Opinion: Life post-grad doesn't have to be scary

By Jason Lesh , Jen Williams , Scott Smith and Ryan Gillespie | November 10, 2018 11:31am
UP alumni want students to know that they have a community and resources waiting for them when they graduate.

On Nov. 4, The Beacon published a Staff Opinion written by Jamison White entitled “Universities should offer ‘Life Skills’ courses.” This Op-Ed highlights the Wile E. Coyote moment many grads and soon-to-be grads may feel: Life is along smoothly and then, all of a sudden, the first weekend in May is right around the corner — the realization hits that The Bluff is no longer under your feet!

Good news — other Pilots have come before you, and we’re here to help.

While a formal curriculum for life after UP may not exist in the Bulletin, the Office of Alumni & Parent Relations does offer a series of educational workshops entitled...Life After UP! To date, these have covered topics from Understanding a Personal Budget to Healthy Meal Prep 101. If you’re not interested in a classroom-style resource and want to bounce ideas off of UP alumni, there are many different venues available to you:

● Would you and fellow students like an introduction to the power of the Pilot Network? Reach out to the Student Alumni Association, which exists specifically for this purpose! You can attend a Lunch with Pilots, a student wellness event or just reach out to bounce ideas off of students and alumni leaders.

● Do you want to pick the collective alumni network’s brain about potential career paths, travel advice, or anything else that might be front of mind? Switchboard is a private online community, just for Pilots, where questions are asked and answered!

● Do you want to reach out to someone fresh off the Bluff? The GOLD Board consists of 12 young alumni leaders in the Portland area; these Graduates Of the Last Decade, or GOLDs, are here to be a resource to current students and recent graduates of UP.

● Do you have a specific interest or affinity that drives you? We may have an Affinity Chapter for that! Affinity Chapters focus on affinities ranging from academic and professional to social and cultural.

In addition to the resources above, alumni around the nation have built a network of regional alumni chapters. Whether you’re planning on landing in Hawaii, NYC or somewhere in between after graduation, chances are we have a chapter near you. Our regional chapters are driven by alumni leaders across the nation and work to be resources, networks, and friendly faces for Pilots wherever they may be. We hear you when it comes to making the leap from college to the “real world,” and we are here to assure you that we’ll help you land on your feet!

We are confident the resources above will speak to most pressing concerns on a soon-to-be or recent graduate’s mind. But, if you’re not sure where to start, you can always reach out to the National Alumni Board (NAB) and/or the Office of Alumni & Parent Relations to explore what other resources may be available. 

There are a lot of reasons to choose the University of Portland, including the benefit of knowing that the UP alumni family is here to support you as you transition to the next phase of life. 

Jason Lesh ‘01 (NAB Chair), Jen Williams ‘00, Scott Smith ‘00 and Ryan Gillespie ‘14 are on the National Alumni Board executive committee. They can be reached through their respective email addresses found at https://www.up.edu/alumni/nab/nab-members.html.