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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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Abortion Bans Are Only A Small Part Of The Republican War On Women

These bans expose the Republican Party for what it truly is.

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This week, several states passed laws that ban abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know that they're pregnant. The most egregious of these is Alabama — the state has banned abortion except for in cases of danger to the mother. Exceptions in the cases of rape and incest were actively voted against by the state legislature. Under the new law, any doctor who is caught giving an abortion would be sentenced to 99 years in prison, and the woman would be charged with murder.

Apart from the fact that this explicitly violates the decision of Roe v. Wade (which is the point), this is only a small part of the slow but steady degradation of women's rights by Republicans in the United States. To anyone who believes that this is simply about people being "pro-life" or "saving the children," then tell them to look at what happens after the fetus is carried to term.

Republicans oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term, desires to cut food stamps and make it more difficult to feed said child, cut funding for affordable housing to make it more difficult for them to find homes, cut spending to public education so these children can't move up the social ladder, and refuse to offer the woman or her child health insurance to keep them both healthy. What about efforts to prevent pregnancy? Republicans also oppose funding birth control and contraception, as well as opposing comprehensive sexual education. To them, the only feasible solution is to simply keep your legs shut. They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something. The bill also makes women who get abortions felons, and felons can't vote. I'll let you finish putting those two together.

If you view it from this framework, it would seem like Republicans are being extremely hypocritical by violating the personal freedoms of pregnant women, but if you look at it from the view of restricting social mobility for women, then it makes perfect sense. The Republican dogma of "individual rights" and "personal responsibility" is a socially acceptable facade that they use to cover up their true intentions of protecting the status quo and protect those in power. About any Republican policy, ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, Republicans love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem "deserving" of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power. This is the case with abortion as well; Power is being taken from women, and being given back to men in a reversal of the Feminist Movement of the 1970s.

Republicans don't believe in systemic issues. They believe that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of what point they started. This is why they love capitalism so much. It acts as some sort of great filter in which only those who deserve power can make it to the top. It's also why they hate social policies; they think that helping people who can't help themselves changes the hierarchy in a negative way by giving people who don't "deserve" power, power. Of course, we know that just because you have money and power doesn't mean you earned it fair and square, and even if Republicans believe it, it wouldn't change anything because it wouldn't change how they want to distribute power.

In short, Republican policies, including abortion, leave the average American with less money, less protection, less education, worse health, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is NOT a side effect. This is the point. Regardless of what Republicans will tell you about "inalienable rights" and how everyone is equal, in reality, they believe that some people and groups are more deserving of rights than others, and the group that deserves rights the most are the ones "that will do the best with them." To Republicans, this group consists of the wealthy, the powerful, and the white — the mega-rich, the CEOs of large companies, gun owners and Christians.

So, who do Republicans think deserve power and give it to? People who look and think like them. This, however, begs the question: Who do they want to take it from?

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