By Alyssa Luttrell, Guest Writer

A fear all seniors face as their final semester and commencement approach: what am I going to do after college? Some have a job previously offered. Many are anxious to find a career in which they can apply the major they have devoted the past four years to.

Class of 2013 alum Maggie Mickelson found her niche in the field of social work and is planning on returning to school to get her Master’s degree.


Like many first-years, Mickelson didn’t know what she wanted to do when she came to PLU. She explored various areas of study, studied abroad, and eventually become drawn to sociology. She loved the courses, what they were about and pursued to “see the world through a social lens.”

After graduation, Mickelson joined AmeriCorp to work full time as a 10th grade academic coach at the Hilltop Neighborhood Peace Community Center in Tacoma, where she helps students get ready for college by the time they graduate high school. With support and guidance from supervisors, teachers, and counselors, Mickelson’s job as an academic coach includes weekly check-ins to go over grades, do homework, set goals and help motivate students to do better in school.

Mickelson said the biggest challenge is to motivate students overall. Her personal biggest challenge is being “too nurturing” while trying to build relationships with students and trying to understand their obstacles and road blocks.

Mickelson said her sociology degree has given her the foundation to understand how to work with students. She has been able to apply what she has learned at PLU while learning about the barriers kids face, including socioeconomic status and race.

When asked if she had any words for recently graduated or soon to be graduated seniors she said “Don’t stress out too much what the year after college looks like” and to go do some learning. Experience is the best way to learn and deepen your passion for any areas of interest.

For more information on the Peace Community Center or to learn how to get involved, visit ◼︎

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