The scariest part of graduation for many students is not knowing what will come next — or worse, not feeling prepared for what will come next. I probably felt this way last year, when I was planning to plunge straight into a graduate program. Like many students, I became accustomed to the safety and routine that college provided. I didn’t feel ready to move on.
My mindset has since changed drastically. I attribute this shift to the Collins College of Professional Studies’ vocational approach to education, as well as to my most recent internship. Since January, I’ve been working in marketing at a fintech company in Chelsea, Manhattan, where I explored many facets of marketing and advertising firsthand. I was able to flourish academically and professionally simultaneously, which enriched my learning experience and accelerated my collective growth.
At school, nearly all of my major courses were taught by industry veterans who prioritized practical, “real world” applications of concepts and skills. My classmates and I were actively prepared for careers, rather than just for finals, which in itself is incredibly valuable. Furthermore, I became more proactive in utilizing career services to define my goals and pursue opportunities.
When it comes to internships, SJU’s proximity to Manhattan opens doors to an extensive variety of industries, while allowing students to resume their normal class schedules. Out-of-state students can intern in New York without relocating for the summer, while native New Yorkers can gain experience year-round. This allows for a more diverse array of experience, or more experience overall by the time graduation rolls around.
I remained with the same company for about a year, which allowed me to complete more involved projects with a level of focus and continuity that may not have been possible otherwise. Because of the consistency I cultivated in the office, I sometimes forget that I’m still a student. I’ve become very comfortable in professional environments. As a result, I anticipate a smooth transition into post-graduate life.