E-News - October 1, 2020

Coe College E-News — Updates and information for alumni, parents and friends of Coe

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Rankings fly in to Kohawk nation

Each year the crimson and gold leaves of autumn dress our campus in school spirit. This fall, campus also is beaming with Kohawk pride as Coe once again is recognized nationally by a multitude of college ranking sources.

  • The Princeton Review: Best 386 Colleges
  • Learn.org: #5 Best Biology Degree and #12 Best Physical Science Degree
  • Niche: Best Liberal Arts Colleges in America
  • U.S. News & World Report: Best Colleges Rankings: A National Liberal Arts College and Top Performer on Social Mobility
  • Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education Liberal Arts College
  • Washington Monthly Liberal Arts Colleges

Our inviting campus nestled in the perfect college town of Cedar Rapids offers students long-lasting friendships and life-changing experiences. Although college rankings utilize a plethora of data points in their methodology, Coe’s student-centered environment proves to be one of the most valued assets among students and ranking publications alike. Small class sizes, personal attention and our location provide students with the tools to succeed upon graduation and have positioned Coe as one of the best colleges in the nation.

For the past three years, Coe also has been ranked as the best school for internships in Iowa and among the top 25 in the nation by The Princeton Review.

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C3 helps 2020 grads get hired

After graduating in the middle of a pandemic, the Class of 2020 has been facing an especially difficult job market. Luckily for them, C3: Creativity, Careers, Community is here to help.

With many employers implementing hiring freezes or laying off workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Coe’s new graduates have experienced numerous obstacles in their job searches. “New grads entering the workforce, and even undergrads looking for internships, are facing challenges that haven't been seen since 2008,” said C3 Director of Careers Nanci Young.

C3 staff have been helping 2020 grads respond to the shifting job market by teaching them the importance of soft skills needed to succeed under these new circumstances and how to build their personal story around those skills. “Learning how to tell your story through experiences you had in class, student organizations, athletics, work-study jobs, internships and hourly jobs held during college, focusing on those key characteristics will show potential employers that you have what it takes to succeed in this new workplace landscape,” Young said.

Music education major Kiah Snow ’20 utilized C3’s expertise and local connections to help in her job search. Career Specialist Carrie Bettcher worked with her to refine her resume, giving Snow confidence when submitting applications, even in the midst of the pandemic. One of those applications was for a vocal music teaching position with Regis Middle School in Cedar Rapids, which Young had heard about through the school’s administrators. She helped connect Snow with the principal of Regis, which led to an interview and a job offer. “Over my four years at Coe, I really grew to love the Cedar Rapids community. I am incredibly excited to be giving back to the community that helped shape me as a person and educator,” Snow said.

Brian Robertson ’20 encountered a slow and difficult job search of his own. Many of the companies he applied to later contacted him to say they were not actively hiring because of the uncertainty of the pandemic. C3 was able to connect him with Coe alumnus Rahul Kumar ’91, who was looking to hire an operations manager trainee at his company, Everest Mechanical. After an interview, Kumar offered Robertson the job, which he gladly accepted. Robertson appreciates the difference C3 made in his search. “Nanci helped me a lot in establishing a connection, which I felt helped me stand out from others,” Robertson said.

As difficult as the job market has been, Coe’s newest alumni have reason to be hopeful. Some employers have begun hiring again, and many have realized certain jobs can be done virtually, leading to more opportunities for remote work. And as the job market improves, a degree from Coe will help these young alumni stand out. “Time has proven that a bachelor's degree earned, even at the peak of a recession, provides long-term advantages in the workforce,” Young said. Regardless of the twists and turns of the economy, C3 will be ready to help all Kohawks put their degrees to work.

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Zaric hosts career advice podcast with focus on the future

Navigating the uncertainty of the job market can be stressful, but Valerie Zaric ’08 believes it doesn’t have to be. In her “Future-Proof Career” podcast, she offers valuable information and advice for handling an ever-changing work environment with less worry and more confidence.

As a manager at a health insurance company, Zaric has noticed the high level of job-related stress many employees are under. She often sees people living in constant fear of being laid off, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, that fear became a reality for some. Witnessing this cycle of career anxiety inspired her to launch “Future-Proof Career” in August. “This is my new project of meeting people, talking about a plan and getting a plan in place so you can find that peace of mind in your career and take control of your future again,” she said.

