Career Corner: Tips on achieving a well-balanced college experience

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PRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM F. PACHECO Fransheska Pacheco is a Career Adviser at the Office of Career Development.

Fransheska is completing her master’s in College Student Affairs at NSU.  Prior to starting her masters, Fransheska worked as a Collegiate Development Consultant for Delta Phi Epsilon where she supported student organization success, leadership development and recruitment efforts. These experiences have led Fransheska to want to be a support system to NSU students as well as help them grow professionally. 

Picture this: you’re grocery shopping right before Thanksgiving Day. You wouldn’t just purchase a pumpkin pie because although tasty, what makes Thanksgiving so great are all the different dishes that form your whole meal; the turkey along with gravy, mashed potatoes, cornbread, green beans etc. Similarly, employers look for well-rounded applicants who have a variety of experiences on their career plate. The following are some tips to help balance out your plate here at NSU:

Classroom success

Your education is important. Classroom participation and visiting your professor’s office hours will help you stand out and develop a relationship with the faculty on campus. Professors can also be used for guidance because they are experts in their respective fields. Then, when you’re applying for graduate school, jobs or internships, you can ask your professors for letters of recommendation.

Networking

Eighty percent of the opportunities we find come from networking, which can be defined as socializing with a purpose. Creating a LinkedIn profile and connecting with classmates or colleagues from work is useful. A majority of people leverage who they know when searching for a job. Attending networking events can be ideal for meeting like-minded people with similar interests, as well as employers looking to hire NSU Sharks.

Internships

An internship is temporary on-the-job training. The best way to develop the skills you need in your industry is working hands on. Completing an internship will show employers that you are familiar with the work environment and you possess the skills needed to succeed. If you can’t find an internship opportunity in your field of interest, you can reach out and do an informational interview with a professional and ask if you can shadow them. Building a relationship with that professional might get them to create an internship just for you.

Research

If you are a pre-health, biology or life science student, research can be a major selling point either for graduate school or to find that next opportunity. Research shows that you are willing to expand your knowledge beyond the classroom setting. Staying up to date also showcases your passion for the field. Some research opportunities can be found by reaching out to those professors you have developed a relationship with or by applying to specialized summer programs.

Leadership

Being involved in a student organization will open many doors. You don’t even need to hold a leadership position to show that you have leadership experience. Simply by being a part of a committee within the club or helping with an event shows leadership characteristics. Tasks usually involve reaching out to members around campus and the community, managing time, organizing meetings and setting goals for your group. Many alumni in the area who were a part of the same organization can also help build your network.

Study Abroad

Immerse yourself in diversity. Being exposed to different cultures, races and religions will give you a better understanding and respect for individual differences. Whether you want to do a mission trip, international internship or travel study, all of these options are great experiences to add to your resume. There are many benefits, like earning academic credits, and it has been shown that there is an increased hireability for students who studied abroad.

All in all, the focus before graduation should be becoming  real-world ready by balancing your plate with other items or experiences. Leave employers feeling content with a full plate, just as you feel after a big Thanksgiving meal.

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