April 5, 2021 by

Most freshmen don’t come to college with a clear picture of life after college. Adjusting to college life has enough challenges without worrying about the distant future. If you’re anything like me, then you might be considering several career paths. Career Services and the career fairs seem to be for upperclassmen who already know what they’re doing. They have their career plans in place, and I don’t have a clue what to do. But, sometimes, you don’t know how to do something until you just do it.

Hey! I’m Sophia Ballard, a sophomore English major with a concentration in creative writing and minor in literature. So, yeah, I like to read, a lot. But I also co-founded a political podcast, Cedar60, here on campus! As an introverted homeschooler, fall semester freshman year was intimidating and, sometimes, overwhelming. Career Services and career fairs were an afterthought. I didn’t even have a resume, and I didn’t know how to write one.

Information Opportunities

Thankfully, Career Services sent me email after email to the point that I knew I needed to take action. I finally started paying attention and considering what I wanted to do with my life. The details may not be sorted out, but I have a better idea of where I’m going and gaining relevant experience. You don’t have to reach out to Career Services on day one. But do pay attention to the emails. Cedarville definitely makes sure to let you know what opportunities are available, so make sure to take advantage of the opportunities!

  • Attend a resume workshop 
  • Maybe go to a resume workshop and submit your resume to Handshake—the platform Career Services uses to connect students with employers– just so you have one on file. 
    • Creating an account is simple and can be tailored to your skills and interests. 
    • Someone from Career Services will review your resume and offer tips on how to best present your experiences.
    •  Once your resume is approved, you can start applying to jobs and internships. 

You never know what opportunities are out there until you start looking!

Career Fair

(photo taken 2019)

Find a fellow freshman to drag to the career fair. At my first career fair, I didn’t even talk to any of the employers. My friends and I wandered around looking at the displays and pondering what we wanted to do. Soak in the atmosphere and acquaint yourself with the opportunities around you. You only get one chance to be a college student. Embrace it and learn from it. Set a goal of finding one or two interests, whether or not you actually engage with the employers. Maybe you’re not interested in an internship or summer job yet but want to keep one in mind for the future.

The career fair isn’t the only place where you can find the next steps to take on your career path. Check out Career Services social media pages to get updates and new information. Be on the lookout for other emails from Career Services. When the flood of emails come, deleting them without reading the subject line is tempting. Don’t be afraid to apply for an internship even if you doubt you’ll get it. Browse around on the jobs section in Handshake and see what intrigues you. Maybe find a ministry that needs a volunteer in your area of expertise. You’ll get to be the hands and feet of Jesus and some practical experience that looks great on a resume.

You Can Do It!

You don’t have to have everything figured out the day you walk onto campus or even as you start senior year. Life is a process. Trust that process to God. But don’t use that as an excuse to not explore your options. You might discover a passion you didn’t know you had. God could use a Career Fair to open the door to your next adventure. But you’ll never know unless you take that step of faith and explore the possibilities.

Above all, pray. Seek God’s will. He will take care of you if you are actively pursuing Him. Stressing about your future will not help matters. Get started on your job search sooner rather than later. You don’t want to wait until your junior or senior year to start attending career fairs or working with Career Services to plan your life after college. At the same time, all is in God’s hands. He orders the steps of those who rely on Him. Our ultimate goal in this life is to bring glory to God. If you keep that at the core of your job search, then you cannot go wrong. Happy job/internship hunting, but first let’s get you here as a Cedarville student!

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