On the show, Zaric interviews guests from various backgrounds who are innovators in their fields or have specific expertise with translatable soft skills. She and her guests share ideas and discuss strategies for adapting to changes in the workplace and the ever-evolving job market. Some of her recent guests include a Wisconsin state senator, a day care owner, a Hollywood bass player and a life coach. Zaric also hosts weekly solo episodes to recap recent interviews and share her own tips for a future-proof career.

Zaric particularly enjoys the personal nature of the podcast format. “I think there’s something special about hearing someone’s voice. It’s kind of like a conversation, so I think you have the opportunity to reach that person in a different way than reading a blog or something like that,” she said. “It’s a fun thing to do, and I feel like I’m helping people.”

Zaric’s own career has undergone changes and transformations through the years, so she understands the importance of being future-proof. She was an art major at Coe and went on to get her master’s degree in library and information science. After experiencing some health issues while in graduate school, she wanted to learn more about the ins and outs of insurance, so she decided to switch gears and work in the health insurance industry.

Although her career path has taken some unexpected turns, Zaric has found many aspects of her Coe education to be helpful along the way. Through her background in art, she learned how to convey messages and connect with people in creative ways, which has translated well to the creation of her podcast. She relies on many of the soft skills she learned at Coe as well. “The liberal arts help a lot. Just getting that well-rounded experience, that’s something that I think you can’t emphasize enough,” she said.

“Future-Proof Career” is available on Spotify,  iTunes and Google Podcasts, with new episodes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Zaric also offers more information and resources through her website, www.valeriezaric.com. Anyone interested in being a guest on the podcast to discuss their career journey or highlight critical soft skills or innovation in their industry is encouraged to email valerie@valeriezaric.com for more information.

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2020-2021 Arts@Coe events unveiled

Coe College is home to a vibrant visual and performing arts scene. Amid the challenges of a global public health crisis, Coe is committed to showcasing student and faculty work in the arts while maintaining the health and safety of our community.

The 2020-2021 Arts@Coe season will be available virtually and, when safe to do so, in person. Here is a sampling of opportunities for alumni and friends of Coe to experience the Arts@Coe.

  • Music: For a full list of recitals, mini concerts and music presentations, visit the Coe College Music Facebook page. Featured events include the Virtual Homecoming Showcase Concert on October 16 at 7:00 PM and the Virtual Holiday Concert on December 1 at 7:00 PM. Both events are free of charge.
  • Marquis Series: The Marquis Series has suspended its events during the 2020-2021 academic year. This is only a temporary measure as the series will return with a complete season during the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • Theatre: The Theatre Arts Department presents “Trevor” on October 30, 31 and November 5, 6 and 7 at 7:30 PM and November 1 at 2:00 PM. Written by Nick Jones and directed by Dr. Dennis Barnett, admission to this production is limited to a small number of Coe students, faculty and staff to allow for social distancing. A live stream or pre-recorded version of the production is pending streaming rights. Notice of this option will be announced when available. Coe theatre productions for the spring term will be announced as plans develop. However, we anticipate there will be two spring plays.
  • Thursday Forum: The 2020-2021 Thursday Forum season is being offered in an online format. Visit www.coe.edu/thursday-forum for more information.
  • Visual Arts: Coe’s Sinclair Art Galleries will be hosting local artists (Tim Dooley, Aaron Wilson, Ali Hval and Julia J. Wolfe) and senior thesis exhibitions this spring.

Visit www.coe.edu/artsatcoe to view the full 2020-2021 Arts@Coe brochure and for future updates.

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Celebrate Coe Homecoming at home

Although Coe is not hosting in-person and on-campus activities traditionally associated with Homecoming this fall, there are still ways for alumni to be part of the action. On Thursday, October 15, check out the Coe College Alumni Facebook page to vote on the best student-designed chalk square on campus as part of the student-driven Homecoming celebration. Also be sure to tune in for the Virtual Homecoming Showcase Concert on Friday, October 16, which will be livestreamed online starting at 7:00 PM CDT.

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Courier Class Notes deadline is October 15

Do you have news you would like printed in the Fall Courier? Send us your submission by October 15 using the Update Your Info form or by sending an email to courier@coe.edu.