Academic advice for college freshmen

Shaheem Sutherland
Graduate of Florida Atlantic University
Class of 2014
Bachelor of Arts: Communication
Minor: Sociology
Aspiring Sports Anchor

Going into college a good amount of students kind of have an idea about what field they would like to study, and what type of career they plan to pursue once they graduate. But how many know exactly what it takes to obtain the job that they attended 3, 4, 5, or 6 years of college for? In a perfect world the ideal answer would be 100%, but in reality that is not the case. From my experience, while growing up it was always instilled in me whether from parents, teachers, or counselors that college is your master key that automatically opens all doors that leads to getting a job. They were correct implying this believe, partially. My reason for stating this is because I have witnessed what happened to my older peers in college once they graduated, and also through self-experience.
As underclassmen you sometimes want to follow up with your peers who have graduated to see how they are doing and if they are enjoying the job that they obtained. From doing this sometimes I would hear the stories of those who are enjoying the career that motivated them to spend endless hours in the library studying while they were still in school, and then there’s those who I’ve spoken to or heard about that is just working a job that has nothing to do with their major because they could not get hired in the field that they went to school for. And the main reasons that separated those who acquired the job that they wanted from those who didn’t was experience and connections.
Experience and connections are two of the most valuable assets that a college student can obtain. Besides having a college degree, many jobs require or prefer someone who already has experience for the job position that they have open. Since I am a week old new graduate I am in the process of sending out job applications, while in the process of doing this the thing that was consistent in every job requirement was experience in the field. With that being said you college students are smart enough to get the picture. I mean that’s why you got accepted, right? While in college make sure that you take advantage of every opportunity that is provided to you to get hands on experience in the field you want to have a career in once you graduate. Furthermore, besides experience connections is a hell of a tool now a days it’s not what you know it’s who you know. Don’t get me wrong I am not telling you to forgo your college experience I am just saying while in college make sure you network your brand (name). Think about it, just like how you are attending college to become the next Katie Couric there are a million others who are in the same race as you and if you know someone who can make your life a little easier in obtaining the job; why not take advantage of that?

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