Jen Richards

Equinox Staff


A common question college students usually deal with is what they will do after college. Some students have an idea while others don’t know where to begin.

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, Mary Pleasanton, coordinator of Employer Relations and Career Advising, held an event in the Student Center to help KSC students see more options for their future.

Six non-profit organizations attended the event and formed a panel to discuss with students different job options they could look at.

The organizations that joined consisted of American Red Cross, AmeriCorps VISTA, The Peace Corps, City Year, Teach for America, and the Student Conservation Association.

“I had no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated from Keene State,” KSC alumni and panelist for Teach for America, Alex Candee, said in his presentation.

“Then I picked up the New York Times and on the front page was an article ‘Why TFA’ and the rest of history,” Candee said.

Candee, along with the rest of the panelists, spoke to students who filled about 50 chairs in the Madison Street Lounge, about the organization’s backgrounds, benefits, and personal experiences they had in them.

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Pleasanton said she wanted to bring in these organizations to talk to the students at KSC in order to give them alternatives to traditional jobs after college. She said she knew of many students at KSC who were already involved with community service and said this could give them more options for their future.

“I think because of our mission here at Keene State ‘Enter to learn, go forth to serve’ that many students do service learning and community service while they’re here and develop an interest in it,” Pleasanton said

Four of the organizations attended this panel discussion previous years and two more joined this year. Pleasanton said City Year and the Peace Corps attended regular events such as job fairs at KSC and sponsor workshops for students.

Pleasanton said this formed a connection with the organizations and students

Alumni also brought a connection between the organizations and the students. A number of panelists previously attended school at KSC. Amanda Day graduated from KSC and now works for AmeriCorps Vista at the college.

The panelists talked to the audience about how college students could benefit from working in one of these organizations after college.

Benefits for each were slightly different, however money rewards, education awards, and training opportunities were among a few of them.

Some of the panelists said they had grad school paid for through these programs.

“Because of Peace Corps I was able to go onto graduate school and receive a full grant,” Stacey Furgeson, the panelist for the Peace Corps said.

Furgeson strongly encouraged students to look into these organizations and to be a part of them after college.

“Finding where you are in the service world is important because there are a lot of different options but I think the number one thing to consider is service. Make sure it’s part of your next step,” Furgeson said.

Emerald Anderson, the recruitment project leader for City Year, said how important she finds it to be in at least one of these organizations after college.

“You guys are here because you want to work at a job that helps and all it is figuring out what actually you want to help,” Anderson said.

Some of these organizations promoted their internships that are available for college students or recent graduates.

The Student Conservation Association and the American Red Cross were two that suggested their internship programs.

Pleasanton stated that these organizations are important for college students to know about because at this stage in their lives many are confused about what they want to do after college.

She said that after students graduate there are many that still do not know what they want to do and these non-profit jobs give them a variety of options that could fulfill many interests.

“These organization are wonderful training grounds for those students who don’t really know what they want to do,” Pleasanton said.

After the panelists spoke to the audience members and gave a background on the organization, each speaker went to a different location where interested students could go to for more information.

Pleasanton said this part of the event provided the students with more insight on the groups and how exactly to apply.

She also said that most of the organizations sent information to her office where students could go if they had more questions.

“Sometime students will hear about the event but they aren’t able to get here so we have the information,” Pleasanton said.

All the panelists showed strong feelings about joining a non-profit organization after college and said it would be the best option for those students who are confused about their future.

Anderson stressed that students could join all of the organizations if they wanted.

“You don’t have to do one, you can do all of them. Do everything you can,” Anderson said

All of the panelists let the students know that if they went with a non-profit organization as an option in their future, it would be an option that they would not regret.


Jen Richards can be contacted at


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