"Get involved," is a popular phrase that many of us heard when entering college, however, no one ever told us how to get involved in a smart way. I am a firm believer that college is the time to simultaneously work hard and play hard - you cannot and should not have one without the other. That's why it's so important to understand the general field you're studying and from there be able to navigate your way through experiences, clubs, and connections, in order to find your niche and your underlying passion in the field. Developing your resume and your portfolio is something that you should be doing as often as possible. There are so many ways to do this, but here's how you can start:
1. Go to your department/college and see if there are any job openings.
Working as a secretary and gaining any operational experience is a very impressive thing to have on your resume, especially if you were balancing your work and academics well. Working for your college or department will only help you because those are important connections and experiences that you simply cannot get anywhere else. Even if you hear of a job opening at the libraries, registrar, or student union, look into it! At this point in our lives just about any experience is a good experience, and more likely than not these on-campus jobs will be flexible and accommodating with your academics.
2. Get involved with clubs and organizations.
Getting involved is important but the right way to do it is by involving yourself with organizations that are relevant to your collegiate studies. If you're interested in politics, look into student government or student-run partisan clubs; if you're interested in writing, there are so many FSU affiliated outlets that you can write for; if you're interested in service, there are tons of service organizations that you should be applying for. Be resourceful: talk to your friends and professors, search on google and LinkedIn to see what others have done, and, if you need an easy starting point, go to Nole Central and look through the hundreds of registered student organizations that FSU offers.
3. Talk to a career liaison.
Meeting with a career liaison at the Career Center was one of the best things I've ever done for myself. Not only did she help me figure out how to navigate the career resources that FSU provides, but she also gave me tools to help me better involve myself on and off campus. In fact, she still sends me emails with workshops and activities on campus that the career center provides just for FSU students. The career liaisons can also help with editing and formatting resumes, cover letters, and more when you're applying for a job. Let's be real, we all need a little help every now and then so don't be afraid to ask a professional.
4. Talk to you favorite professor.
Reach out and see if they need any TA's, extra help, or even if they need a notetaker. If they don't have any openings, ask them to provide their colleague's information, and reach out to someone that they trust, and you can gain as a connection. You never know what their response will be and even if they don't necessarily need an extra hand, you're already establishing a connection which can serve as a viable resource in the future.
It really doesn't matter how old you are, how many years you've been in college, or where you go to school. What matters is how you're taking advantage of the resources surrounding you and that you are always stepping out of your comfort zone for what could be your next big break. Whether your passion is politics, music, fashion, math, or computers, get involved. Get out of your comfort zone and reach for the stars because, no matter what your age is, being a college student means that you have infinite resources and a perfect place to foster growth.