“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
It’s a question that most of us have answered at some point in our lives. Granted, as children, our goals may be a bit loftier — answers such as “Britney Spears” and “samurai” come to mind — but the pressure to select one career path and stick to it for life does not fade as we age.
Though some may not know the direction he or she wants to head in right after entering college, general education requirements and electives often help develop interest into ambition.
However, according to associate news editor Patrick Willisch’s article, “Grads find job outside intended field,” staying on one straight and narrow road may not be completely realistic anymore. Willisch references a 2012 Associated Press article, which reported that nearly 1 in 4 college graduates are working in fields unrelated to the degree they earned.
Plattsburgh State community reactions ranged from surprise to understanding, but one thing is certain: Being a well-rounded individual has never been more important for a college student’s future success than now.
As PSUC Career Development Center Director Julia Overton-Healy said, employers look for potential employees with qualities other than simple technical or discipline-based knowledge, including a strong work ethic, problem-solving skills, initiative, the ability to work well with a wide variety of people, established written and oral communication skills, global sensibility and the ability to be technologically savvy.
Most millennials hear the spiel, whether it be from peers, professors or family members, about going “above and beyond” to stand out of the pool of candidates but may neglect what Overton-Healy believes to be the single most impactful part of career-building and landing a desired job: networking.
While websites such as LinkedIn entirely cater to this purpose, opportunities to meet new people and build connections surround us everywhere we go. The decision to take advantage of them, though, is completely up to each individual.
There is no better way to go about this than being unafraid to get involved, even if it is something as simple as raising your hand in class and sparking a conversation. Every PSUC classroom, club and organization is filled with students hungry to take the world by storm. If they all joined forces, they would surely be unstoppable.