Asking the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up” to a youth is unlikely to foretell a job they will pursue.

But even for young adults closer to entering the workforce who visit the Trinity College Career & Life Design Center, Joseph Catrino says that concept is misplaced.

“Students will tell me ‘I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up’,” said Catrino, executive director of Career & Life Design. “Most of us respond: ‘Neither do I!’ because what is that end point?”

So it is that the Career & Life Design Center’s annual data collection on alumni in the workforce is specific to the first destination after graduation.

This year, 93 percent of the 497 members of the Class of 2022 provided information six months after graduation. They reported a 96 percent total placement rate, which includes alumni who are employed full-time or part-time, continuing their education, or volunteering. In all, 77 percent of the Class of 2022 reported full-time employment; an uptick from the 70 percent last year.

Top Employers Overall

Guidepoint, a leading expert network which provides consultation and data services for global companies
Brown Brothers Harriman, private investment banking company
Amazon, e-commerce
JPMorgan Chase & Co., financial services company
Citi, banking subsidiary of financial services multinational Citigroup
Goldman Sachs, investment banking company

Top Employers in the Legal Field

Cravath Swaine & Moore
Kirkland & Ellis
Latham & Watkins
Seyfarth Shaw
Sidley Austin
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Sullivan & Cromwell

Top Employers in Advertising and Public Relations

Cork + Knife Communications
Havas Media Group
McNeil Gray & Rice
Prosek Partners

Top Employers in Medical Research

Boston Children’s Hospital
Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Hartford Healthcare
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Mount Sinai Health System
New York Presbyterian Hospital
University of Pennsylvania

Top Employers in STEM

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Gilbane Building Company
Laser Peripherals LLC
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Raytheon Technologies

Another 17 percent of the Class of 2022 reported having been accepted to continuing education and planned to enroll, a slight decline from a high of 23 percent last year. Three students in the Class of 2022 chose to pursue volunteer service, which encompasses such prestigious programs as Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Teach for America, and fellowships.

The Class of 2023

Looking ahead, this year’s seniors are expressing interest in careers in the financial sector, a career field which has perennially been a draw for Trinity students, said Catrino.

They are entering the workforce at a time in which some sectors have scaled back. The technology industry, for example, has experienced several layoffs including those at Microsoft, Amazon, Zoom, IBM, and Twitter.

When major companies downsize, graduates often start to seek out opportunities at smaller, boutique businesses, Catrino said. “They have to be a little more creative in their job search and leverage the alumni community a bit more.”

And, when there are prolonged downturns in the economy, there tends to be an uptick in applications to graduate schools or prestigious fellowships such as Peace Corps. Those trends may be apparent in the data next year, Catrino said.

In the meantime, the Career & Life Design Center continues to work with students on developing skills that are transferrable from job to job—even to jobs that do not yet exist—and will allow graduates to pivot from opportunity to opportunity regardless of industry, according to Catrino.

Although not represented in the “First Destination Report,” there is another piece of data that Catrino charts: the number of students who visit the center for coaching.

That figure topped 1,074 in the first semester of the current academic year, a record high. With the size of the Class of 2023 hovering around 600, the number of fall coaching sessions means students are finding their way to the center earlier in their Trinity careers, said Catrino.

The Career & Life Design Center seeks to work with students from the time they enroll, providing both holistic coaching and specialty coaching, said Catrino. The former encompasses time management, organization, decision-making; the latter, developing a resume, interviewing, job and internship searches.

For those who find their way to Catrino’s office, a sign near the door conveys a single message to those departing: “The Only Way To Do Great Work is to Love What You Do.”