Career advice for college students

Aqsa Akhtar – Aqsa is currently an Assistant Account Executive at double E communications, specializing in PR for the creative industry. Prior to joining double E, Aqsa spent two years in travel and hospitality PR and worked on publicity efforts for Chile Office of Tourism and Breezes Bahamas, to name a few.

Aqsa holds a B.A. degree in Communication from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and an M.S. degree from New York University in Public Relations and Corporate Communication.

As a college freshman, you might have a faint idea of what kind of career you want for the rest of your life, or you might be one of those motivated and driven students that knew – at 16 years old – engineering, medicine or even basket weaving was the only field you’d ever find fulfillment. However, even if you’re sure, or unsure, of what kind of path you want to take in life, you should always take your university’s “general education” (gen eds) requirements seriously. Gen eds are classes that all students are required to take to explore the diverse academic programs available to them at their institution. These classes can encompass the science, math, liberal arts, IT, business, etc. fields. Almost all universities offer them, and here are four reasons why you should take them seriously.

1. Gen eds help you get out of your comfort zone
Not a huge fan of math? Theories in applied science keeping you up at night? No worries, most universities require introductory classes in some “tough” fields to help you learn the basic principals in each. Believe it or not, these will help you as a person in the real world when it’s time to have intelligent conversations.

2. Gen eds can change your mind about a career
There’s nothing wrong with pursuing a career in a field you think you want to be in. But there’s also nothing wrong with falling in love with an Art class as an Engineering major because Art was a gen ed requirement. Who knows? You might end up being an Artist over an Engineer!

3. Gen eds are usually “easy A’s”
Gen eds, more often than not, are 100-level classes. These are introductory courses offered in a major. Schools usually offer up Intro to Communication, Intro to Biology, Intro to…Whatever as general classes to help students explore the diverse major and minor offerings. Since these are introductory, they’re usually easier than most classes and will help you ease into the next level class within that major, should you choose to pursue it.

4. Gen eds can spark an interest in an otherwise unfamiliar topic
You should take gen eds seriously because when you learn about new topics and courses, it can spark an interest in it. If you’re a pre-med major who took an Intro to Theater class and fell in love, what’s the harm in being a Doctor by day and then putting on your own production of Annie in the local theater?

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