Moving Beyond 'Do You What You Love'

Moving Beyond 'Do You What You Love'

A new student's guide to finding their career—with the help of NPR's "On the Job" host Sasha King.
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The daunting task of figuring out who you are, and what you want to do with your life is something many students put off. Should freshmen worry about internships? Focus on on-campus organizations? With the continuing rise of college tuition, more students want the security of knowing their degree (no matter if it's in History or Bio-Chemistry) can be used to get a job.

To answer these questions I sat down with professional career coach and host of NPR’s "On The Job," Sasha King. In her usual, "get down to business" fashion, she immediately laid out three steps to help this year’s freshmen start their college careers on the right path.

1. Assessment

The first step King laid out was an assessment. “The Myers Briggs test is great.” King explained, “Unscientific, but it lays out possible careers.” Myers Briggs is a well-known personality test that is used around the country to help career seekers discover what they might be good at. It does this through an extensive questionnaire that will determine where you fall in four basic categories described on the Myers Briggs web page as: Favorite World, Information, Decisions, and Structure.

Each category contains two tracks. Favorite World is broken down into Extroversion (E) or Introversion (I). Information branches off into Sensing (S) or Intuition (N), Decisions includes Thinking (T) or Feeling (F), and finally Structure uses Judging (J) or Perceiving (P). Altogether there are 16 personality types represented by the test. After completing the questionnaire a list of career options will appear which can be perused. As a follow-up, and to provide more opportunity for self-reflection, King recommended “Do What You Are” by Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron, and Kelly Tieger.

2. Use Resources

A newly-arrived-on-campus student might wonder what resources are available for them, or imagine that they can only be accessed by upper classman. Not so, according to King. “Start off by getting to know your department head and advisor. They’re the ones who can really talk to [students] about their career path.” King continued, “Take them out for coffee. Get to know them.” A more relaxed environment provides an opportunity for students to ask questions. A few questions King recommended included inquiring about where alumni are working, scholarship opportunities, and possible fellowships.

“You need to plan early for the prestigious stuff.” King explained, “Find out the requirements.” Additionally, speaking with alumni does two things. It allows the student to begin the early stages of networking, so when a student is ready to look for an internship they have possible leads; and additionally it gives students an idea of where exactly other students have ended up. This will provide an opportunity to think about if those careers are of interest.

3. Find Internships

Finally, incoming freshmen should consider using good old Google to find potential scholarships, and professional organizations. “For example,” said King, “Say you are a sociology major with a long term goal of being a sociologist. You can join the American Sociological Association. Joining an organization like this as a student7 can give students advanced notice on opportunities for attending conferences or potential fellowships. Don’t think because you’re a student that you can’t join.”

When questioned if students should be focused on campus clubs and involvement opportunities, or if students would be better off focusing their efforts outside the university campus, she responded, "Both. However with more emphasis on larger organizations outside university. I’d say about 30% effort on campus, 70% off.”

Aside from these three main steps she encourages students to take, King also stressed the importance of a mentor. “You need a mentor to get through. Talk to advisors or the department head, and you will find mentorship opportunities that could lead to making contributions to your industry.” King recommends that students have their first internship starting the summer their freshmen year. “You take the small internships early, so when you need the big ones that give valuable experience, you’re more competitive,” she explained.

The final piece of advice King had, was not to miss out on entrepreneurial ventures. She wants students not to be afraid of trying to start their own businesses while in college. “A lot of business ideas are created in school,” she explained. By using the constant exposure to people carrying different backgrounds, students are in a unique opportunity to find services and products that serve a wider need. “Be creative!" she said.

So, as freshmen across the country start-up their freshly minted college careers, go out there and be creative. Try not to worry yourself too much about the future. Follow the advice of mentors and career counselors to get yourself on the right foot, and enjoy the journey.

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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That One Time I May Have Shot An Ex-Police Officer

Yeah, you heard me.

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In England, we don't really have guns, maybe hunting guns but I think it's pretty rare. Anyway, point is, barely any guns. I have never seen a gun, shot a gun, I don't even know anybody that owns a gun so as an exchange student in Oklahoma it's a novelty to visit a gun range.

I was pretty nervous about shooting but the instructor was super nice and told us how to hold the gun and load it before we went into the range. He also let us ask any questions we had about guns and explained the process of getting a gun in Oklahoma and he said he had visited Europe and was talking about England, and how he used to be a cop and opened his own gun shop. Basically a really really nice guy, which honestly makes harming him ten times worse.

We went into the range and we were shooting a 22 caliber and another guy at the range, I'm assuming a regular, asked if we wanted to fire his revolver so of course, we said yes.

This gun was definitely heavier and the trigger was super hard to pull but he kept his hand on the gun whilst I struggled with the trigger and then I fired it.

I heard a bang and I heard a yell.

I turned around and he was holding his thumb and there was blood dripping onto the floor. At this point, I thought I had shot him, so you can imagine the sheer level of panic that I was feeling.

The color drained from my face and I was frozen solid and all I could say was, "are you okay?" which was answered with a "Ma'am, put the gun down."

Basically, I'm freaking out and I look over at the lads for some form of reassurance, which was met with them looking equally as freaked out as me. So I asked,

"Do we need to call someone?"

"Yep. We are definitely gonna have to call someone"

So at this point, my nerves were shattered and I had no idea what was going on or what the procedure is for this sort of thing. I mean, the guy also took it like a champ and barely even winced and kept repeating "little lady, you're fine" – safe to say I did not feel fine nor did the situation, in my eyes, look at all fine.

Luckily the regulars knew what to do and took him to the ER so we were left in the store with another regular shooter.

Everyone else went back out to shoot but I didn't feel like assaulting/ shooting/ potentially murdering anyone else so I decided to sit this round out and talk to the woman that stayed with us and he called and said it wasn't me, something came off the bullet or gun and went into his hand- so no I didn't actually shoot him and he was going to be okay.

The point of this now very funny story is that whilst guns are cool they're also pretty dangerous.

I have no idea how someone can participate in these mass shootings because I didn't even shoot someone, only thought I did, and it was probably the most terrifying moment of my life.

So, if you are around guns, have fun, be safe and try not to send your instructor to the ER.

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