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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I learn more before I sign up?

Join Life Design experts, staff and alumni on May 4, 2023 for a virtual panel discussion about the Alumni Life Design Experience. Meet the team and learn how this course can help you better understand your strengths, skills and values; identify multiple potential career paths to pursue; leverage effective career resources to help you achieve your goals; and build lasting relationships with peers. 

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Is this experience right for me?

We’ve designed the Alumni Life Design Experience to help you figure out exactly what you want next from your life regardless of your age, background, or industry.​ 

The Alumni Life Design Experience will NOT be a good fit for you if: 

  • You already know exactly what you want and just need help landing a job ASAP 
  • You want 1-on-1 expert career coaching  
  • You’re not able to commit to completing the assigned work (about 5-7 hrs/wk) 
  • You’re looking for specialized career advice for a unique position 

Still not sure if the Alumni Life Design Experience is right for you? Send us a message and we’ll talk! 

What sort of outcomes can I expect?

So long as you put in the work, you can expect to achieve the following: 

  • Develop a better understanding of yourself; strengths, skills, values, interests, and more 
  • Clearly define what you want from the next chapter of your career 
  • Identify several exciting potential career paths that you could pursue next 
  • Learn an effective process to thoughtfully design your career and pick your next move 
  • Build lasting relationships with peers who will support you through your journey 
  • Learn how to use effective career resources to help you achieve your goals 

How much time will this take? When do I need to be available? 

We’ve designed the Alumni Life Design Experience to take 5 to 7 hours of work per week, mostly on your own schedule. Each week you’ll have a Team meeting for 1.5 hours on the day and time that you select upon enrolling.  There is also an optional meeting each week to dig deeper, reflect, ask more questions, and work with fellow alums. You will get the best results when you keep up with the suggested deadlines and attend all your weekly Team meetings. 

While we really want you to participate as fully as possible in the Alumni Life Design Experience, we understand that you may occasionally have a conflict. If you need to miss just one of the four team meetings, you can give your team advanced warning and make up the work later. However, if you need to miss more than one, we suggest you wait for the next cohort of the Alumni Life Design Experience. 

What do you mean by Career Design? 

Career Design is the act of intentionally crafting your career to make it fit you, whether you want to make the most of your current career path or make a bigger career change to something entirely different. Career Design is all about understanding yourself, your goals, and your options, then making a plan and taking thoughtful steps towards more fulfillment. 

The Alumni Life Design Experience curriculum is inspired by Design Thinking, this process breaks down the overwhelming challenge of “figuring out what you want next” into simple steps that thousands of people like you have used to create careers they love. 

Who is leading the experience?

The Alumni Life Design Experience is led by Michael Gonzales, Associate Director of Integrated Learning and Life Design. Michael has been part of JHU’s Office of Integrated Learning and Life Design (ILLD) since Fall 2019, supporting students in exploring how their major may align with their industries/fields of interest through curriculum design scaffolding, teaching courses, and tailored advising. Before joining the ILLD, Michael was an administrator and faculty at Bennington College and Hampshire College respectively, Michael’s academic background is in urban and architectural theory having completed graduate coursework at University of California Berkeley and plans on completing his PhD dissertation in summer 2023. Michael has a BA in architectural studies from University of California Riverside. 

In his spare time, he loves working on his Olympic lifting form and kettlebell routines. He is thrilled to be supporting JHU alumni in exploring their life and career interests and is committed to redesigning integrated learning and design thinking in ways that take into account the diverse lives of JHU students and alumni. If Mike could tell his college-self anything, he would say to consider reframing the exploration of aspirations and challenges, not as an individualistic and isolating experience, but as one that can be meaningfully supported through a community centered approach, leaning on alumni mentoring resources as one example. 

What is your refund policy?

  • 100% refund – Prior to the start of the course. 
  • 50% refund – During the first week of the course. 
  • No refunds will be given after the first week.