You Need to Know About Life After Smith
a tall order, but a book given to all Smith College graduates
this month as they prepare for the “real world”
carries the confident title life after school. explained:
a definitive reference guide.
The book, an annual
gift to graduates from the Alumnae Association of Smith College
(AASC), is arranged in chapters -- familiarly called seminars
-- on topics pertaining to restaurant etiquette (presumably
superfluous for Smith graduates), managing finances, finding
a place to live, the professional work place, taxes and miscellany.
few samples of advice from life after school:
From Seminar 2, "Love Your Money"
of Money: When you use someone else's money, you have
to pay for it.
pay more than savings accounts.
problems stay on your record for seven years.
Seminar 3, “Getting Your Aparmtent”
ads, “cozy” is another word for “no room for a bed.”
be best to keep looking if you hear, “I don't mind the
bugs - they usually keep to themselves.”
Seminar 4, “Day 1 at Work”
purchasing business suits, buy wool. Wool suits last
longer, breathe better, and wrinkle less than any other
type of suit.
the hanger rule: Buy your entire outfit off one hanger.
overdress for the first day of work.
school is written and produced by Cap & Compass,
a company in Mobile, Ala., that offers seminars, books and
“starter kits” to schools and corporations to
assist people with transitions to life after college. The
company customizes its books with the logos and introductory
notes from each customer.
this a few years ago and thought it was a great little book
with a lot of useful information, and are thrilled to give
it to seniors,” says Samantha Pleasant, senior associate
director of the AASC. “Feedback from seniors has been
extremely positive. It seems we’ve started a new Smith
This is the third
year Smith seniors have received life after school.
Among the most
immediately helpful tidbits in the book may be Seminar 1,
“Avoid Looking Stupid at Dinner,” an overview
of what to do, what not to do and how to act during business
dinners. Topics covered include proper handshake techniques
(not too limp, not too tight, and always with eye contact),
appropriate conversation items (brush up on sports, current
events and popular culture), what to do with which silverware,
how to order and drink wine, and how to decode confusing menus.
graduates might check out “Getting Your Apartment,”
a useful overview on roommates, responding to advertisements,
things to look for in a residence, and advice on signing a
it is really a great resource,” says Stefanie Renaud
’06, who will soon move to Boston to work at Massachusetts
General Hospital, of the book. “It includes all sorts
of things you need but never get taught, like the fork setup
at a restaurant or what the words in personal ads mean.”
Much of the information
in life after school may be helpful to graduates
over the long term. The chapter “Love Your Money”
might provide useful reference shortly down the road when
it’s time to save, invest, incur credit, and strategize
for the future. Chapter 4 explains proper behavior in the
workplace with sections on work attire, and breakdowns of
health insurance and retirement accounts. And a chapter on
“The Least You Need to Know About Taxes” could
come in handy every April.
Finally, a chapter
on “Odds and Ends” metes advice on moving, car
insurance, and engagement rings, and an extensive glossary
helps with definitions.
likely won’t have time to pore through life after
school before they walk across the stage and claim their
diplomas on May 21. But it’s likely a book they’ll
keep handy as they ply the path of life beyond Smith.
you enjoy the book and its practical wisdom as you embark
on the next phase of life,” writes Carrie Cadwell Brown,
executive director of the AASC, in the book’s introduction.
“Welcome to the Smith alumnae world of more than 40,000
talented women worldwide!”
That should help,
too, with the transition to life after school.