Be like Katniss
When I was trying to get a job as a freshman, I received many rejections because of my lack of experience. I had applied to be an exhibit assistant, lab safety assistant, and various other lab assistant jobs. I wrote many applications and cover letters and brought them to be reviewed by the experts at the Center for Career Development. I still received no reply however. I was even rejected by some student organizations. Then I started to think it over and I looked more closely at my resume. Most of them were extracurricular activities during high school. I decided to change my direction and started to do some volunteer work instead. I couldn’t just do nothing and keep waiting for chances. I chose to be proactive instead.
I realized that before becoming an event coordinator or being paid for my work, I should be a volunteer first – starting by doing the most basic things. Volunteering was a rewarding experience through which I helped others and also myself. It was a perfect way for me to accumulate necessary experience. I spent nearly the rest of my freshman year doing volunteer work. I have served as a greeter, info booth assistant, cashier, flyer distributor, and deliverer for a variety of events from an art show and car exhibition to college career fairs and the festival of science and engineering. These experiences really helped me when I applied to be an officer of some engineering clubs and contributed to my being selected later in my sophomore year. Similarly when I started to do research, I was volunteering as a research assistant—-no credit and no payment. After one semester of careful learning and accumulating experience, I began to get paid and was selected to be a research fellow in a very competitive summer nuclear engineering program.
If you could get everything you ever wanted when you first enter college, that will be great. However, it is never something to complain about if you cannot achieve everything in one try. You can do something about it! Doing volunteer work was just my way to build up my background and achieve success. Don’t rush and realize your goals step-by-step, you will soon find success to be in sight.
-Jackie Yang, McMurtry Peer Career Advisor