Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Year, New Beginnings... Same Path!

Hello, and welcome to a new year at Hofstra! I’m Amy, the Graduate Assistant in The Career Center. I am in my second year of the MSEd program in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies, and this position is my first in what I hope will be a great career in the field Student Affairs!

Right now, I find myself looking forward to the rest of my career. But it wasn’t always that way! For my introduction, I’d like to share with you my journey along my personal Path of Pride.

1. Visit with a Career Counselor
As an undergraduate student, I had many interests, but not much of an idea of how to turn them into a major or a career. So, I visited with a counselor who sat with me as we went through them all. One was Psychology, so she suggested I take a general course, and things were set in motion--I found something I wanted to major in!

2. Take a Career Assessment
Okay, first step down. I had a major. Now, what was I going to do with it? A personality inventory showed me that I was someone who was well suited for professions that had to do with helping people, and that made perfect sense; even though I didn’t know what I wanted to do yet, I knew WHO I wanted to work with!

3. Research Careers
I looked up jobs that were good fits for my major and my personality, and found all the typical results; psychologist, psychiatrist, etc. I saw education come up quite a bit, but thought it was just for teachers—once I realized that there were careers in the field of educational leadership, a whole new set of potential careers opened up!

4. Begin to Make Connections
I spoke to administrators at my undergraduate institution about working in higher education and started to make connections that could help me move further in my field. One of them even offered me a great opportunity to work with leadership development where I learned a lot of the valuable information that I use today!

5. Develop your Career Skills
In my senior year, I served as a mentor to first-year students. By meeting with them about their academic and extra-curricular plans, I noticed that I really enjoyed advising students. Each session was a new point that built on the last, and it made me so proud to see the students with whom I’d worked grow and come into their own as leaders.  By the end of the year, I realized I had grown as well—and that I had an even better idea of what I wanted to do!

6. Search and Apply for Internships
I used the connections that I had made through networking to look for internships and other opportunities in the field. I worked with the Admissions department and observed in ResLife, where I learned more about how colleges operate.

7. Establish Post-Graduation Goals and Plans
After I graduated, I realized that Graduate School was the best option for me to continue my journey. While browsing the many different programs offered by a plethora of colleges and universities, my Dad (always a proud alumnus) said “What about Hofstra?” I connected again with professors and administrators to get letters of recommendation to create my application, and the rest was history—here I am!

One thing that I found really important to remember as I journeyed along my Path of Pride was that these steps don't always have to go in order, nor do you have to be completely finished with one step before starting another! For example, I found myself at Step 6 just a few weeks ago when I found and applied for my current position in The Career Center—and now I’m in Step 5 developing my career skills even more! You can jump around as you find new opportunities, make new connections, or realize new things about yourself. The Path of Pride is a constant journey, and the more experiences you have are just more things that make you you!

I’m really excited to be a part of the team here at The Career Center, and I can’t wait to meet all of you! Come on in to Lowe Hall and see me during Quick Question Hours, Monday through Thursday from 2pm-4pm and Friday from 11am-1pm!

Do you find yourself at Step 1 like I was, without a major and wondering what to do? You’re not alone, and we can help! Come to No Major, No Problem – This Saturday (9/21) at Noon in the Student Center Theatre!

Amy Smith, Graduate Assistant

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