Here in COM we like to stay in our bubble of communication oriented people. Whether we’re exchanging headlines or memes, it’s pretty easy to get caught talking about the same topics with different people. When things start to get monotonous though, I feel like I always find myself diving into my courses outside of COM. I feel so lucky to go to a school with incredible programs across all colleges, and I can’t stress how important it is to explore courses outside of your major and college.
Early on in my collegiate career, I remember my advisor confessing his favorite course to me: a Mozart course. Despite his business major, whenever he looked back on his favorite classes in college, the Mozart course always stuck out to him. Ever since we had that meeting, I’ve changed the way I thought about my course selection. Instead of focusing only on courses that could reap more practical, ‘real-world’ skills I tried looking for different courses, ones that piqued my interests outside of my desired career path.
We have our whole lives to learn plenty of practical skills in the workforce, we only get to take college courses during our years in college. Looking back on the past three years, my opinions have started to align closely with my advisor. Some of the most impactful courses I’ve taken, courses that I would deem my favorites, didn’t count for my major and existed outside of our COM bubble.
In high school I had a teacher who always told students, “It’s not the grades you make, it’s the hands you shake.” When it comes to the internship hunt, I’d have to say they’re right. For me though, it’s been the LinkedIn connections I make. In a meeting with a COM Career Advisor this fall, I was encouraged to reach out to alumni who work in the field I’m interested in.
At first, I thought this may seem odd or too forward, but I thought about how I would personally feel if I were an alumni and a student seeking career advice reached out. Even now, when high schoolers ask to talk to me about my experience in college I love speaking with them and giving any tips I can.
With this, I took to the streets of the most productive social media site and did some searching. In my searches, I found people with mutual connections and alumni that had my dream job. I reached out, to a few people and made the most helpful connections. I can’t overstate how much I appreciate the advice they gave and how much I think they have guided me in the right direction during the internship application process.
LinkedIn’s an easy and accessible resource that has given me the opportunity to connect with people who gave me invaluable advice. You can’t expect a response from everyone, and you can’t expect a job offer — nor should you ask for one. If someone is willing to share their experience and guidance with you, it could help you more than you know — plus, down the road you’ll always have that relationship if you put yourself out there.