So, this past semester I completed a 300 hour internship experience within my university's Office of Disability Services. This is a requirement for my Master's Degree, but where we complete it and when we complete it is really up to the individual student. I finished my hours and had my 'final' meeting with my mentor on Friday to go over my evaluation and while I was walking to my car after the meeting, I had these thoughts:
Higher education, a college degree, is about finding a way to learn what you want! Yes, there are degree requirements and liberal arts credits that need to be met, but you can and should do everything in a way that gives you the experiences and the knowledge that you desire. In my opinion, there is no other place in the world where you have the opportunity to create an internship, work options, study abroad experiences, community service opportunities, and take classes that you enjoy and want than in higher education. You shape what you want to learn and you get to create your knowledge! Where else can you have that opportunity! I think that's awesome!
I usually give examples from my life, but tonight I want to give you an example from my boyfriend's experience earning his Associate's Degree in Diesel Technology. He is someone who has a lot of goals with many different jobs and experiences that he wants to have, which is great! (No matter who you are, you should always have goals, expectations, and things you are working towards.) So, in his two and a half years, he was able to complete an internship with Caterpillar engines, gain leadership experience through the Agricultural Engineering club, work on overhauling tractor engines in his coursework, and continue his own lawn care business.
Much like he took advantage of his coursework and experiences outside of the classroom, college is meshing all of your experiences to give you the best possibilities for the future. Find those internships that make you excited about your field. Apply for leadership positions that would help you in the long run. Volunteer with an organization that holds the same values as you or that endorses the businesses you hope to work for in the future. Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you up personally and professionally. And finally, Work towards your goals; as long as you can explain it to yourself, then that's all that matters.
enjoy the chase,