Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Working with Career Development

The Office of Academic Transitions and Career Development helps guide your curiosity into a personalized plan that will enrich your academic experience and prepare your for the rigors of life afterward.

Laël Ngangmeni ’14

Pre-Med and Psychology

Laël Ngangmeni '14 in PeruLaël at internship in Cuzco, Peru

Before arriving at Simon’s Rock in 2014, Laël Ngangmeni was better prepared than most for the changes that greet first-year college students. A native of Cameroon, Laël grew up speaking French before she and her parents immigrated to suburban Maryland when she was nine. She adapted, learning English and plunging into the academic and social life of her middle school and high school.

Yet Simon’s Rock jolted Laël. “The education here is very intense,” she said. “To counter it was the kindness of everyone here. It’s a nurturing environment that has helped me grow.” Kindness, she said, extended to the Simon’s Rock staff charged with helping students find their way. Laël knew she wanted to pursue pre-med and psychology, but she had no idea what that entailed beyond studying hard—notably, discovering the sequence and requirements of the course load, writing a résumé, finding and applying to internships, and preparing for the MCAT exam. Consulting with the Academic Transitions and Career Development team helped her find her path forward.

Laël had an internship in Cuzco, Peru, where she studied Spanish and shadowed doctors in the local hospital. She also became a tutor for Academy and College students.

Coco Raymond ’15

Ceramics and Archival and Museum Study

Coco Raymond decided to pursue concentrations in ceramics and archival and museum study. The combination of interests didn’t immediately come to her mind. But discussions with her advisor and Manat Wooten, director of Academic Transitions and Career Development, led her to contact the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon, where the staff gave her an internship. “From there it kind of blossomed,” Coco said, adding that museum staff had her handling original documents by Shaker women from the mid-19th century. Her work extended to involvement in a recent exhibition on gender equality and women’s suffrage among Shaker women, “a fantastic project,” as well as updating the museum catalog of stoneware.

In addition to her Friday commute to work in the Shaker archives in Old Chatham, New York, Coco interned at the Du Bois Center in Great Barrington, working on an exhibition of publications and artifacts at the Mason Library in Great Barrington in honor of the 150th anniversary of Du Bois's birth. She plans to study for a master’s degree in library science.

Simon's Rock student Coco Raymond at her intenship with Shaker Museum | Mount LebanonCoco at internship at Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon

Safi Alsebai ’15

Pre-Med and Political Studies

Safi Alsebai, Simon's Rock student

For Safi Alsebai, meetings with the Academic Transitions and Career Development team during his sophomore year yielded the choice of a combined major of pre-med and political studies; at Simon’s Rock he found himself drawn to the interplay between “politics and the body.” “Here you can create your own academic circle,” said Safi.“You can turn to people you know for planning the rest of your time here.” Safi credits Simon’s Rock with giving him the chance to examine how politics and medicine can be intertwined. He hopes to study away at either Charles University in Prague or King's College in London.