You did it! You survived and conquered the fall semester. Wuhu! I bet you are looking forward to the winter break because I know I am 🙂 I love the holiday season because in the Filipino culture, Christmas and New Year are huge holiday celebrations. The other reason why I love the holidays is because I finally have some time to catch up with my family and friends. This is also the time when I start to think about my plans for the new year. I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk about some things that can help you build your resume and credentials as you get ready to graduate.
I believe that obtaining an internship in your field of interest is very important because it will provide your with an opportunity to determine your career path. As an undergrad, I knew that I was interested in psychology, but I was not sure which area so I interned at a head start program through the Montgomery County Mental Health Association. I discovered that working with infants was not for me, but I did enjoy learning about interventions on how to help children become successful. Therefore, I realized that I enjoyed working in schools and helping older students.
As a high school student, I accumulated over 450 hours of community service in two years. My volunteer experience as a teacher’s assistant and tutor helped me realize my passion for education and helping students succeed. If you cannot obtain an internship, organizations are typically happy to get volunteers especially if they are understaffed.
Aside from internship and volunteer work to show employers that you are the best candidate for the position, your leadership involvement inside and/or outside the campus is important. It will show employers that you can take initiative and lead others. This experience can also help you discover your strengths and weaknesses; you can work on your areas of weakness to make them one of your strengths.
Overall, it is important to get your feet wet in the industry or field that you are seeking. Getting an internship or volunteering will enable you to discover your interest in the field that will narrow your focus or specialty. You can also reflect on your current employment to see what you enjoy most out of the experience. When I worked at the writing center at USG, I discovered that I enjoyed working with college-age students rather than with K-12. Also, through my undergraduate and graduate internships, I learned that I prefer to work with non-traditional, transfer college students in higher education setting where I can utilize my personal experience as a first generation transfer college student. I can also use my passion for education by helping students discover their career path and become successful both in academics and their career field.
The suggestions above are a great place to start especially if you are about to graduate in the upcoming year. I hope this post helped you think about how to be proactive as you embark on your academic and career journey.