Students learn networking, career skills

Katrina Moses , Staff Writer

On Sept. 16 at Career Connections, a group that helps students prepare for their careers, two guest speakers came to speak to students about not having to know their career in their 20s.

Dr. Hari Rajagopalan, a professor from the School of Business, came to speak to the group.

“I see a lot of people saying figure out what you love and enjoy doing it, and you’ll do a good job within that field,” Rajogopalan said. “I actually think that is not very good advice to some 18-, 19-, [or] 20-[year-olds].”

As a speaker at the meeting, he explained to the attendees that when he was 17-years-old, he wanted to be a pilot. He said he went through all the necessary training to be a pilot, but because of his poor eyesight, he was told that it was not a good idea.

“What you love doing at 18 is different than what you want to do at 25 or 35,” Rajagopalan said

Rajagopalan said that when applying fo college, a student may need to figure out what they hate. After they do, they should pick what they like and see if it pays well. Since FMU is a liberal arts school, he said students can easily take general education classes in multiple disciplines to help them figure that out.

“When you are in your 20s, your brain is not even fully developed yet, which is why you may not even know what you want to do when you’re in your 20s,” Dr. Ronald Miller, director of career development, said.

The second speaker Miller had for the evening was Lindsay Buchanan who graduated from FMU in 2011.

She called herself a non- traditional student because she had her daughter when she was 17-years-old.

She attended Coker College after high school, but she did not complete her degree there. Buchanan said she and her daughter moved to Florida and multiple times after that. She had many jobs, but she knew she needed a degree.

She returned to college as a student at FMU when she was 28-years-old.

“It’s a piece of paper, but it means so much,” Buchanan said.

As for Buchanan, after graduating with a degree in mass communication, she works for a weldimg company as the social media manager.

She said she is glad that she went to college when she was older because she appreciated college more.

Many students join Career Connections for different reasons, like Diandra Simon, a senior management information systems major.

“It is a great thing for a job search, to secure internships,” Simon said. “It’s like a class; you meet new people to network.”

Career Connections has been at FMU since fall 2012. “It helps students understand the process of planning a career so that they can prepare, even well before commencement, for post-college professional life,” Miller said.

Miller explained that students applied to get into Career Connections online before classes started on Sept. 2.

“Students benefit from hearing speakers from different backgrounds and experiences because not everyone, professors included, views the world from the same prism,” Miller said.