Ole Career Launcher Student Success Profile: Alissa Bidwell ’22
The skills that a liberal arts degree helps Oles develop can take them far in life. The Piper Center’s new Ole Career Launcher is designed to accelerate that trajectory. In this profile, Alissa Bidwell ’22 shares her experience with the Ole Career Launcher’s Nonprofit Microcredential track.
With a double major in theater and religion and a concentration in media studies, Alissa Bidwell ’22 has no shortage of drive — she’s made the most of her St. Olaf education. But as a first-generation, low-income student, she wanted to pair her liberal arts coursework with additional concrete skills that would help her hit the ground running as soon as she graduated.
The Nonprofit Microcredential track that she participated in as part of the Ole Career Launcher did just that.
Over Interim, she and eight other students learned the nuts and bolts of nonprofit roles from experts in the field. Topics included development, communications, and marketing. As part of the track, Bidwell also completed a handful of projects with Reach Out and Read Minnesota, a nonprofit that partners with medical clinics to provide books and developmental guidance to parents of young children.
Bidwell says the track helped her more deeply understand the nonprofit world, and she now has a much more robust network that she can tap into whenever she needs guidance.
It complemented my liberal arts education while providing a really structured grounding for life after graduation. I feel so much more secure going forward.Alissa Bidwell ’22
While she’s currently mulling offers between two graduate schools and potential careers in arts development, she says the track gave her confidence that she’s prepared for whatever comes next. “It complemented my liberal arts education while providing a really structured grounding for life after graduation,” she says. “I feel so much more secure going forward.”