Career Exploration

When you leave Bennington, we want you not just to have a job, but to love that job. With the testing ground of four Field Work Terms as a foundation, we want to help you craft satisfying, engaging work.

fwt and the plan process

Career Exploration: Year One 

For now, you don’t have to have it all figured out. Take this first Field Work Term to try something new. Explore a field you’re curious about. Try working in an environment different from what you’ve known before. Attempt something that will challenge you in new ways or, instead, focus on refining a comfortable skill. With the support of the First-Year Forum workshop advising groups, you will earn key work readiness skills, including: research tips on Handshake, resume and cover letter writing, and digital profile creation, how to call or interview with prospective employers, what's expected of you on the job, how to work through common workplace challenges, and how to navigate issues of diversity and identity at work.

Career Exploration: The Middle Years

In your second and third Field Work Terms, you have the chance to examine various ways in which your academic studies intersect with different professions and with the world. You can use these Field Work Terms to expand your network, develop special skills in field(s) of interest, and challenge assumptions about career preferences and goals. You may choose to study abroad for one of these two Field Work Terms, or to work with a faculty member on an approved Independent Study, Entrepreneurial Option, or Professional Training.


Career Exploration: The Final Year

The final Field Work Term is a time for you to extend your work into the world. Consult with your faculty advisors and consider if there are any gaps in your resumes and which opportunities will best position you for employment after graduation. Your final Field Work Term is the capstone of your work-based learning trajectory and is aimed at building strong, relevant connections for your future success. Complimenting the final FWT experience is an optional 1-credit course preparing graduating students with life after Bennington. Given the dynamically changing environment of the world of work, the course provides a space for you to reflect on how their scholarly pursuits at Bennington can be in dialogue with designing their life’s work.

Coming Up: 1-Credit Junior/Senior Course for Fall 2019

Life Design Narration: Representing & Contextualizing Your Work (FWT4101.01)

T 4:10-6:00 (first seven weeks)

Life Design Ecosystems: Building Community Beyond Bennington (FWT4102.02)

T 4:10-6:00 (second seven weeks)

Instructor: Michael Gonzales

Field Work Term preparation has provided a platform for applying to opportunities with resumes and cover letters as key components of the internship application. While opportunities during FWT have served as a moment to test and explore inquiries introduced in the classroom, how do students best represent and contextualize this relationship through job application materials created in preparation for graduation? How do students bridge ideas explored in class, the skill sets developed in the field, and work/life aspirations after college utilizing language pertinent to particular employment sectors? Lastly, how do you represent your liberal arts educational background in ways that highlight the value of an interdisciplinary education while representing your work within the targeted frame of your respective fields of interest? In addition to readings tied to the sociology of work, studies on bias in job application evaluation, and editorial pieces on contemporary issues facing newly graduated students to name a few, the course will primarily focus on unpacking and producing resume and cover letter drafts through an iterative and reflective process.