News - Career Chaos: Using Humor to Help Students Prepare for Career Search

Career Chaos: Using Humor to Help Students Prepare for Career Search

Joyous Chaos on StageIt’s Friday night, and the Upper Union is alive with wall-to-wall chatter. Snacks are plentiful, and music booms. With nearly every chair taken and lights flooding the makeshift stage, it’s time for the six men and two women comprising tonight’s improv group Joyous Chaos to punch the figurative time clock and get to work.

Spontaneity rules from skit to skit as members of the audience supply material for the ad hoc scenarios. Once turned over to Joyous Chaos, the stories run the gamut from ingenious to raucous:

  • Sportscasters reviewing the slow motion replay of an intensely competitive match between two Olympian shoe-lacers.
  • A husband obsessed with March Madness, his wife’s weird fixation on wringing her hands and the marriage counselor trying to make sense of it all.  
  • Movie actors responding to a hot-headed director whose rapid-fire demands take them instantly from musical performance to WWII action in the battlefield to “same thing, but now in Spanish.”

Joyous Chaos’s job on this evening goes beyond eliciting laughter from the student-

Patrick Miller with Joyous Chaos Cast

audience. The group has been charged with easing students into thinking about careers and unraveling some of the mysteries about landing that first paid position after graduation. 

Between scenes, recent GC grads – alumni of Joyous Chaos and participants in the evening’s performance – offer friendly tips based on their fresh experiences navigating the work-force waters after graduation.

“Packaged” in easy-to-digest, bite-sized portions, their insights cover a surprising array of topics – initiating conversations with potential employers, dressing for job interviews, pursuing internships, writing resumes and more. Sandwiched between skits, the advice conveys a casual, welcome “just between you and me” feel.

Marcos Gilmore, dean of student success and first-year experience, and Patrick Miller, associate dean for career and calling, welcomed students to the event billed as “Career Chaos.” Though they engaged students in conversations during breaks and pointed them to job-search literature and sample resumes strewn about tables, they left the main messaging up to Joyous Chaos, who did not disappoint.    

Students Reading Resumes at Career Chaos

The friendly forum laced in laughter proved to be a great vehicle for nudging students toward thoughts about career and calling. 

“It is never too early to think about life after college,” Marcos Gilmore reminded students in his invitation to the event. And, though it’s too late for those who missed “Career Chaos” to hit “replay” and experience the fun, here’s hoping that a reprise of the event is in the works.

Learn more about preparation for careers at GC:

Erin and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Job

A “Good Fit” Internship

To Protect and Serve: Criminal Justice and Life-Calling

The College Community That Keeps On Giving

This story was published on April 24, 2015

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