Salma Ali ’24 (right) interned as a data analyst with PW Employer Partner and Talent Match Founder/CEO, Allen Kendunga ’18 (left) in Kigali, Rwanda.

Preparing students for lives of meaningful work lies at the heart of the liberal arts mission.

Purposeful Work at Bates is about helping students discover the joy and power that arise from aligning who they are with what they do. It helps students identify and cultivate their interests and strengths and provides opportunities for them to acquire the knowledge, experiences, and relationships necessary to pursue their aspirations with imagination and integrity.

It is grounded in the Bates mission, has curricular and co-curricular aspects, and takes a four-year, developmental approach to working with students.

Informed by this philosophy, students emerge from Bates equipped to make intentional decisions about their work, selves, and how the two relate. It’s about our liberal arts mission and an imperative in today’s world.

What We Do is Unique. Here’s Why.

Almost every college has programs or departments that help students find internships and provide career counseling. But Purposeful Work at Bates goes distinctly beyond jobs or careers. It has four key characteristics:

It is mission-based.

Our programming is built on the premise that preparing students for lives of meaningful work lies at the heart of the liberal arts mission.

It is developmental in its approach.

Our initiative encompasses cycles of exploration and reflection that integrate questions about work and meaning into the intellectual and personal growth that define the liberal arts experience.

It is holistic.

We focus on the whole person and weave concepts related to purposeful work into all aspects of the student experience: curricular, co-curricular, athletics, and residential life.

It is highly intentional and pragmatic.

We don’t just talk about work — we enable students to get deeply involved in work in its many forms.