Tips for Preparing for Your Future Career While Still in College

By:Taylor-Cherie Ervin

As a graduating senior in college, I reflect on these last 5 (yes five, sometimes it takes more than four) years of my college career. I see so many things that I should’ve done or could’ve done better. I always wish I could go back in time and tell myself to do this or to not do that, but if that was possible then I wouldn’t be right here with the opportunities I have right now.

With that being said, I am endlessly grateful for the present, forever learning from the past, and bouncing with anxious excitement for the future. But, it took me a minute (minute meaning year and a half) to find a starting point and to become motivated and serious about my future after college. Here is where I found my starting point and decided to start my race.

Two of the biggest and most priceless skills that I’ve learned in college have to be confidence and self-motivation. Upon realizing that I wanted a fabulous broadcasting and communication career, I decided to buckle down and get serious. Please remember, black girl, college is WAY more than passing classes.

Don’t get me wrong, passing your classes and doing well academically is important but it’s only half the road to your fabulous future career. They want to see that you were INVOLVED in relevant organizations and that you have the EXPERIENCE they are looking for in their future employee. So, buckling down meant just that.

I joined an organization for broadcasting and met my three mentors. These three intelligent black women, were two years (or grades) ahead of me and had already successfully completed internships and occupied exec board positions for various broadcasting organizations on campus.

They pushed me, inspired me, forced me out of my element, and gave me great advice that I still use today. I strongly recommend that you find one or more mentors that can do the same for you and provide you with advice and connections that you need to be successful. The transition to college is an adjustment, and that adjustment can be so much easier when you have someone similar to you that has accomplished the goals that you’ve set for yourself.

Now that I was involved in organizations and had mentors and connections, it was time to gain experience. That means putting yourself out there, abolishing self-doubt, and TRYING something new. Stepping out of your comfort zone and being un-ashamed to say “I don’t know anything, but I am ready to learn and become great at it.”

This should always be your mind-set, humble confidence will get you far in college. Don’t get me wrong, people will try to underestimate you, exclude you, and be just plain un-friendly. Don’t focus on that. Keep going, black girl, they are NOT the deciding factor in your success YOU ARE.

As a broadcasting major, I started auditioning to host talent shows, award shows, and other events on campus.I also auditioned to broadcast for our campus’s news show. Sometimes I got the part and other times I did not, but I didn’t let rejection deter me from moving on and auditioning for other parts. If anything it gave me the confidence to keep going.

This goes for other majors as well, participate in any event or organization that is relevant to your major. You will meet other people who have similar goals as you and you can help each other, you will gain new skills, you will probably meet and work closely with professors or future professors, and you will gain experience that textbooks and exams won’t give you.

If this is your first semester and you feel lost, lonely, overwhelmed, or discouraged you have to pick yourself up, remind yourself that you are an adult and you’re here for a purpose, constantly keep a set of goals (and update it frequently), meet and get close with people with similar aspirations, and motivate yourself.

Black girl, remember it is your name on that scholarship, it is your name on that financial aid, it is your name on those loans, it is your name on that transcript, it will be your name on that degree, and it will be your name on that job application and resume. This is the time to be selfish, studious, adventurous, open, serious, dedicated, and have fun. Hopefully this wasn’t an earful, my goal was to motivate someone to start somewhere because time goes by really quick. You are superwoman, okay, don’t you dare doubt yourself!

See you at the top black girl, you got it sis!

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i love this. i hope you’re doing well in your career. I am currently a freshman in college. And a criminal justice major. Much love!

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