Connecting Your Experiences: Part One

Our post, Weaving Your Web and Getting Involved, focused on the ways YOU can get involved in extracurricular activities to make the most out of your experience as a UR student. Often times, career advisors meet with highly involved students who feel directionless when it comes to finding meaning and connecting their academic and extracurricular experiences. In this three-part series, we will discuss how to: connect your experiences, know your skills, and tell your story.

Some of the classes and experiences you will engage in at the University will not connect to your broader career goals and interests, that’s a fact. However, many of them will. It can be hard to understand how your different experiences connect when you are actively participating in them. Reflecting on your experiences, both academic and extracurricular, to find broader connections and themes often requires you to step back to see how those experiences connect to a bigger picture. It is in that bird-eye view that you may be able to find commonalities that you haven’t always been aware of. Those commonalities are important to identify because they may say something about your interests and could be worth reflecting on and exploring further.

Zooming out, what common themes exist in your experiences at UR (and pre-UR)? Try the following activity to brainstorm 2-3 common themes from your journey thus far. 

Consider all of the interesting and significant things you’ve done. Go back as far as you wish. Questions to consider:

  • What classes do you find interesting?
  • What jobs have you held in the past?
  • What role do you typically play on teams?
  • What do you think you’re pretty good at?
  • What topics do you find interesting?
  • Do you have hobbies you’ve pursued for a while?

Take two minutes to gather your thoughts and jot these ideas on paper.  You do not need to follow any particular order. Try to get as many ideas on the paper as you can. 

Looking over what you’ve written, can you identify at least three themes? Examples of themes could include: traveling, sports/athletics, working with children, helping others, etc.

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