For a well-rounded student, Career Services at WWU pursues teaching life skills outside of the classroom

After four short years, the majority of undergraduate students at William Woods find themselves in the “real world.” And while their college education is designed to prepare them for their chosen profession, sometimes the other necessities of life – how to do your taxes, pick insurance at your first job, buy your first car or even how to change a tire on that car, among other skills and knowledge – are left to new graduates to navigate on their own. 

Some academic majors at The Woods include training in some of these real world tasks – business majors and preparing taxes comes to mind – but for all other students at The Woods, there are no classrooms that offer an education in these “life skills.” 

Which is where the university’s Career Services comes in.

Director of Career Services Amy Dittmer and graduate assistant Allie Dunkin have continued the tradition of bringing in experts in a variety of life skills areas to campus to help bridge these gaps in a traditional education. For the last eight years, speakers have been presenting on numerous topics in the area of “adulting” that students do not learn in a college classroom. 

This year, Career Services has organized multiple “Life After The Woods” LEAD events. 

“We try to focus on life skills,” said Dittmer. “Skills that you won’t learn in a classroom like how you actually change a tire when you need to, or other common automotive skills such as an oil changes and how to jump-start your vehicle. You know, situations that regularly come up in real life.” 

This year, they have had presentations on financial matters, social media, healthy living, and insurance. 

“Coach Bob Jones (Head Strength Coach at WWU) presented on how to keep up on fitness after school,” said Dunkin. “Many of our students are athletes who are used to having someone else create a fitness plan for them, and Jones went over how to keep a routine on your own.” 

Career-a-Palooza events 2018

While Jones was a speaker from William Woods, speakers often come from outside the school, to give students a perspective from those out working in relevant fields. The financial and insurance speakers came from local companies to talk about what they often see their clients ask and insurance plans their own companies offer. 

Career Services tries to rotate through topics each year, so that students do not see the same topics all four years that they are here. Historically, some popular events have involved: going through a lease agreement; an “adulting” panel with recent graduates; taxes and benefits; etiquette dinners, and how to pay your student loans. 

“You can see the lightbulb go off for students when they realize that they maybe didn’t know as much about the topic being presented as they thought they did,” said Dittmer. “They may realize they didn’t know the difference between buying and leasing a car, for example, and that they will need to apply this knowledge soon.” 

Career Services always tries to take suggestions from students and recent graduates on what is helpful to them or what they wish they knew more about. If there is an area of “adulting” that is scary to you, reach out to Career Services to learn more about life after The Woods at