Been There, Done That: Alumni Offer Insight
Lots of older people have advice, but it means more to students when it comes from someone who had similar experiences.
At the third annual Colby Alumni Networking Weekend this fall, students of color and graduates in the Alumni of Color Network shared thoughts on being in the minority at Colby and established connections that could be helpful in the future.
The Career Center organized workshops, lectures, and panels and provided the opportunity for the groups to meet informally. One panel included 10 alumni of color and 10 ALANA (African-American, Latino/a, Native American, Asian-American) students who talked about the good and not-so-good of being a minority student at Colby.
While some students and alumni talked about challenges, alumni shared ways in which they were able to make the most of their Colby experience and were enthusiastic about what they got out of it. A Colby education provided alumni with limitless possibilities, taking them just about anywhere, they said.
The discussions were candid and honest. As students shared their experiences, alumni offered reflections and guidance. Mindy Pinto ’02 said that, despite the ups and downs in her social experience at Colby, ultimately she had “good friendships with good people.”
The alumni panelists collectively expressed that they had struggled to feel a sense of belonging in the Colby community. This session, though, allowed current students to use the experiences of others to avoid some of the same challenges. “Use this opportunity as a way to get outside of your individual bubble,” said Jacquelyn Lindsey Wynn ’75.
After all, that’s what college is all about.