Suffield’s College Counseling and Alumni & Development Offices hosted the third college-to-career virtual discussion of the year on December 1. The program invites alums to speak with interested students about their careers, college major choices, and experiences at Suffield. As part of the junior-year Leadership Program curriculum, students are asked to attend at least three of eight sessions offered each academic year. The goal is to expose current students to life beyond Suffield and provide guidance from alumni professionals working in various fields.
Arielle Kempinsky graduated from Suffield in 2009. She then went to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where she studied neuroscience. Afterwards, she joined the Peace Corps as a health education volunteer in Senegal, West Africa. She spent two years working on infrastructure building, along with malaria and child nutrition work. She then started medical school at Stanford, taking a year off during this time to obtain a Master of Public Health in Quantitative Methods. This summer, she graduated medical school and moved to Chicago to start residency. She will spend the next three years training as an Emergency Medicine physician. Afterwards, her hope is to work in the Emergency Department of an academic affiliated hospital.
In her talk, Arielle highlighted that there is no one path to a certain goal. She also noted that while Johns Hopkins was a great school that prepared her well for medical school and exposed her to the opportunity to join the Peace Corps, looking back she feels that it may not have been the best overall fit and she is now aware that she could have gotten that preparation and opportunities from other colleges as well. She really feels that college is what you make of it. Though she knew she wanted to be a doctor, she wasn’t sure what field she wanted to specialize in. She thought back to her Suffield Academy self and what she had done with the Peace Corps to determine that she didn’t want to be behind a desk or follow an everyday routine. She liked trying new things and being in an active environment so she has focused on Emergency Medicine. Her parting words of wisdom to the juniors was to appreciate the friendships and relationships that Suffield Academy provides. And to take advantage of all the opportunities that Suffield provides for you to explore your interests and develop your leadership.
Juniors preparing for the college application process are heavily supported by Suffield’s college counselors and alumni mentors. While their college choice is an important decision in their lives, the mentoring sessions provide insight into many unanswered questions. It is made very clear that communication is a key to success and there is more than one way to accomplish a rewarding future.