Each fall/winter, MS3 hosts a 2-day, overnight Career Retreat facilitated by an expert in green careers. Recently, it has been held at the Woolman Hill Retreat Center in Deerfield, MA, and in previous years it was at Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA.
The retreat is meant to prepare students for their sustainability career by answering questions like:
- How do you transition from earning your Sustainability Science MS to launching your sustainable career?
- How do you build not only a professional network but also your personal Community of Practice?
- How do you “get a foot in the door” with your dream organization?
In short, this retreat is about not just finding the right job but building a career plan that will guide you for the next five years.
Woolman Hill is a Quaker retreat center situated on 110 acres of beautiful meadows and woods in the Connecticut Valley of Western Massachusetts. Workshops are held in the cosy "Yellow House", where students also cook and dine together, and sleep overnight.
Feedback from students
"The location was really beautiful and brought a sense of calm which really helped us focus on self reflection. The workshop was paced really well which made an enjoyable experience as opposed to having an overload of information."
"I felt really anxious going into the retreat, but found that it was a really mindful and restful experience. I certainly felt that I was continuously engaged, and Kevin was a great facilitator in that he always built breaks into the agenda."
"Being able to walk around the beautiful grounds and reflect on the deep and difficult questions we were asking ourselves was a great way to create space to fully process everything."
"I looooved it! I think Woolman Hill was a major part of what made the experience so positive for me! It was welcoming, cozy, and rustic, allowing me to feel like I was in a "safe space" for reflection and learning."
"Having different seating areas to spread out in small groups or individual thought was wonderful."
"I went into the retreat hoping to learn something and gain a little bit of inspiration. In the end, I got WAY more out of the workshop than I expected to. By reflecting deeply upon my life experience, my personality style, and the paths of people in my desired field, I left the retreat feeling infinitely more confident about my own skill set and how that will play into my job search. I learned to focus on the baby steps I need to take to get where I want to go as opposed to hyper-focusing on the final result and stressing myself out over jobs that I'm not qualified for. Overall, I would say that this is a totally worthwhile experience and I recommend it to anyone, regardless of whether or not they are already an established professional."
"Working with Kevin and getting to have some time for one on one questions with him and other retreat attendees was the most rewarding part. Those personal connections to talk about professional issues was really important!"
"I enjoyed the outdoor space, it was great to prepare food together as a group and being responsible for that and the clean up. It was casual and rustic which made it a comfortable space to be reflective. Nice not to be sitting in formal desks feeling like you are still at school."
"Staying overnight helped me in reflecting about the first day's session without any external distractions or commitments."
"The most rewarding part of the retreat for me was getting to leave feeling that everything will be okay."