Lindsay Kuhn, BC/SEAS '03, is taking to the web to help students find careers after college.
Kuhn is currently developing and raising funds for The Inventing Heron Project, which will allow users to read stories about professionals' careers and what they did to be successful in their professional lives. Kuhn plans to launch the website this summer.
"What we're looking for is specificity," Kuhn said. "We want people to be specific about what they do, and really bring their job to life. I think we have them describe a typical day, and I think that is kind of what people can't envision without talking to people."
Kuhn is currently looking for contributors to provide narratives of their education paths and what happens during an average day at their jobs. The website will organize careers into categories to better allow users to search for potential jobs.
"I think the website will be very helpful to students in terms of picking a major and finding a career," Kuhn said.
The website is geared specifically towards middle and high school students, but Kuhn thinks that it can also be useful to college students who haven't declared a major yet.
One section of the website will be specifically devoted towards women in the sciences, including engineering and molecular biology—a path that Kuhn, who was both an English major at Barnard and a mechanical engineering major at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, knows well.
"I was always curious about the way things worked, but I never knew any engineers before I went into engineering," Kuhn said. "I just remember people telling me that it was difficult. When I was told I would doing something different, I always thought 'ok I can do that.'"
Kuhn hopes that the website will give students a better idea of what their desired career entails. Students interviewed this weekend agreed.
Hialy Gutierrez, School of Public Health '14, studied engineering as an undergraduate but now wants to pursue a career in public health.
"If I had a better idea of what the world was like in high school, I think I would have had a better idea of where I would fit in and how I should decide my undergraduate experience," Gutierrez said. "If I could do it all over again I probably would have chosen a completely different major and path."
"I came here thinking that I could get the education I wanted and would know what I will do with my life," Kwabena Boateng, GS '16, said. "I'm a sophomore and I still don't know what field I want to go into."
"If there is a website like that, it would be good for a bunch of people over here, who—like me—don't really know what they want to do," Boateng added.
Yasemin Akçagüner contributed reporting.
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Correction: Kuhn's website will launch this summer, not next year. The story's headline originally said that Kuhn was a Barnard alumna, but she has a dual degree from Barnard/SEAS. A photo caption misstated Kuhn's graduation year. Spectator regrets the errors.