Peer Talk: Preparing for College

Pinkee Patel

The transition from high school to college can be a vast change. Students will have a few important decisions to make ranging from choosing a college, then choosing their major, to an internship that will give them that real like experience. Throughout this time period it will be important for college students to network. By networking I mean building relationships with classmates, professors, advisors and anyone they come in contact with that can potentially open doors for them later on.

 

Choices for Your Future

When researching colleges, you should figure out what college or university you would like to go to. If you plan on staying at home to save some money, then look into a community college nearby. Community colleges offer the same classes as traditional four-year colleges or universities, but at a much lower cost. If you are looking into moving away for college, then definitely look at staying on campus for your first two years to meet people. Or make sure to get involved on campus in a club or activity. Many people have told me that they met life-long friends in college.

Choosing a Major

College is a different ball game than high school. By that I mean, from the time you start your freshman year, you will have to decide on a major and classes. If you don’t know what industry or field you would like to go into, don’t worry. Most individuals, including myself, did not know what they wanted to become and that’s ok, because while you’re in school, you have time to figure it out. If this is you, then my best advice is to go see your school advisor, who can administer different tests to see what may fit your personality. Another idea is to visit the career resource center to see if there are different weekend volunteer opportunities.

 

Getting the Most out of College

Once you know what industry you want to get into, I highly recommend pursuing a part-time internship. It’s important to know the classes you take for a major or career are not the same as actually being in that field. Having an internship is important for two reasons: one, you can see if you truly enjoy the field you are looking into. Two, you just got your foot into the door and as long as you come to work and do your best, your employer should be excited to hire you when you finish.

 

Opening a Door of Opportunity

Most college graduates these days complain about not having a guaranteed job after college. The best advice I can give is build your network and continue doing so even after college, it will open up so many doors for you. In college your network will start out with students and professors. It’s imperative to build relationships and a solid network because you never know who will be able to open a door for you. For example, let’s say one of the students you graduate with goes into the police academy and you would like to do the same. I recommend connecting with that student to see if you can give them a referral. By writing a referral, you have two things going for you, one if your friend is a great employee, their employer will think the same of you. You could get bumped to the front of the interview list because the employer looked at an existing employee’s social network.

 

Continue to Build a Life-Long Network

Furthermore, keep your professors at the forefront during your studies and visit them during office hours. Make sure if they don’t have open office hours you set an appointment. Once you get there, introduce yourself, tell them about the career path you’re looking to pursue, and ask them for advice. Ask if they need a student assistant to help in any manner to further build that relationship. One class I wish they taught in college is “networking” because it will take you so far in life. It is also important to keep in touch with your professor, because they can offer guidance and be there when you need a recommendation letter for job opportunities.

 

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Pinkee Patel
Daytona State College • Daytona Beach, FL, USA
Nursing/ Associates in Nursing/ RN

Drive, ambition, and success are just a few words to describe Pinkee as a well-rounded individual. Pinkee has the ability to turn her life experiences and education into a new rewarding career as a nurse. She already has her B.S. in Psychology and her Masters in Business (MBA). She was in business management and banking for eight years before she decided to pursue nursing. This last semester she made the President’s list for making straight A’s. This is indicative of her drive and determination she now has to succeed in the healthcare industry.

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