*Republished and revised from the October 2017 issue of The Kayseean
By The Kayseean Staff
It’s never too soon to plan for your future, especially if you are in the second, third, and fourth year of your college experience. However, you may ask, “What should I focus on to reach my goals? Begin by having attainable and measurable goals identify who can help you and write an action plan – even though you will modify it as you pass through different stages of your professional development.
Remember, there are numerous professionals at King University who can help you with your objectives, individuals in such areas as Student Support Services, Career Services, Financial Aid, your professors, your coaches, and so many others. The key is to ASK for help. Reach out and get the results you need. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the next few semesters.
Okay, first year down. Now what should you do?
- Check your academic progress with an academic advisor. Make sure you are on the track that suits your goals.
- Develop relationships with advisors, faculty, and staff. This is part of learning to NETWORK. Introduce yourself to your professors, ask questions, and connect with them. Your experience will prove to be rich if you do.
- Continue to explore your interests through courses and activities. Don’t miss out on career expos, as well as ways to serve King through any number of clubs and organizations. Your experience over the next few years will be as meaningful as you give yourself to it. Get involved in SLACK activities, attending sporting events when you can, attend a theater production, and much more.
- A course may require you to, but if one does not, remember to update your résumé! You may feel you are doing this several times during your experience at King; however, the purpose is to help you refine your work so you have the best possible opportunity to be employed in the field you most desire. It takes practice. Write and rewrite. Visit Career Services for assistance.
- Plan to get involved in an internship now. Don’t wait until the last minute. Once you experience an internship, you will begin to have a grasp on what lies ahead for you in a professional field.
- Make good use of the E.W. King Library and its resources.
- Oh, and check out Study Abroad options now, so you can plan to incorporate one in the near future. Contact Dr. Karen Shaw at email@example.com for more information.
Okay, now you are in your third year. It’s going quickly when you think about it. So, what are you thinking at this stage? Now you become eligible for a large number of internships, and jobs off-campus. Check-in with Career Services and watch for the job postings that they send by email. By now, you have experienced and appreciate the need for persistence, research, and refining documents.
- Again, consult your Academic Advisor so you can make sure you are on the fast track to graduation. You’d be surprised to learn how many students “forgot” an important course they had to take in order to graduate; while others waited until their last semester to have their “Cross-Cultural” experience. Oops.
- Attend career fair opportunities, enlarge your “network,” and plan to attend the Bristol Chamber of Commerce meeting in the Dining Hall the first Friday of each month at 7:05 am (this most likely has changed with recent world events so check the schedule on the website). Use your 30-second elevator speech, collect business cards, and get others to talk about what they do. This exercise will help you build your self-confidence by speaking to persons you do not know and getting outside of your comfort zone.
Whoa – you want to avoid “Senioritis,” and maintain that same level of involvement and commitment that you have been sustaining. Don’t get lulled into thinking this final year will be a “breeze,” even if it is.
- Get back to your Academic Advisor to double-check once again where you stand.
- Check with Financial Aid to make sure everything is on target.
- Update that résumé! Have you brushed up on your “letter writing” skills? The professional image you project, no matter what your field of study, is often first what someone sees on paper before they meet you. What does that look like? Be brave and take such documents by the Academic Center for Excellence or to one of those relationships you’ve been building over the past few years among your professors, King University staff, and other professionals.
- Meet employers. Again, one easy way to do so – even if you don’t plan to remain in this market after graduation – is to attend the monthly Bristol Chamber of Commerce meeting in the Dining Hall the first Friday of each month at 7:05 am (this most likely has changed with recent world events so check the schedule on the website). As mentioned above, this is where you practice your 30-second elevator speech about who you are what you do, your goals or plans, and then find out about the person in front of you. It helps you add up “interviewing” experiences.
- Attend career fairs or other networking opportunities on campus and in the Tri-Cities region.
Oh, and in closing, enjoy the final leg of your undergraduate journey. This last year will go by so fast. Don’t look back regretting not participating in more than you did or in developing relationships that are meaningful and beneficial. Be sure to check out the Career Services for further guidance…