Remember those fifth-grade slumber parties and the classic board game of “Life?” Do you ever feel as though your vocational options are limited to 10 or so career cards?
Roadtrip Nation, an organization that encourages individuals to explore their own career paths, will make an appearance today at UC Davis. The green RVs will be stationed on the west quad, and there will be a documentary showing at 3:30 p.m. in 229 South Hall.
“We are currently looking for people to apply for the Green RV Roadtrips, which will take place this summer and be aired the following fall of 2010 as part of a documentary series on PBS,” said Christina Mitchell of Roadtrip Nation, adding that they are in the process of visiting 40 campuses this fall and spring for this purpose.
Roadtrip Nation began about five years ago with three recent college graduates who didn’t know what they wanted to do after college, said Martha Schuster, a health and biological sciences coordinator for the UC Davis Internship and Career Center.
So, they got an old RV, painted it green and drove it across the country, interviewing people in various professions about how they got started in their careers, she said.
“It’s basically informational interviewing on wheels,” Schuster said. “Interviewing is the best way to help figure out what you want to do. People love to explain their work and, this way, you can hear it from someone who is in the field as opposed to a book, parent, or career councilor.“
Mitchell added that the goal of the organization is to encourage students to step outside of their comfort zones and begin thinking about themselves and their individual interests.
“We just want people to get out there and explore their options,” Mitchell added.
Kelsey Hutchison, who does production work for Roadtrip Nation, said in an e-mail interview that in addition to “Green RV Roadtrips, there are also “Indie Roadtrips.“
People can apply as groups or individuals to pursue their own road trip, and the organization will help with funding, Mitchell added.
Schuster said that in the past, students have interviewed people from all walks of life, including Howard Schultz, the chair of Starbucks Coffee Co., Ben Zander, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy Magazine.
“We had a team go from Sac State [California State University, Sacramento] and they ended up conducting 45 interviews,” Schuster added. “They started in Southern California and ended up in New York. Along the way they interviewed someone from the FBI, the editor of a Latina Magazine, and one of the creators of the Blue Man Group.“
Mitchell, who went on a road trip herself, said that she majored in German and got her master’s degree in journalism.
“Everyone goes through the ‘What am I going to do?’ phase and along the way I realized that I like other kinds of communications, other kinds of interactions,” Mitchell said. “I was also interested in art history, so I decided to interview an art curator with an education focus.“
Students do the research and Roadtrip Nation will provide the tools, Mitchell said.
Students interested in applying can pick up an application in person today or visit the Roadtrip Nation website to apply online.
The website also contains a list of past interviewees and has some of these interviews available to watch online.
DARCEY LEWIS can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.