Making a Hobby Part of Your Profession

By: Lauren Haag, Account Executive for Barranquero Café

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Image Credit: Université de Bordeaux

You may never have thought that your favorite things to do in your spare time can actually benefit your career, or perhaps even help you land you your first job. If you’re reading this and thinking that you don’t have an impressive hobby to show off to employers-don’t panic! There is something out there for everyone.

I started getting into photography when I was in high school. I was using a basic point and shoot camera to document anything from school events to fashion shoots for my friends. It wasn’t until I came to college that I realized I could take this hobby much further. The summer before going into my senior year of college, I took the plunge and bought my first Canon DSLR camera and continued to take this hobby more seriously.

Photography also introduced me to editing programs such as InDesign, Photoshop, Lightroom, and many others. Each one of these applications has their pros and cons, but it really comes down to personal preference. These programs can definitely be pricey, but if you are serious about polishing any skill, investing in yourself is something that can only benefit you down the road.

I am by no means an expert in Photoshop or proficient in all photography terminology, but mastering these skills over the years has allowed me to acquire certain positions. This semester, I am a graphic design intern with Penn State Women’s Basketball. For this particular position, I design certain graphics and marketing materials to send to potential players.

Every day I am designing and learning new things in the process. This internship also introduced me to different techniques that I otherwise wouldn’t have learned.

As a student it may be hard to set aside time from core classes to learn a new skill or hobby. One thing to consider is looking into taking a class or applying for an internship that will expose you to certain programs related to your hobby. These skills are not only resume boosters, but can also create more opportunities when it comes time to apply for jobs.

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