Berry to offer new classes in Life Design

Katelynn Singleton, Campus Carrier staff writer

Next spring, Berry will be offering two new BCC 150 classes dedicated to helping students plan for their futures both on and off-campus. The classes, BCC 150B and BCC 150C, are taught by the dean of personal, professional development, Marc Hunsaker and director of career development Sue Tarpley. The classes are based on a theory known as Life Design, which involves looking at where you are now and the multiple ways your life could branch out from there. 

BCC 150B, a Exploring Self, Majors, and Careers is a class more specifically oriented to underclassmen focused on the concept of Life Design. Abigail Mayne, a career development coordinator, says that the course is to help students understand themselves and how their interests can work together to create multiple possible life outcomes. Students will begin to explore ways that majors and careers can align with their life goals and the multiple ways they can achieve them. 

Hunsaker says that a large part of the class is also dedicated to breaking down “dysfunctional beliefs.” Dysfunctional beliefs are ideas such as thinking your first job is your forever job, or you have to find a job in your major. Hunsaker and Tarpley work with students to help them see the ways that they can achieve their goals in ways that aren’t linear.

“It gives you some time to really do some exploring and thinking and giving yourself permission to really kind of venture outside of the norm,” Tarpley said.

BCC 150C, or Career Design and Success Strategies, is aimed towards upperclassmen who are preparing to find jobs post-graduation. In the class, students will look at the current trends in the workforce, practice interview skills and develop job search strategies. Students will also learn how to market themselves to stand out in an application pool. 

Many people currently in the workforce are not working in a job that is directly related to their major, and in many jobs, being able to explain what you learned from your major is more important. With the uncertainty currently surrounding jobs and job searches, developing ways to stand out is more important than ever.

“Being able to navigate uncertainty is hard but possible and this is the kind of class that prepares you for that,” Mayne said.

These classes are designed to help students who are unsure about how they can reach their goals. The skills learned in class can help anyone. Students are allowed, and even encouraged, to come up with out-of-the-box ideas and are given ways that they can achieve that. Mayne describes Life Design as more of a tree than a linear path, with branches stemming from every possible point. Students deviate from a general life path to a more specific one, showing them every possible way that they can reach their end goal. 

Students who come to the class confused and anxious about their future leave feeling confident and ready to face their futures head-on. Tarpley describes a former student who was able to gain confidence in his abilities, and how he was able to identify where he fit into his job. Another student reached out to Hunsaker asking about ways they could explore an idea they had in class earlier.

“We want them to leave the class being more confident about who they are, what they’re going to do here at Berry, and how it’s going to translate into what they want to do with their lives long term,” Hunsaker said.

BCC 150 will be offered Thursdays from 3:30pm to 5:10pm in Krannert 324.

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