As I was approaching the day of my college graduation I often found myself reflecting on my experiences. Last week I became a graduate of Governors State University’s College of Business with my bachelors degree in Business Management. I received my associates degree in Business Administration two years earlier at Prairie State College. Within the last four years I have had many experiences and internships that shaped the way that I make my career decisions. I’ve found that one of the most important takeaways I’ve come across is that while my education is very important, it is the experiences that I had that hold the most value.
I was what most would consider a non-traditional student. Being that I was raising a toddler, working full time including an internship, and approaching my late 20’s, the challenges that I faced are much different than the average college students. Despite this, I did not let my situations define who I was. My situations only acted as motivation to reach my goal. I knew I would face many challenges, and because of this I would have to work harder. In fact, one of my many quotes I was driven by is: “If hard work pays off, then easy work is worthless”.
The many people I met these past few years will always be of value to me. Everyone including my professors, faculty members, administration, students, supervisors, co-workers, and of course my friends and family. My experiences with these people provided me with letters of recommendation, references, guidance, words of wisdom, and most importantly life lessons. The support I received is undeniably the reason my education was so successful. I will forever be indebted to these people and my hope is to pay it forward to those that are following suit.
I also joined every club, or organization possible and took advantage of every opportunity presented. While at Prairie State College I held the title as News Editor for the school’s newspaper, and became a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society. I enrolled in the Dual Degree program which provided me with scholarships and made it possible for me to earn two degrees in only four years. I took on two internships which really shaped my life. More specifically my experience as Marketing Intern at Sharn Enterprises, Inc.. I was fortunate enough to intern with the company which regularly offers internship opportunities to students. I was taught many useful skills that I can apply in life and as I entered into the workforce. Also, the career services department on campus played a huge part in me landing my first full time opportunity before I even crossed the stage.
We choose go to college to gain more knowledge in the career fields of our choice so that we are “employable”. While this is very important, what I found was that the people I met and the experiences that I had is what is most valuable to my life and career. I encourage every student to network and be eager for more. Form a relationship with faculty and administration, seek those internships, and join those clubs and organizations. I will be forever grateful that I did. I am excited for the many experiences that I have to look forward to!
Samantha Adindu | Marketing Intern
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