Monday, April 4, 2016

It's spring. It's time. Your future awaits!

Oh, the spring semester is probably the most interesting and dynamic point in an academic year:
  • freshman don't feel like the new kids anymore
  • sophomores are halfway done with college
  • juniors begin to feel the pressure of senior year
  • seniors are savoring their last few moments of an era unlike anything they'll experience again

Coming to college, I had a good grasp of what my interests were, but had no direction when it came to the type of career I wanted to pursue. I wanted all of my classes, not just my major classes, to be useful tools to me both in college as well as in the future.

Whether that time is in another class, during a job interview, or when I am already in a job. I wanted to know what other options I had in addition to my major, which is when my advisor introduced me to the world of minors and concentrations.

A major "concentrated" effort 

After going through this process and speaking to my friends who are in the same boat, the most valued piece of advice I can share with you is to network. Network network network. I think one resource that gets overlooked is your professors.

Picking up a concentration meant taking classes tailored toward areas of study that would help me in my future endeavors — exactly what I was talking about above! But, I still needed to take general education classes.

My concentration helped me fill my time with classes that I genuinely wanted to take, classes that would still be relevant to me after school.

I was immediately drawn to the human resources concentration because of the wide range of topics and classes offered. Just like communication studies, there are so many aspects of HR that I never even knew existed. A new found love of law and the legal system resulted from the classes associated with this track, which has actually opened several doors in terms of jobs and internships.

Welcome to Internship Season

Speaking of jobs, the spring semester also means that summer is around the corner, and for juniors and seniors, that is code for internship season.

I have been applying to summer internships since January, and let me tell you that the last three months have consisted of pure stress, persistence, and a lot of self motivation. Anyone who is internship hunting right now knows exactly what I’m talking about. Between the cover letters, emails, networking, and countless hours of researching, this process is a LOT of work.

Our generation is in a unique place right now. We are really the first generation of young professionals going through the job and internship process with the presence of the web and media at the intensity that it is today. As society and technology evolves, so does the working world, which impacts the people who are trying to break into it, namely, you and me.

Network, Network ... Network!

Get to know them!

They are professionals in the industries of your dream job. They have connections and access to people that you probably don't, and, they are going to be the ones who write your letters of recommendation!

In my first blog post, I wrote about the power of connections — the number one way to get your foot in the door. My second piece of advice is to build your resume. Start now. Seriously.

Earlier when I said that we only have four years here, that means we only have four years to join clubs, take leadership positions, do research, and volunteer. You can't apply anywhere without one, and it is a work in progress that will stay with you for your entire professional career.

Four years seems like a long time until your freshman year is over, then you're half way done with college ... and then you're scheduling for your senior year, or you're graduating in one month.

— Kate Armstrong, junior communication studies major #HuskyLife #ProfessionalU