I know you are going to ask me why I would even consider looking into University Career Services (UCS), a place usually used to find jobs after graduation, as a freshman. Honestly, I was asking myself the same question at the first meeting I was dragged to. As a first-year and an out-of-state student, I needed to become involved all-across UNC in order to become immersed in the community. Surprisingly UCS became one of the first things I was active in.
(Reppin’ that Carolina Blue all the way in Texas
with my best friend, on the left, who doesn’t even go to UNC!)
Completely drained from the college application process, I was in no mood to even consider beginning the job search! But what I quickly found is that while UCS is great for finding a job and a career, it is also amazing at finding a major. I came into Carolina determined to major in Business, but coming from a girl that eventually changed her major four different times, I was wrong. I took a class with UCS called Career Exploration in the fall (Education 131) and loved it! It opened my eyes to careers and majors I had not even considered. I still managed to change my major two times after the class ended because I obviously have trouble with commitment, but your freshman year is completely about exploring. It is best to try new things and take new classes, because you just might find your calling!
UCS continued to help me after I finally chose public relations and political science as my majors. I now have a social media internship with the Frank Porter Graham Student Union, where I write promotional tweets and posts about events at the Union! Also, my career advisor helped me learn about Careerolina, a job and internship search tool through UCS.
So while I wish I was in beautiful Chapel Hill with the Carolina blue skies, warm summer breeze, some of my closest friends, and those basketball games, I am loving my summer because of an internship I learned of through Careerolina. Not only do I intern with the Student Union, but I am working for the top public relations firm in Texas, Pierpont Communications. I work in their Public Affairs department, which combines my love for politics and public relations. For this internship I was competing against young adults who had already graduated and received their degrees. But I had a secret weapon: UNC was on my resume, not theirs. Carolina has a great legacy around the world for preparing its students in all aspects and is known for its superior education. This helped me become the youngest intern Pierpont has ever had!
I was honestly a little scared for this internship because I was worried I would hate it and want to change my major AGAIN. Thankfully I don’t, but even if I did, who cares? I would rather change my mind over and over again right now than graduate and realize that I hate my job. Because you don’t have to declare a major until the end of your sophomore year, UNC allows you to try everything! Be brave!
I am now a Career Peer for UCS, where I help other students in the Carolina Community perfect their resumes, practice interviews, and use Careerolina. All of this, the internships, Career Peers, and my eventual majors, came from simply one aspect of my life here at UNC! I swear UCS is not as scary as you think!
So join that new club, take that seemingly odd class, and try a new internship. As a Tar Heel you can never be close-minded. Take a chance because an open attitude will open a world of possibilities!