Honors Alum Shares the Values of Volunteerism and Lifelong Learning



By Andrea O'Neill '06

Lauren (Maylath) Conston '07 went from the classrooms at Bloomsburg to one of her own as a Spanish teacher at the Hazleton Area School District. Now the World Language department chair for Hazleton, Conston returned to campus in the spring for the Eileen G.

Lauren Conston '07 stands on the porch of Carver Hall on graduation night.

 Jones Honors College Professional Development Day, where she passed along some of her wisdom to fellow Huskies.

"College is engaging, but the experience gained from events like these is what propels you towards a successful career, explained Conston. "Finding jobs, navigating a workplace - all that happens when you leave."

Conston conducted several mock interviews designed to teach students how to highlight their skillset and talk about themselves — behaviors typically uncomfortable for most new grads. She also participated in a networking lunch that provided additional opportunities for conversation and to practice professional communication.

"The mock interview process with students was an extremely worthwhile experience," said Conston. "I was able to have an impact on assisting students.

Conston says that volunteering with current Bloom students came naturally to her, both as part of her profession and because of how prepared she felt to reach her own career goals after graduation.

"I was extremely well prepared for my career and higher degrees at Bloom," said Conston. "I got a good foundation to not only be a successful teacher, but the Honors College particularly instilled the idea of volunteerism and being a lifelong learner."

"My day in and day out is getting students ready for the world," Conston continued. "I make them better learners the way people did for me. I wouldn't be who I am today if I didn't have that network, so giving that to others is important."

Overall, Conston was impressed with how well prepared and motivated the students were at the event and enjoyed meeting them. For her, the event was a chance to give back and remind other alumni to consider doing the same at any career and professional development events throughout the semester as part of the Professional U career community.

"Every single one of us had a starting point," said Conston. "Everyone had someone believe in them and give them a chance. As an alum, it is part of our responsibility to do the same."

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