Many students find the transition back into the new school year to be daunting not only because of their heavy course load, but also because of extracurricular activities and on-campus jobs. With so many things weighing on their shoulders, it can be difficult to manage their time and participate in activities they genuinely enjoy, and believe will benefit them in the long run.
Once the middle of the semester hits, it’s really easy to get caught up in academics and forget about the things you can do outside of the classroom to ensure that you make the best out of your four years in college. Here are a few pieces of advice for students who are wondering how they can take advantage of the opportunities provided on-campus.
- Apply for on-campus jobs that relate to your area of interest
It’s not a surprise that many students are interested in making a little bit of cash during the school year. There are a myriad of on-campus jobs ranging from being a Barista at 8:15, working at The Cellar, or being a cashier at Passport. Although these are all great jobs that can get you up and running on your feet, you may want to start looking for office opportunities that can allow you dip your toes in a field of your interest. Reach out to your office of Career Services, Arts & Sciences, or other departments and ask if they are in need of student assistants that can help! Roles can range from public relations, design, or data analysis that can really show future employers that you have had concrete experience working in the field, which makes it more likely to land a job!
- Reach out to professors
This doesn’t only mean going in to office hours to ask if you can get an extension on your paper or to see what you missed in class the day you were absent. Professors love talking to their students; if you have a professor who has experience working in your area of interest, or simply seems like a cool person, invite them for coffee! Most people love talking about themselves and their experiences, and this is a time for you to learn about his/her time as an undergraduate, and how they got to where they are today. This will show that you have initiative, and also add a new connection into your network!
- Utilize Career Services
Career Services are there to help you; make sure you use it! Not only can you make appointments to meet with a career advisor (some schools even have drop-in hours), but you can also pop on by and ask to see the alumni network! Browse through the network and see if any alumni work somewhere you’re interested in. These alumni are in the network for a reason; most of them still keep ties to the University, and love connecting with students! Make sure to e-mail them and ask for an informational interview, you never know where it can lead!
- Network with Alumni
Nowadays, it’s not about what you know, but who you know. Networking with alumni who work in your dream industry will take you one step closer to possibly having that internship, or even job! Although it’s not a guarantee, networking always helps and never harms. When students apply to jobs, most resumes start to look the same, so a good way to differentiate yourself is reaching out so that employers can put a face to a name.
- Attend workshops and events
Many universities have multiple workshops and events for students every semester. The great thing about them is that they are free! Make sure you take the time to attend some workshops or events that you find interesting; you may find yourself inspired by the speaker, networking with people who attend, or simply learning something new about yourself. Whatever the outcome, most of these events have no cost to the students yet yield a huge benefit. So grab a friend, and make sure to attend!
This article was written by Timaj Yusuf, ’18, who is the OACS Social Media & Writing Intern at University of Richmond.