When I was in college, I didn’t work. I couldn’t hold down the class load I had and hold down a job at the same time, so I sacrificed that for a good GPA and A’s on my homework and exams. I wish I hadn’t. I don’t say that to mean I wish I’d flunked out of college, but in not working over that period of time, I graduated behind my peers in regards to work experience, which made finding a job incredibly difficult, even for someone with a Bachelor’s degree. My degree is in Marketing, which in retrospect I wish I’d not changed from my original Accounting, because I think if I’d stayed with Accounting, while it would have kicked my ass, I’d probably be able to find more work with it than I have with what I’ve already got. The jobs I’ve had since graduation have had nothing to do with Marketing at all, and the irony of that is that all of the Marketing jobs I’ve seen, even entry-level work, all require some kind of experience in the field. How can you get experience in the field if no one will hire you?
Anyway, I digress. The one piece of advice I wish someone had given me back when I was a sophomore in college was that I should focus on passing my classes, but not spend so much time obsessed over them that I forget I need to find a job after graduation and getting some internships or what have you will greatly assist in that endeavor. My sister got lucky in the sense that she’s a Middle Grades Education major, and schools are ALWAYS hiring. She didn’t do any kind of teaching work when she was in college, aside from her student-teaching during her senior year, but again, she didn’t need to spend her summers working with kids if she didn’t want to. She was never going to find herself in want of a job, as education is one of the few careers always hiring, just like health care. Funnily enough, when I was a freshman in college, back at UIC in Chicago, my original major was Nursing. I switched to business when we moved to Georgia in 2001. If I’d stuck with Nursing even after we moved, I’d be in the same position my sister is in — the jobs would come to me, rather than the other way around. Well…..you live and you learn, I guess.