My name is Takima Keane and I am a recent Psychology and Communications undergraduate of Cleveland State University. I am born and raised in Toronto Canada and found my way to CSU through basketball. I am currently working, and looking to pursue my masters in Communication studies, with hopes to become a PR specialist.
I’m not sure if it’s because I was protected by the false safeguard of being an NCAA athlete, or if it was my profound belief that college was the bridging of a gap that eventually linked you to success in the real world. You finish high school, then you go to college for four years, get a degree, get a good paying job, grab a mortgage, have a family, and live happily ever after right? Wrong!
I never understood the 30 and 40 year old students in my class; how they managed to work full time, maintain a family, and spend 7 steady years taking a few classes here and there to plug away at a degree: For what?
After much thought I can honestly say I’m not sure exactly why I didn’t make time to intern, or go to our job fairs over the years. I was usually busy with study hall, community service, practice, and games but to be honest I never really saw the importance of building a “network” like everyone always talked about. Maybe I lost sight of the future, maybe I was stuck in the college mindset that I never really could envision it coming to a sure end. However when the inevitable end did come, I was under the false impression that I was absolutely ready for it. Excited to finally be finished and out of there; on to better things I always thought.
Luckily I came home and had already paved a way for myself as a summer camp supervisor years prior to leaving for school. However before I knew it, that 25$/hour job that I stumbled upon was over with along with the warm summer weather. Scraping for interviews, throwing together and altering resume after resume I found myself either under experienced or over qualified. I remember questioning where in the world was I supposed to get experience? I had spent literally every waking minute in a basketball gym or classroom the last four years, working towards this piece of paper that I thought was supposed to make this ridiculous transition a seamless one.
It wasn’t until I finally got hired part time by a woman I happened to know very well through the basketball community I was so heavily a part of growing up: Working in a field that had nothing to do with either of my two undergraduate degrees, I realized the truth behind the saying “it’s not necessarily what you know, but who you know that matters.”
Now don’t get me wrong; knowledge and an education is always power, but always remember to leave your mark. Build a network, get out, get experience, and get your hands dirty. Maybe the internship you take is with Cruella DeVille, but believe me she will give you the experience you need to be successful when it’s all said and done. College isn’t just about getting a degree which was a hard lesson I had to learn after the fact. It’s about sharing notes with a future CEO, working on a lab with your next co-worker, or sharing brilliant ideas with the front runner in the ensuing presidential campaign.
People always say college is the best years of your life; never forget to make it so!