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Experience, Experience, Experience

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By: Stephanie Chasi, Account Associate for Penn State Residential Dining

Right now you’re probably worried about your next exam, passing classes, paying for rent or even about what outfit you’re going to wear tonight. But in two or three years your worries will be completely different than they are now. Your worries in those upcoming years might be about what materials you’re going to present to your client, how to solve a crisis that just came up or how to deal with unsatisfied customers. So my question is: how are you going to be ready to jump into the “real world”?

Experience. Experience. Experience. Like Steven Manuel, professor at Penn State, said, “We all learn better in threes.” I can’t emphasize how many resources Penn State has to offer. Take advantage of them. After all, you are paying a good chuck of money to be here! So, here are the top 3 things you must take advantage of before you leave Penn State to gain experience:

  1. Career Services – Go to career services! They care about you and WILL help you. I went to career services before the summer and Julie Miller, the manager of internships, patiently helped me in getting my summer internship. I brought in my resume (which really needed her help), told her about my interests and my ultimate goals. And just like that, she printed around 40 pages of available internships for the summer and the fall. With an internship or a field related job, you can gain countless amount of experience and have connections after you graduate.
  1. Clubs/Organizations – Did you know that there are 989 clubs offered to you at Penn State? From academic clubs, to sororities and fraternities and even sports clubs, Penn State students are encouraged to get involved. Clubs give you the opportunity to start your position as a basic club member and motivates you to apply to higher positions, such as secretary or president of the club. Through either basic member positions or higher level positions, you can easily develop leadership skills, social skills or just learn how to get out of your comfort zone.
  1. Jobs- Either a job at the library, the dinning commons, a clothing store or tutoring, you will gain a load of experience from it to help your transition to “the real world.” You will learn about time management, organization skills, how to multi-task and how to deal with unfriendly coworkers, bosses and customers. All the things you will also have to deal with after you graduate.

So before you leave Penn State take advantage of these resources and opportunities. In some way or another, they will help you gain numerous skills to help you survive after college.

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