You’re in college driving 100 MPH. But where are you going?
Finding your way through college is not always as easy as advertised. After all, some adults don’t know exactly what they “want to be when they grow up.” However, keeping an open mind and diversifying your horizons is always a viable solution in finding what you want to do.
College is that intermediary stage between your past and your future. It’s where you find yourself and what you like to do, but also what you don’t like. Your university can play a huge role in assisting you figure it all out. From mentors to teachers to shadowing and connections, that’s what you’re paying the big bucks to discover. Be sure to consider these valuable resource in finding where you want to start your career:
1. Career Services/Counselor
Most universities offer a sort of career services group that really run through your competencies, preferences and interests. You’ll have to open up your agenda because the counselors won’t naturally know what you’re all about. Thus plenty of feedback and sharing experiences is big in the relationship building and connecting with the career counselors so that they can best serve you. They may present you a menu of college majors and ideas that fit your strengths and interests.
2. Career Manager Sites
Some schools offer one stop shops for internships and jobs. The advantage of these career manager pages is the fact that your school has a previously established relationship with the prospective company looking for a hire. Starting in the underclassmen years and getting internships is pertinent in discovering what’s for you… and what’s not. These short term jobs not only help diversify your knowledge base, but serve as a foundation to your portfolio of experience. Career manager sites can help you find opportunities in all the various fields, and connect with them.
Your best friend in discovering careers is your professor. The reason they are professors is because they have had experience in various fields, they know the game and how to play it. Consulting with teachers on their experiences and analysis of various industries and jobs can give you an inside look into what your job path may be like—they will typically call it the way it really is, not sugarcoat it. Get to know your professors early and often and use them as a resource, not solely a source of class information.
4. Campus recruiters
Colleges love throwing internship, job and career fairs to showcase their students, connect with companies and promote the affinities. Campus recruiters are there to inform you of their company and, regardless of whether or not you take a job with the, promote their brand. Understanding what various jobs are like from campus recruiters can be beneficial on both sides. The great majority of campus recruiters are outgoing and personable, so they’d be more than happy to explain what it’s like from their perspective, and check in to see if your interests and abilities match up well with their structure and goals.
Alumni love networking with their own; I don’t know if it makes them feel young again, if they see themselves in the current college students, or it’s just part of the job description of being alum, but they consistently have strong ties with their university and want to help. LinkedIn can be a very good connection between you and recent graduates, or even graduates from years ago. Ask to job shadow or have coffee and talk to them about where they were when they were your age as well as their experiences. It may help you gain insight into what things are really like, and whether or not you have interest in them.
Keep in mind that the average young person has more job swaps today than ever before. Just because you start on one track does not mean you write your life away to that forever. Furthermore, many majors are multidimensional and can support career aspirations in a variety of fields. Determining whether you are an analytical thinker, critical thinker or communicative body can be important in finding your path — discovering yourself in college goes a long way in all of this. The aforementioned resources can surely help you determine some of the aspects that make you, you. Choosing where you go from there is up to you!