What do you want to be when you grow up? Every kid is probably asked this question a few times throughout his childhood long before he even has to start making direct decisions in pursuit of his dream. It’s quite normal for a person’s foresight to change throughout the different stages in his life. There’s our kindergarten fantasies, elementary and middle school curiosities, high school dreams, college goals and then were expected to have our life’s plans.
The average college freshman enrolls with an undeclared major, relatively undecided about what career he wants to pursue. Maybe after taking his rudimentary college courses, by the time he is a sophomore, he should be able to make a fair guess about what journey his life’s path involves. Although, as a senior in college I’m still not too sure about where my life is going. As an English major/Studio Art minor, I was leaning toward journalism and editing however, after working in an after school program, I gained interest in education. I could see myself motivating and inspiring young minds like Hilary Swank in Freedom Writers, but then again I’d have to go back to graduate school for education certification, not impossible but surely quite costly.
Since I’ll be graduating in the spring, by now you’d think I’d be preparing for internships, and I am, after all the purpose of this blog is to create a portfolio, yet I still find myself applying to internships within the education field. Can I be an English teacher by day, Essence Magazine columnist by night? Is it possible to be efficient and successful in two careers simultaneously?
Just like NASA’s largest rocket of all time, set for it’s 2018 launch, designed to take astronauts further into space than ever before, I too have my own 2018 launch to prepare for after I graduate. For anyone, like myself, who can’t seem to define a clear path to follow, it is imperative that we work extra hard to gain the accomplishments we desire. Put in that overtime! We have to work twice as hard to launch ourselves as far as possible into the magical realm of success and happiness that we’ve been fantasizing about since childhood.
Success isn’t made overnight! A lot of college students fall into the post graduation syndrome trap due to lack of planning. Its quite easy to fall off the hype of being a college grad into the pits of unemployment and frustration. Thankfully, many colleges offer workshops, seminars, job fairs and career days for their students, some of which are exclusive to upcoming graduates–where you’d find the most opportunities to help with devising strategies to approaching internships and jobs.
Start applying to internships and jobs you see yourself having after graduation during your senior year. Although most jobs may require that you must be a college graduate, be sure to create a telling resume and cover letter expressing your experience, knowledge and favorable attributes. Be assertive and confident, yet willing and humble in your cover letter describing your drive and eagerness to gain hands on experience. Even though you may not get a response every time, some employers admire proactive applicants and they may even offer you an interview.
Practice makes perfect! Many websites have generic sample interview questions that you can use to practice. With consistent practice answering these questions in detail paired with some research about the company or industry to which you are applying you’d be able to gain confidence and it would also help relax those silly interview jitters.
So far, I have been to two interviews for positions within education. One interview went extremely well, but I couldn’t land it just yet. Although I had the experience and recommendations, I didn’t have the necessary teacher’s assistant certification. My most recent interview though went horribly wrong, the complete opposite of the first. I had the qualifications, yet I didn’t have the appropriate experience. Nonetheless, since it was a group interview, I did get to meet some great people and learn about their different experiences throughout their careers working with children.
I have not been discouraged, and as I continue to seek out journalism internships, I am determined to publish articles on my blog nurturing my writing style as well as building my audience as I prepare for my 2018 launch into success.