Career Services’ Wild Ride

by J. Michael DeAngelis, Information Resources Manager

I love Mr. Toad.  Perhaps it’s because we both have a “J.” in our first name (J. Thadeus in his case, J. Michael in mine).  I love him as he first appeared in print in Wind in the Willows, I love him in the British stop-motion-puppet tv series that ran in my youth. I love him in the Disney animated classic The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toadwhich includes one of the best road trip songs ever. But perhaps the way I loved him most was in the Walt Disney World attraction that bore his name: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

toad_marqueeThe ride, sadly no longer in operation in Florida, placed you in a turn of the century automobile that was wildly out of control.  You would come close to crashing into something and then veer away at the last moment.  You’d think you were traveling in one direction, when suddenly you’d be heading in another.   Best of all – the ride was totally different depending on how you entered the line.  Two totally separate tracks took different courses through the ride, showing you different scenes, until they met at the end.

Aside from the pure nostalgia, I write about Mr. Toad today because this time of year can really feel like a WILD RIDE for Career Services staff and students alike.  We’ve barely begun the school year, but this week alone we’re hosting three consecutive days of career fairs.  It’s a lot right out of the gate and I imagine for many students, they can feel like they’re in a runaway car, ready to crash at any moment.

First tip – relax! Career Fairs can feel very overwhelming, but if you go into them with a  goal and destination in mind, they can be both exciting and manageable.  We offer some great, basic things you can do to prepare in the video below:

My other piece is advice is to enjoy the twists and turns! To me, the fun of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was never knowing which way you were headed.  Be open to different “routes” at the career fairs (and in your job search in general) – the unexpected path is often the most satisfying one!

We’ll see you tomorrow at CareerFIRE, Thursday at Engineering Career Day and Friday at CareerLINK – all at the Sheraton Hotel on Chestnut Street.

Author: J. Michael DeAngelis

J. Michael DeAngelis is the Information Specialist in Career Services and Editor-at-Large of this blog. He is also a professional playwright and actor.