Our 50th article part 1: Uncovering your passion and journey to your career goals

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By Emilio Lorenzo and Emily Tasca

Emilio Lorenzo is the assistant director of career advisement in NSU’s Office of Career Development. He understands the importance of helping students reach their career goals and works with all students, including undergraduate, graduate and professional level students, to achieve their professional goals.

Emily Tasca is a member of the career advisement team in NSU’s Office of Career Development. She works with current students and alumni at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels.

In order to celebrate our 50th article in The Current, we have provided a three part series that highlights the best Career Corner articles so far. Part one of the series will provide insights on uncovering your passion and the journey to your career goals.

I am a freshman. Why do I need Career Development?

 Career development can offer you an avenue to explore your interests, strengths, values, motivations and overall fit for a certain career or field of study.”

“Just remember that the journey to reaching your goals is never a straight shot, and your first year in college is the ideal time to consider all your career options.”

“Career Development isn’t just beneficial if you are deciding on a major as a freshman, but it can help you implement a game plan to make the most of your first year.”

Rookie of the Year: How to make the most of your first year in college

 “A great starting point is to explore campus resources. Find out where your classes are, where certain departments are located and all of the avenues by which you can receive support for academic, social or personal needs.”

“Identify potential involvement opportunities to get your first year in gear. By joining groups and clubs, you are able to connect with others in your program to start study groups, find academic support and build new friendships.”

“Attending faculty office hours after class may seem tedious, but down the road, it can be a hidden treasure, including having someone to ask for letters of recommendation upon graduation.”

Journey to you: How to explore your major and career

“The first step in this journey is learning more about yourself, which includes evaluating your overall interests, personality and skill sets.”

“Sometimes, it’s difficult to be objective when evaluating yourself, which is why engaging in more formalized assessments, such as the MBTI, MyPlan and StrengthsQuest can also be useful in collaboration with your own self-exploration.”

“Now that you know yourself better, you will apply theory to practice. There is hardly a better way to do that than participating in internships, clubs and organizations or even engaging in informational interviews with professionals in your field of choice.”

Don’t let lists and trends decide your major

“The problem with lists on Yahoo or MSN listing the top 10 careers is that they do not take into account an individual’s personality, values, skills, interests and overall fit within each field of study.”

“At the end of the day, no career journey is a straight shot to the finish line, as the road may have a few obstacles on the way — including negative feedback from articles. It is up to you to explore your interests and take ownership of your passion, while creating a strategic plan for how to reach those goals and make necessary sacrifices.”

Story banking and preparing for the interview process

 A question that always comes up as students enter the interview process is, ‘How do I make myself stand out amongst a pool of applicants?’ The answer lies in the ability to quantify skills and experiences through storytelling during the interview.”

“A good strategy to use as you are preparing for the interview is to go through a list of questions that may come up in the interview and reflect upon past stories to include when responding, which is called ‘storybanking.’”

“By taking time to reflect on your experiences, you’ll be prepared and confident to tell stories about yourself to employers, meaning you’ll be more likely to be hired.”

To be or not to be? Graduate school and my future

 “Graduate school can be a great opportunity if you’re looking to gain additional knowledge and training in a particular industry, but it is a big commitment, so you’ll want to avoid pursuing it if you are just looking to dodge the current job market.”

“Another step in making a smart decision is considering why you want to attend graduate school and if that desire matches your long-term goals.”

“People have their own sets of goals, short- and long-term, and there are a variety of paths to those ends. At the end of the day, graduate school may not be the right fit if you have other goals you want to accomplish before continuing your education, such as traveling abroad or gaining experience in your field.”

Climbing the mountain – writing an effective personal statement

 Personal statements are generally used to determine a student’s interest in a certain program of study, ability to overcome obstacles, achieve goals, think critically and write effectively.”

“Writing a personal statement can seem like climbing a mountain, in which the goal seems thousands of miles away and the challenge itself is discouraging. The best way to get the ball rolling is to have a brainstorming session, in which you write down all ideas, good and bad, to later reflect upon.”

“A personal statement is most effective and memorable when it includes detailed individual stories as opposed to general statements.”

“A mountain cannot be climbed in one day, but setting up shorter goals for yourself and approaching the personal statement paragraph by paragraph will lead to a much stronger result.”

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