(Guest blog by Erin Emory, Assistant Director of The Space to: Prepare, Wofford’s Career Services program. Contact Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org)
At a recent campus event, I asked a first-year student, “So, have you been to The Space?” She responded with “Ohhh noooo, I’m too scared.”
When I asked her why, she gave me an extensive laundry list of everything that terrified her about her future, about our programs, about college, about dorm living, about being away from her family, about life in general.
Well, no surprise…when you pile all that on, it sounds terrifying to me too!
Instead of looking at the process in multiple, bite-size pieces, she thought the only solution was to bite it all off at once. DON’T DO THAT- it’s not necessary and not worth it!
When it comes to taking advantage of Career Services, first-year students often assume that they are unwelcome, unprepared and unappreciated.
I’m here to tell you that you should never ever ever feel that way when it comes to The Space to: Prepare. Our motto is “the earlier, the better.”
Okay, great….but how can you utilize a service that helps you prepare for your future when you have no clue what you’re going to major in, what kind of classes you should take, what kind of skill sets you’re ready to hone or even what your interests are?
- Don’t feel overwhelmed or terrified. Each and every person will go through a different process to figure out what they want to do or how to get there. That’s why we’re here. Whether you meet with us once or 50 times, it is our goal and passion to help you and break everything down into a step-by-step process. Take a deep breath and throw your laundry list out the window!
- Just walk through the door. It’s open…all the time, actually (well, with your key card). The Space is completely your space to use however you want, whether it be to study, draw on some walls, spark creativity, watch TV, have rolling chair races- you name it. Need to get a feel for it first? Perfect. Come take a tour!
- Find somebody! Call us, email us or just walk in. There is always someone around to help point you in the right direction. We’re all here to help – just understand that if you walk in, we may not be available to meet right then and there, but we’ll set up an appointment to get you started!
- Utilize the website. We have a lot of great resources and information to help with the process…including learning a little more about us if you’re still unsure of all we do.
Ready…set…go! Now that the stress of getting to know us is over, here are the first steps to take:
- Build your resume! This is the first step in building a career portfolio that will help you obtain shadowing opportunities, internships and jobs. You will need a resume from here on out for the majority of your endeavors. Once you have a rough draft, set up a meeting to talk about how to take it to the next level.
- Do some research! Really think about what it is that interests you. Some people have always known exactly what they want to do while others (like me) had absolutely no clue during their first year of college. This is your time to try new things. Take different types of classes. Join groups or clubs that interest you.
- Get online We’ve got tons of great resources in the Career Services tab of myWofford.
All of the experiences I’ve outlined will bring you one step closer to figuring yourself out…while also building a great resume!
Like I said, some of this might work for you and some of it may not. There are many other routes along the road of preparation. Your strategy is like a fingerprint or a snowflake (since I’m ready for cold weather)…it’s all different. These steps are great jumping points to get you moving in the right direction- to get you thinking about your future and preparing early so you aren’t left hyperventilating a month before graduation.
Get involved in The Space to: Prepare or any of The Space programs. It will tie you to a network of people who have the goal of pushing you to succeed and flourish- your own personal team of supporters!