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There’s so much I didn’t know when I was a freshman. That seems like the theme of college, you learn more as you go. The same could go for career advice. As a senior, I realize that there’s a lot of career things I didn’t think I could do because I was a freshman. Here are five pieces of career advice I’d give to my freshman self. 


You can get an internship as a freshman

When I first got to college, I never thought I could do an internship. But internships are all about learning. You’re not meant to know everything. And the clubs that I joined freshman year gave me the experience I needed to do an internship. 


Career fairs are not just for seniors

I always thought that career fairs were meant for people to find full-time jobs. Turns out they aren’t. Career fairs also have places offering internships. They are also great places to make connections with companies. Sure, career fairs are where companies look for employees but they’re also a great tool for you to understand what jobs are being offered in your industry. 


You can reach out to places that interest you

There are some opportunities you can get just by reaching out. It may seem weird to just reach out and cold call companies and businesses but it’s actually okay. You don’t have to wait for opportunities to appear, you can make your own opportunities. 


Ask your boss if you need help

If you have a job, there’s a good chance you might encounter little hiccups at work. Maybe your password isn’t working or you don’t know how to do something. It’s okay to ask for help with these things. My freshman year, I had a retail job and I was always too afraid to ask for help. I had problems with my password at the register and I never got my employee discount card. These issues could’ve been solved easily if I had just asked for help but I was too scared to ask. Just pucker up the courage, I know it might seem tough, and get help. 


Go to your career advisor 

It may seem too soon to start thinking about your career as a freshman but it’s not. I didn’t visit the career office at my college until my senior year and I wish I went sooner. Your first meeting doesn’t even have to be about jobs, it can just be a meeting where you introduce yourself and learn about what options are out there. The career office might also help you with your resume and cover letter which is an added bonus. 


I’ve learned a lot in my almost four years of college. While I originally thought that career opportunities were only for seniors, I realized that I could’ve done lots of stuff earlier in my college career. If you’re still in college, take my advice and get excited about all the career opportunities you have.

Hannah Nelson is a senior at Penn State University, double majoring in Print/Digital Journalism and History. She enjoys Marvel movies, anything Harry Potter, books, quoting Vines and watching Tik Toks. In her free time, she is probably watching Try Guys videos on YouTube. She is passionate about mental health, women's rights and the Black Lives Matter movement.
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