Suffield’s Offices of Alumni Development and College Counseling hosted the year’s third college-to-career virtual discussion on December 2. The program invites alums to speak with interested students about their careers, college major choices, and experiences at Suffield. As part of the junior Leadership Program curriculum, students are asked to attend three out of eight sessions offered per academic year. The goal is to expose current students to life beyond Suffield and provide guidance from alumni professionals working in various professional fields.
Mariam graduated from Suffield in 2013 and Princeton University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering. At Princeton she was Food Chair of her eating club, Editor-in-Chief of Princeton’s on-campus fashion magazine, and a tour guide (just like at Suffield). She also took language and creative writing classes, studied abroad in Vienna, and worked abroad in Paris. After Princeton she moved to New York City where she worked for IBM as a data scientist for four years, leading work related to IBM’s product strategy and marketing of hardware and cloud-based technologies. She left IBM in 2021 as a Senior Data Scientist for graduate school; she is currently pursuing her M.B.A. and master’s in mechanical engineering with a focus on product design and development from MIT as part of an integrated two-year dual-degree program.
When Mariam began her college search, she stuck to a few consistents, from only applying to schools that felt good to her to finding places that had a STEM focus, but additional offerings as well, which would sustain her creative side. She shared some smart pieces of advice, like, “One thing that can be really helpful is knowing what you don’t like,” and that once you arrive at college “you will pretty quickly figure out what you what to study...more quickly than you might think,” and also, “Your major doesn’t dictate your college experience.” This is so important, because like Mariam, you can love practical subjects, like math, and creative subjects, like writing, and you should be able to have a hand in both worlds. She emphasized that having experiences across different avenues is vital, saying, “Whatever interests you, do it.”
Juniors preparing for the college application process are heavily supported by their college counselors and alumni mentors. While it 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.