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As one of the two deans advising students in the Class of 2018, I am pleased to be addressing parents, guardians, and families, particularly since I will have a chance to meet many of you soon on July 29 and 30, during Sophomore Family Weekend.
"Sophomore Summer" is a unique time in your students' lives. Everywhere they turn they see mostly sophomores, which makes it easier to both meet new people and spend time with old friends. While some extra-curricular organizations go dormant, there is a whole range of summer activities that allow students to enjoy extraordinary opportunities out-of-doors.
While hiking or hanging out by the river, students have time to reflect on how their interests and values meld with their chosen majors. We encourage students at this stage of their Dartmouth experience to articulate which part of their major fits them best and to identify the courses within—and outside—their major that inform this interest.
I repeatedly point out to students that summer is the very best time to explore how their major translates into internships and careers. The Center for Professional Development (CPD) has more staff per student available during the summer, and students have at least one more leave term before graduating. I also encourage them to take advantage of the CPD program that enlists alumni to share how their liberal arts education translated to the world of work.
Starting with this term, the undergraduate deans increase their efforts to encourage all sophomores to engage with their professors about enriching intellectual and professional experience similar to internships, culminating experiences, and graduate work. I will be talking about all these things in more depth when I present on July 30. If you are not able to make it to campus, I will post a copy of my presentation on our website in mid-August. I look forward to meeting those of you who can make it to Hanover.