The Student Engagement Center staff are reimagining our services everyday to make sure we respond to current events openly and transparently.

We are providing senior-focused resources to aid the transition for the class of 2020 into an unpredictable working world. 

We have additional information for all of our programs and have retooled our services. In addition, we are also communicating with our community partners during this time of uncertainty.


A Letter to the Class of 2020.

We know and can empathize that things are changing dramatically right now for the class of 2020. Three short months ago, you were looking at entering one of the strongest job markets in fifty years that had twenty-three consecutive months of an unemployment rate under 4% and growth across most sectors. Now that we are in the midst of a global pandemic and economic free-fall, reports indicate that we will see unemployment as high as 12-13% before things begin to improve.

Now more than ever, it is important to tap into the resources, relationships and advice that can help you pursue your goals. The SEC has been working with campus partners to redevelop ways for you to access information, tools and connections to help you through your transition ahead. We encourage you to bookmark and use this site frequently as you navigate the path to what’s next for you. Below is a quick checklist of steps to help you get started.

Senior Checklist

  1. Take an SEC-sponsored career assessment to better understand your strengths, values, interests, personality and how they may help you find a satisfying and rewarding profession. Then, schedule a virtual appointment with one of our career coaches to unpack your assessment results.

  2. Make sure your resume, cover letter or CV are current and relevant by using the updated resources, samples and templates found on our Resumes, CVs & Cover Letters page.

  3. Talk to professionals that have pursued the path you’re taking by connecting with friends, family members and Whitman alumni about their trajectories. Here are two great articles about interviews that can help you make the most of those conversations.

  4. Learn more about the trajectories of Whitman alumni by using the Whitman Wayfinder  to learn more about the professional paths of alumni from the last 20 years and specifics about the industries they’ve pursued. If you’ve got a LinkedIn account, you can also use Whitman’s LinkedIn Alumni Tool to research alumni in your field.

  5. Consider ALL of your options by talking with faculty and your network about graduate and professional schools. Schedule a meeting with someone in the Office for Fellowships and Grants to explore opportunities that pair travel and learning. Consider  service programs like Teach for AmericaCity Year , AmeriCorps, Peace Corpsthat will help you build skills, contribute to a community and make an impact in the lives of others.

Senior Check-In Appointments on Handshake

Seniors, know that you are not in this alone; whether you need an ear to listen or some guidance about pursuing a career. Please schedule a senior check-in via Handshake (under “Creating a Plan for my Future”) and always know the SEC is here for you.

Employment Articles

The SEC keeps an eye on media released pertaining to career interests. Here are some recent articles we’d like to share:

  • Student Career Advisors are now online and available for virtual appointments; videos and webinars are being created (PathwayU, Resume Challenge); more social media presence
  • All career and life advising appointments are online; we offer email, phone and video conferencing appointments
  • All scheduled workshops and programs have been moved to virtual (e.g.Whitman Career Mentoring program, Salary Negotiation workshop, etc.)
  • The Whitman Internship Grant has an extended deadline of Sunday, May 10th, 2020 . Student application submissions will be evaluated on a biweekly basis until the May 10th deadline to allow us to communicate more frequently about application statuses. The following are the bi-weekly dates that we will use to evaluate Whitman Internship Grant application submissions: Sunday, April 12th, Sunday, April 26th, Sunday, May 10th.

  • Applicants must submit an addendum to the application addressing the following question: “Can this internship be carried out with all appropriate public health and social distancing practices required? Please explain." (200 words max) 

  • In the college’s best efforts to keep our students and community members safe (please see Whitman’s new Social Distancing and Wellness resource page) any college sponsored activities and programmings moving forward must be aligned with public health/social distancing best practices.

  • We are hosting virtual workshops covering internship search tools & resources.

  • Meeting one-on-one with students to help them create an individualized internship search plan.
  • Guide to Virtual Volunteering 

  • Community Engagement programs that are able to be adapted to online format is under development.

  • Adopt a Grandparent has 20+ students already volunteering virtually with the program and we just opened it up to the campus for new volunteers to join.

  • Buddy Program currently has 4 Buddy Pairs connecting virtually 1:1 and will continue to work to support more pairs in this way.

  • Spring Break Engagement Trips is working to connect participants and leaders virtually with the community partners that they would have met with on their trip to learn from them and possibly support any virtual/remote volunteer projects.

  • Events and Reflection is creating a weekly blog post “Walla Walla Wednesdays.”

  • Several ARAC work-study students have joined Brent Cumming’s newly formed team to support the district’s after-school program for elementary, middle and high school students through on-line programming, social media and design efforts.
  • WSCC has moved to continuing projects online for the rest of the semester.

  • Training of Fall 2020 Student Consultants will take place online in early May.

Community is important to us and critical during these unprecedented times. In the SEC, we value all communication with our partners. We want to ensure that we are practicing transparent and open communication. We welcome any questions our community partners may have pertaining to the retooling of our programs and services. We also welcome any volunteering opportunities or the opportunity to discuss possibilities and we'd like to hear additional information about how your organization may be changing.

Please fill out this form and we will work to respond as soon as we can.