From Alpha to Omega

by Jody Godoy '05

For every beginning there is an end. At APU, this means that Alpha (freshman) students going through orientation can look forward to Omega Week before they take the final plunge ― graduation. This is the fourth year that the Omega Committee – the offices of Career Services, Student Success, Alumni Relations, and the Council of Business Students – has offered a week of events to smooth the transition between college and "afterwards."

Omega Week began on Monday, February 7, with a presentation by representatives from Roadtrip Nation, a group started by three college graduates. Disenchanted with the fixed path it seemed they were on, they set out on an independent journey across the U.S. in a green RV. Along the way, they interviewed a wide range of people, from Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to a Maine lobster fisherman, about their own life journeys. The group’s success inspired them to expand Roadtrip Nation into a resource for other interested explorers, with an annual program sponsored by State Farm Insurance and featured in a series on PBS.

The message was one of inspiration and encouragement for seniors who aren’t sure what direction their next step will take them. "There’s a lot about going on a road trip that’s really similar to life. It only makes sense when you look in the rearview mirror," said Brian McAllister of Roadtrip Nation.

Another round of encouragement came from Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, authors of Live Your Calling: A Practical Guide to Finding and Fulfilling Your Mission in Life and directors of their own career services firm, Lifework Design in Pasadena. In their message, they spoke to students about the importance of knowing their strengths to their pursuit of God’s calling.

On Tuesday, students had a chance to practice putting their best face forward at an Etiquette Dinner. Throughout the meal, students received lessons from Pamela Hillings, etiquette expert and author of two books whose clients have included NBC, ABC, Bank of America, and Universal Studios. Several employers with open positions attended the dinner, keeping students on their toes.

The dinner gave students a chance to hone skills that are not only for doing business. "This event was a chance for me to improve my social skills in a professional setting, but what I learned will be useful for other major social events and important celebrations in my life," said finance major Matt Weinhert '05.

Omega Week continued on Wednesday with the Grad Finale, where students garnered information on graduation, deadlines, and more. The last event was a night with Donald Asher, author of eight books and a nationally known speaker on careers and higher education. Is the class of 2005 ready? The answer may be mixed, but Omega Week was a chance for them to prepare themselves for the last few steps before and the first few steps after their walk across the stage in May.