Way to Grow!
Annie Sourbis is in her last semester as a Public Affairs major at Baruch College. At Baruch, she is heavily involved in student life, including serving as the President of the Student Body last year. Her experiences on campus solidified that her passions are deeply rooted in education administration. She plans on pursuing a master’s in education with hopes to one day help ensure that every student has access to a quality K-12 education.
Professional Development Opportunities
College is the time for you to prepare yourself for the work force. Every college has a career center on campus for its students and you should utilize their services as much as possible.
College is also the time for you to explore what you want to do once you graduate. You don’t want to graduate without any work experience under your belt. You should try to obtain at least one internship in your field of interest to make sure it’s the one you want to pursue a career in.
That said, you need to prepare to get your internship. Be sure to make use of the variety of resources at your school’s career center, which includes resume reviews, professional workshops, mock interviews, and on-campus recruitment. You should aim to finish college as professionally polished as possible, so that when you graduate you are already ahead of the game. Being professional -- which is really just a term that means having good workplace etiquette -- can be the difference between being offered a full-time position and not being asked back.
Gain Leadership Experience
I came to college not fully understanding what “leadership” was. I thought it was a worn out concept that adults tried selling to kids. I went from awkward and shy to student body president and an orientation manager in my senior year. I’m still a bit awkward but I gained a whole new appreciation for leadership and how to better serve my community.
When I was a sophomore I wanted to be an orientation leader because it seemed like a fun summer job with decent pay and good hours. At Baruch College, in order to become an orientation leader you had to go through TEAM Baruch leadership training. I entered the training thinking that I wasn’t going to learn anything at all new, but left with a number of valuable lessons. Specifically, I learned that there is no excuse for complacency in this world.
I highly encourage you to take advantage of the leadership experiences on campus. It is through these experiences that you will improve your communication, time management, organization, and adaptability skills. These are all highly sought after in the workplace.
More than anything, in these positions you will really be challenged. I have talked to a number student leaders and they agree that most of the time their leadership rules gave them more responsibility than most of their internships and past work experience.
Be sure to try to gain some sort of leadership experience on campus, whether it’s an on-campus job, a club, or an organization. It is important to find your particular community or niche. I suggest doing this in your second or third semester. When you’re offered to take on some added responsibility, accept it. This way you can prove that you are a valuable member of the team and you’ll be moving up in the ranks before you know it.