Since I am finishing my second to last semester of college, I am beginning to think about my future and what I will do after I graduate. I know what I want to do, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll happen. Typically, college graduates need some type of experience when entering the work force. There are many things I wish I knew as a freshman that would help me now as a senior. I didn’t know back then that I should have been preparing for my future and finding opportunities that would help me after graduation. Here’s my list of things I would do if could go back to my first year of college.
Being involved on campus is important especially in groups pertaining to your major. You get to learn new things, meet new people and it looks great on a résumé. This was something I wish I could have done more, but there aren’t many groups for English majors at my engineer school. If you do join a group or club that for you major, you will get to practice and strengthen your skills. There will be more opportunities when you’re involved since you can meet more people and be involved in many activities and projects. There are many other groups you can join though even if they’re not in your major. Becoming a member of the college’s honor society or any type of leadership club is a great idea. You can learn skills that will help you not only in your classes but also in the future.
Take different classes
I wish I would have taken more classes that weren’t exactly for my major. Now that I’m looking for jobs and internships I’ve realized that there are certain skills that I don’t possess. I recommend taking classes outside of your major that would increase your appeal to potential companies. I would have taken more technical writing classes and computer based classes since most writing jobs require experience in things like web design, photo editing and formal writing. If you are a STEM major it is very beneficial to take humanity classes or even have a minor in the humanities because companies are looking for people skills and it is a bonus to have writing experience. Looking back at the classes I have been in, I wish I would have taken classes that pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me new skills. If you take a wide variety of classes, you’ll have more to offer future employers and will stand out compared to other students in your major that only focused on the core classes.
If there was one thing about my college career I wish I could change would be not trying to find internships in my major. I am lucky to go to a college that has a career fair where countless companies come to meet students. It gives students a better chance because they get to meet the companies and not just send in a résumé. For me, there aren’t many companies that are looking for an English major unless I had technical writing experience. I let this discourage me and I never went out on my own to find internships. Even if you are a freshman without as much experience as upperclassmen, I recommend applying for internships. It gets your name out and you learn about the process of how everything works. Internships or co-ops let you gain experience that will help you find jobs when you graduate.
Also, you may make connections with people in the company that will help you in the future. Any experience in your major increases your chances of finding a great job when you graduate. Companies are looking for experience that shows you know your information well and were able to work well in a company similar to theirs.
All of these things I discussed will help you throughout your college career and it is always better to get a head start and not wait until your senior year. Getting good grades is also something to focus on throughout college and these ideas will help add to your academic standing and give you an edge for the future. I wish I could tell my first year self to get out there and gain experiences!