Have you ever thought what your university is most proud of? What is its most precious resource? You got it right – it is the accomplished professors teaching at your school who are the most valuable resource for students like you. They are here to empower you with knowledge, inspire you to pursue issues you care about and guide you throughout your college years as you explore your future career.
When I arrived at Mount Holyoke, I knew what classes I wanted to take, what major and minor I wanted to complete, and what kind of career exactly I wanted to pursue after college. I was very confident about my choices. However, I am taking completely different classes this semester, pursuing a different major, and learning about career opportunities I have not thought about before.
It’s not that I’ve changed my interests all of a sudden. It’s because now I know a better path to the same destination. Discussing my long-term career plans with my professors has helped me see a bigger picture and become more strategic. Most importantly, it made me aware of the fact that American reality is quite different from reality in my country: employers value different qualities in their interns and employees and have different expectations.
Besides wise career advice, your professors are a great networking opportunity. In one of my classes I was assigned to read a book on economics. In the book I read about an organization where I imagined I could do my dream internship. I mentioned this organization to my professor and got the contact information of his former student who currently works there!
What’s more, your professors are a chance to connect with your future career field. Most professors do some kind of research. Check their profiles on the college website, learn who’s doing what, and see if someone is doing something you are really interested in. Professors will be happy to talk to you about their research and may be even offer you a way to get involved.
Another important resource you have is your college library. You can take advantage of it in a variety of ways:
- check if your library offers any workshops. Mount Holyoke Library, for example, offers workshops in different software programs. What a plus would these new skills be on your resume!
- check if your library employs research liaisons – experts in different areas who help faculty and students with their research.
- check what software programs your library has to help you manage citations, learn foreign languages, and organize your class work.
This is just a tiny piece of advice – there are many more resources that you college has to offer you! Don’t wait to explore them until your senior year!