Childhood questions about future answered
November 1, 2010 —
When students were still in grade school, the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” often came up. But what if that question is still unanswered for freshmen or undecided majors?
Career Services held an event Oct. 28 entitled “What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?” to help those students find on the right direction for their college career and eventual career. Heather Rising, the student advising assistant for Career Services and leader for the event, could relate to that feeling of uncertainty. She said that she as a college student changed her major five different times.
“I actually went for each of those five for at least a year,” she said. “If you want to technically see how many majors I’ve even thought about, like seriously considered, it’s probably towards ten to fifteen.”
Rising went through each of her years of college, starting with her freshmen year and ending with her “super senior” year as she called it.
After each year, she shared a lesson that she learned. One lesson she shared was to gain experience in anything you’re remotely interested in.
“Determine whether or not that career is going to be for you, either by taking a class, anything first-hand,” she said.
One suggested method is job-shadowing, where students can experience work in the field first hand. Rising said that many students are afraid to put themselves out as a possible candidate to job shadow, but that worry is unwarranted.
“Just feel free to ask and, more than likely, they want to help,” she said. “They want to show you what their field is all about.”
Once students determine a major or minor, they should do a co-op or internship with a company. Rising said that after graduation, it becomes difficult to find a job in your field without prior experience, which is something that many companies want.
“They’re looking for at least a year’s worth of experience already in the field,” she said.
Nursing freshman Jessica Bendzinski, one student in attendance, said that this event helped her realize the importance of knowing what interests her so she can be prepared.
“This makes me want to stay in the same major and not change it, but have a back-up just in case.”
Rising also taught students the rights and wrongs of creating a resume, which she said is the “one to two page summary of your qualifications and skills” in a potential job.
She said that some students in majors such as nursing would end up having a two-page resume because of clinicals and other experience they receive. The experience is impressive, but time is a major issue in reviewing resumes, and not everything will get looked at.
“Try to keep it to a page for the most part, especially for students it’s going to be a page,” she said. “Hiring managers and employers will only devote typically about 20 seconds to reviewing your resume.”
Another tip she gave students is making sure to include the e-mail address at the top of the resume because it is regarded as professional. She said consistency is key when it comes to formatting.
To help prove her point, she handed out two sample resumes for students to look over. She told them to find any major flaws or mistakes in the resumes, and gave them free T-shirts if they answered correctly.
Following this exercise, Bandzinski realized that the exercise would help ensure her resume was in the best form possible when handing it in to employers.
”I’ve learned that my resume needs a lot of work, and you need to make sure that it has no errors,” Bandzinski said.