Getting ahead in school

My name is Blake Edler. I am a 22 year recent graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin. While I attended Concordia I double majored in Finance and Economics, and played on the Men’s Varsity Soccer team for 4 years. I graduated Cum Laude in May of 2014, and moved back to my home town of St. Louis, MO. I recently accepted a job at Reinsurance Group of America (RGA), which is the third largest reinsurance company in the world. At RGA I work as a claim examiner. My hobbies include playing sports like soccer and golf, and researching the stock market. My long term goals are to become an Investment Consultant and travel the world.

Congratulations! You have been accepted to the college of your dreams, and it is the first day of class. Now all you have to do is pass countless exams and create final presentations that will make or break your college career. Once you have navigated through this gauntlet of trick questions and time restricted displays of high anxiety you will receive your dream job, turns out that is not quite how it works. Even though you have graduated near the top of your class employers focus on one thing you don’t have, experience.
I recently graduated cum laude from a small University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Along with carrying a full load of credits each semester, I played a varsity sport, and worked multiple part time jobs, all at the same time. Upon reaching my senior year I realized I needed to complete an internship if I planned on graduating on time. I then spent the next month searching feverously for the perfect internship. Eventually I came to the point where I would take any internship, in any acceptable position. Fortunately, I was able to find an internship that was close enough to my major to fulfill my credits. On the other hand I knew it was not the career I wanted to go into, and that it would not help me get the job I was looking for. However it could have been worse, I had countless friends and classmates that had to stay in school for another semester to complete an internship. Based on current tuition costs, that equates to approximately another $10,000 of student loans. Even though I worked myself tireless to earn a great GPA and maintain a more than adequate social status, I was ill prepared to be successful right out of the gate from graduation.
This brings me to my core notion, get the right internship. While most students, like myself only focus on getting good grades and maintaining an extracurricular activity to try and impress potential interviewers. We do not try to earn relatable experience while studying. In my opinion there is not enough emphasis put on finding the best internship for you. When I began my search I was desperate for any sort of leads or advice on how to obtain an impressive internship opportunity. At my University the only help that was aided to students was through our student services department. I went and asked for help multiple times, and the best answer I got was to explore the internet. Even though I have not been to many other colleges for information on how they aid students on finding internships, it’s safe to say that most are not adequate.
Now that I have laid out a display of how not to prepare yourself for post graduation life, I’ll let you in on a few key steps that any student can utilize to get started on the right foot. First off, answer the question every student who is uncertain about the future fears the most. What do you want to do with your life? This is the most complex and demanding question you may ever face, or so it seems at the time. Once you have weighted all of your options and sought consultation from your closest friends and relatives the answer will become much more transparent. Now that you have solved the mystery to the rest of your life you can begin to layout a path that will lead you to your long term career goals. The first step along this path is to find the now infamous internship. Even though I somewhat bashed my University’s career service abilities, I do suggest you explore what your school may have to offer. If you do not find what you are looking for there, you can head to the bountiful knowledge pool known as Google. There is an abundant quantity of search engine sites that will help you find that elusive spot you are seeking.
To conclude on this topic I want to recap on what is the real key to your success. Don’t be like everyone else. Just because it’s the path that everyone else seems to be taking, it does not mean that it is the best path for you. Next answer the multifaceted question of what to do with the rest of your life. After completing this you will have left yourself adequate time to complete the final step in preparation, finding that perfect internship. Congratulations! You just completed your internship and have been offered a full time position that is going to lead you down your desired career path.

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