into the establishment of a certified B Corporation, hearing these origin stories injected fresh energy and purpose into the planning process.
Invariably, being in a room of past and present Arts & Science students from six unique graduating classes, the conversation bled into a discourse of the program. The SPMT found that reconciling Arts & Science and business has been a pervasive issue for students throughout the program’s entirety, as well as moving beyond the annual flux of graduates into traditional and “safe” fields of medicine or law. In an attempt to address these biases, the goal of the forum then becomes: how to provide students with the skills and resources they need to not only establish their place but create their own space in the New World of Work, all while grounding their development in the Arts & Science ethos. While an ambitious goal, the applied experience of the mentors guided the SPMT on how to successfully and judiciously pioneer our vision of a modern conference.
In essence, this first meeting provided the SPMT with a humbling appreciation of the mentors’ ready investment of time, skill, and energy in the forum; while also presenting a learning opportunity in terms of how to best utilize this elite resource. Moving forward, the SPMT will be engaging with community leaders and continuing to build a forum that informs and inspires attendees and organizers alike.
-Student Project Management Team
Danielle Canagasuriam, Nick Maizlin, Robert Redelmeier, Sophia Silverton