By Lindsey Marx
When you’re picking your next round of courses, you may not automatically think, “Hey, self, you should register for a career course!” Do you know what a career course is? What do you have to gain from a career course? Consider these five points when you make your next list of “must-take” classes.
- Be Forced to Job Search
Forced may be a bit strong…but…registering for a class means you are more likely to stick with the assignments and reading than if you tried doing the same activity on your own “for fun”. Career classes require you to take time to explore your interests, skills, and values—not to mention that our classes help you develop professional job application documents and take intentional steps to build your professional network.
- Get Credit for Getting Your Act Together
Why not earn credit and strengthen your GPA by doing things you need to do anyway to find a job you won’t hate? Enhance that GPA (which is already stellar, of course) by preparing for a job search, learning interview skills, and truly consider what will be a meaningful career path for you.
- You Will be the King/Queen of Small Talk
Did just reading that line about small talk make your palms sweat? Small talk can feel like a necessary evil until you get unreasonably good at it. Career classes help you build comfort around meeting new contacts online and face-to-face. Small talk and networking skills you gain in these classes are an ideal low-risk way to get used to talking with professionals. You will learn that these strangers (read: employers) struggle with small talk just as much as you and that you are capable of being just as “grown-up” (read: professional) as they are.
- Make Sense of Your Time at Ohio University
So you’ve taken a bunch of classes, maybe had a job, probably joined some type of student organization, and could have even volunteered. Not to mention all the great time with friends, weekend road trips, and general time relaxing and being awesome. Career courses provide a framework for reflecting on the assorted things you have done in your time at OHIO, while also thinking about what else you want to accomplish in your remaining time on campus. A career class prepares you to talk about the skills, experiences, and interests you have developed in and out of the classroom at OHIO.
- This is a Safe Space to Freak Out
Picking an academic path (i.e. major(s), minor(s), and/or certificate(s)) and exploring career paths can be super-scary. Being in a career class means being surrounded by other students exploring their own professional paths—whether set in stone or scarily ambiguous. Having this type of group support can make the exploration and planning process far less stressful (take a deep breath). You’re not alone! You will also have the benefit of getting to personally know a professional career coach who is there to assist you with your career development long after the semester ends. We work with students during your time in class and forever as alumni/ae.
The Rest is Up to You
What are you waiting for?! Get thee to the course offerings page! Some great options for spring include: Career Strategies and Internship Mapping (CAS 2130X), Career Strategies for Psychology Majors (PSY 4930), Special Topics in Specialized Studies (SPST 4900—Haworth section), and Principles and Techniques of Interviewing (COMS 2040—Blue/Jaunarajs sections). For fall, check out CAS 1130, Career Planning in the Liberal Arts. For more information about any career class with instructors from the Career and Leadership Development Center, contact Lindsey Marx, Associate Director of the Career and Leadership Development Center, at email@example.com or 740.593.2909. To learn more about the CLDC, visit our website at www.ohio.edu/careerandleadership or on social media @OHIOCLDC.
Lindsey is the associate director at the CLDC. If you were interested in her post, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or follow her on Twitter at @LindseySMarx