A Few Things Your Advisor “Forgot” to Advise You On

Here are a few things your academic advisor may have forgotten to tell you throughout college that you should have known sooner about...

1. Pre-Requisite Courses

To be able to take specific classes you may want to enroll in at a later time, make a plan in advance, and double check the order you put them in by semester. Some of your future planned courses have pre-requisites, and you can easily get stuck not taking the classes you wanted in a future semester because you didn’t plan your pre-requisites accordingly. Although this sounds basic, it’s very easily many students I know ran into in their undergraduate years. You’re probably thinking: “How could I forget my pre-reqs, I’ll just sign up for classes in the order that they make sense to take.” However, with all the new freedom you get to choose your schedule in classes, it’s easy to fall into a habit of enrolling in classes you’re excited to take now, leaving you with this future predicament, if you aren’t also taking what you have to do now, so you can take other courses you like later.

MAJOR TIP ALERT: To avoid this issue, don’t wait for your advisor, instead, list your pre-reqs needed to complete the future classes you’re looking forward to take, in the order you choose to prioritize them day one of each semester. Then, create a plan that includes a healthy mix of both pre-reqs and classes you’re looking forward to taking. This will help avoid the feeling that you’re only doing what you feel you have to do.

2. Multiple Degrees

You can graduate with up to two degrees in college. When they fall under the same college, for instance the college of business, you can choose to double major in Marketing and International Business, or attain them as two separate degrees, so you can have two different diplomas once you graduate. Why would you want to do this you ask? Well, simple, if you by chance wanted to graduate from one degree to be able to graduate “on time,” but then stay a student a little longer to finish your other degree, you can! Always do your research, because just when you think there’s no other way, there usually is!

3. Certificates

Certificates are great ways to explore what other fields you may be curious about pursuing. Sometimes, the professors in charge of launching that certificate has a great network of people in that industry for you to meet and learn directly from. I can speak from my own experience, that one of the first certificates I added helped me to land an internship because of a project I presented to an employer my professor had us work with in our class.

The other pro to completing a certificate over a minor, is that at least in Florida, certificates help to avoid the excess credit surcharge, while still studying what you want in college. At the end of the day, these four years in college are meant to explore and figure out what it is you want to do for the rest of your life, so why not give yourself all the time you can to do so. I rather graduate with more, to have flexibility later, than less and feel stuck in the future.

4. Internships

Internships are not really optional, depending on the industry you’re looking into, they play a crucial part to the reason people who have jobs after they graduate, get them. If you want to be one of those number of individuals who have a job, make sure to get the work experience needed to attain relevant skills for positions you want once you graduate so you can speak to it during interviews for them.

SECOND MAJOR TIP ALERT: Looking early at the Position Descriptions companies post online for their listed jobs is a great way to know what you have to learn and do to get there. Make sure you build your college experience and extracurricular in a way that gives you exposure to build on both the soft and hard skills, listed for the jobs you may want later. It’s never too late to build these skills, but why not start now so you don’t leave college feeling you wish you would have done it earlier?

5. Scholarships

There are plenty of scholarships available online to apply for as a student. Sometimes, they’re really easy to get since most people don’t know about them and you may get some out of simply being the only one that applied and qualified. I myself have received four scholarships by applying through FIU’s website: https://fiu.academicworks.com/. Never make excuses for not doing something you’ve always dreamt about; remember that money comes and goes, but you only get one life, and memories are the only thing that last forever. Experiences are the best investments to make in life, and there’s always ways to find a means to make your dreams come true, whether that be working to pay for them yourself, or being chosen as a scholarship recipient.