I’m In College… Now What? - Things Freshmen Should Think About

When you ask for advice about college, typical responses usually revolve around getting good grades and socializing, but rarely if ever do people tell you about what career-related experiences you should look for. Well... today I’m going to change that! While grades and classes are very important factors to think about when you are in college, one aspect that tends to be overlooked is the experiences you have that lead the path to your future. This is a factor that I myself, took for granted along with many others I know, simply because I was not aware of how much of a role these factors play when graduation is approaching you are looking for a job. 

Photo by Matt Ragland on Unsplash

  1. 1. Internships:

    Internships are one of the best ways to figure out what career you want to pursue after you graduate. They do a great job of giving you a glimpse of what the daily lives of people within certain fields look like. They also allow you to establish connections with people in industries/companies that interest you. Research has even shown that having internships on your resume can increase your ability to land a job after graduation; this statistic increases even more if the internship took place at the company you’re applying for. 

  2. 2. Volunteer Work:

    Volunteer work is a great way to get involved with the community. Through doing volunteer work you may get a better sense of what social issues pique your interest. This knowledge can guide you when you are searching for a career just as much as an internship can. 

  3. 3. Student Organizations/Clubs:

    Student organizations are the best way to get involved on campus. They can help you meet new people to network with and develop new skills as well. You never know what opportunities may arise as a result of your involvement. (Join Her Campus Agnes Scott today!)

  4. 4. Networking Events:

    Although for introverts it may be difficult to force yourself to go out and meet new people, everyone should attend networking events. It is a great way to meet people who are in different stages of their careers and learn about opportunities in your future field. If you feel like you’re too shy to do it, go to ones where you feel the stakes are lower so you can practice and improve your networking abilities.

  5. 5. On-Campus Guest Speakers:

    Scotties, please check the Irvine and the Campus Calendar to find out when guest speakers are coming to give lectures. These events are a perfect way to step out of your comfort zone and learn about a new topic. You might learn some valuable information there or meet new people.

  6. 6. Professor Office Hours:

    It’s a good idea to get to know your professors and allow them to get to know you. Although this is something I admit I struggle with as well, the more you communicate with professors, the more likely they are to write letters of recommendation and let you know about future opportunities. 

Hopefully following this advice and focusing on your studies will help you achieve your personal and career goals! If you still feel lost, look on your school’s website for resources that you can take advantage of such as Advisors, the Office for Career Development, tutors, or whatever else you may need. Remember, opportunities won’t knock on your dorm door, so you have to be willing to do the work to find them but, you never know where they’re hiding. They might show up in the least expected places!