This year, an enterprising senior by the name of Ross Gormley ’13 unveiled his brainchild: PostWes, a story-sharing project/Internet party designed to connect students and grads. I caught up with Ross over gchat this weekend to discuss his vision. (Pardon the erratic capitalization. They don’t call him ReneGade for nothing.)
Ross Gormley: hey hey
Wesleying: Hey, Ross! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview.
RG: I’m so nervous–I’ve never done one through gchat. Is this better than being a wesceleb?
W: No, it’s not. But you’ll be fine. Would you like to tell me about this new venture of yours?
RG: ohh you mean postwes.com.
W: Right…So what is PostWes?
RG: It’s a website that I’ve been working on throughout the semester to increase transparency (everyone loves some good transparency) between undergraduate and postgraduate life.
W: How does it increase transparency?
RG: …to dodge your question, I’ve been trying to come up with a way of describing how the site works. and this is what i have…
As a senior have you ever been to a party and you see that an alum is present?
W: ALL THE TIME!
RG: …and you say hi and ask them about what their life is like and everything they say is interesting, fascinating, and assuring…
so postwes is like a party, but everyone at the party is an alum with a story to tell, and the party isn’t really a fountain party, but an internet party of sorts (attended by curious undergrads, of course).
W: So what can an undergrad/alum expect to find on PostWes?
RG: Ideally, if we get enough submissions, an undergraduate will go and be able to casually read stories about graduating/adjusting to the real world and what kind of lifestyles, careers, and cities are out there, with some practical advice sprinkled in—that is, if the alum wants to provide that. It’s really whatever the alum wants to write. If they’re putting it down on a page I think it’s significant enough to go in.
Also, if you have a specific field in mind, apply a filter and you can limit the search to “consulting” jobs, for example. Again, the site needs to get rolling with submissions, but it could also be a networking tool to contact alum–if they want to be contacted, that is.
W: Why did you start PostWes? What spurred you to create this kind of site?
RG: I was waiting for an appointment in the career center and noticed that they have all these binders full of job descriptions from alum. it was all the same standard questionnaire with salary, title, job description, etc. and i remember thinking how really what it boiled down to was that the binders binders/info didn’t tell me anything useful. I didn’t learn anything from them.
so that’s what spurred the idea.
W: What really gave you the idea?
RG: I think the bigger idea comes from my anxiety about graduating from a liberal arts school, that isn’t necessarily pre-career–an anxiety I think I share with a lot of undergrads. I’m an English/COE major. I do a lot of creative writing. I’m never sure how that will translate into the real world, esp. w/ debt, bills, rent, etc.
it’d be nice to read about different career paths from wes alum. People tell me that I can do a lot of things with my majors so I’d like to hear it from them–even if that’s just reading a postwes story during a study break as a kind of procrastination destination
W: So how do you see PostWes evolving in the future?
RG: I think the site’s geared for recent graduates, 1 to 5 years out. (all alum can submit though!) in my wildest dreams, as each year graduates, they’ll submit something and keep the ball rolling with info/stories–the success of the site is totally dependent on alumni submissions now that it’s up and working.
btw, a special thanks to the Wesleyan type club, Sofia Warren, and Tai Dupree Tan for helping me with the site throughout the semester!
W: What would you tell an alum who wants to submit a story but doesn’t know exactly what that would be?
RG: I guess that this is your chance to share where you are now, how you got there, and where you see yourself going. it’s your chance to tell a graduating senior what you wish you knew about life “postwes” before graduating (sorry, that was a mouthful).
W: No, I like it. Good slogan.
RG: all the alums have been pretty excited about it, and they tell me how much fun it is to write for it–a chance to reflect 1 or 2 or more years out. As a side note: if you’re an undergrad and you’re reading this, please contact your favorite alum and urge them to write something. It’s a great excuse to contact alum (facebook stalking only tells you so much) and I’ve had a great time talking with the alum I’ve contacted so far.
W: Thanks for your time. Best of luck with PostWes!
RG: thanks! hey, see you during graduation.