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The biggest lessons I’ve learned in college couldn’t have been taught in a classroom. If you spend your college career going to class and burying yourself in homework, I’m sorry to say you may not be making the most of your education.
Attending a university can open different doors for everyone. There are opportunities left and right to take ahold of. But what happens when you’re looking for a new opportunity and nothing seems to fit what you’re looking for?
My career interests have set me apart from the majority of my peers in the J-school. Therefore, a lot of clubs, internships and study abroad programs never truly spiked my interest. Facing this dilemma, I had two options: I could focus on getting a degree and getting out, or I could take action and seek out options that actually sparked my interest. Of course, I picked the latter and urge anyone else facing the same problem to do the same.
There are many ways to set yourself up for opportunity exposure. Depending on your interests and career goals, Facebook can be a great way to connect with others with similar interests. There is probably a group for everything on Facebook — do some research, join those communities and find out what opportunities you can find beyond your university.
Most people don’t know that finding new opportunities is as easy as a simple Google search. There’s a vast array of websites dedicated to connecting companies with interns, freelancers or employees. A generalized Google search can help you find and narrow down these resources.
It’s also important to reach out to your biggest resource: professors. Believe it or not, professors were once students just like the rest of us — many might even share your interests. I like to connect with my college professors before the class starts and let them know what my career goals are. This gives professors insight on what I would like to take away from the class and could incline them to reach out to me if they hear about any opportunities that might specifically interest me.
By utilizing the resources available to me, I’ve been able to land internships in Chicago and London! Having these experiences makes me feel more prepared to take on my career after graduation, and I hope these tips will help you do the same. -Catherine Brackett