by Liv

Why not you? – The Importance of Attending

Some things, like your next job, happen as a direct result of just one decision. The decision to attend that one meeting, that one career fair, or that one social event might change your whole life! Why?

Because college is all about opportunities, and taking advantage of those said opportunities! So what better way to expose yourself to new opportunity than simply attending! Let’s put this into more obvious terms…

To skip or to attend? (A game that involves the most rhetorical of questions…)

Am I more likely to make a new friend skipping or attending Destination Iowa State?

Am I more likely to learn something new skipping or attending class?

Am I more likely to expand my horizons skipping or attending the study abroad travels?

Am I more likely to land an internship if I skip or attend the Iowa State career fair?

Are you starting to get my point!? The last question specifically is what inspired this post. During this last semester I was faced with the decision (and responsibility) to skip or to attend the Iowa State career fair. One choice was easier than the other in the situation, and attending the career fair was certainly not it. Sophomores rarely get internships anyway, so why waste my time right? (another rhetorical question)

Instead of justifying why the career fair wouldn’t be worth it for an inexperienced sophomore level industrial designer, I instead asked well, why not me? Someone is going to get the position either way, so why can’t it be me? So while some stayed in class and skipped the career fair, I skipped class and attended the no longer intimidating event.

Feeling under prepared, I got dressed in my business attire and went from table-to-table of the companies that interested me. I gave my elevator speech the best I knew how as an inexperienced and second year student. I thought to myself, at least next year I will know what I’m doing. 

Leaving with little hope of landing a summer internship, I still went home and emailed the companies I was interested in. I thanked them for their time at the career fair and expressed that I was interested in obtaining a summer internship with their company. I stood persistent, knowing that I was probably less experienced then the other junior level applicants.

Again, I thought to myself, at least I will have this down for next year….when I actually have a chance.

Time passed with no response and I went on with the semester, proud of myself for gaining the experience so that I could be ready for next year. I had no expectations of myself other than simply becoming better prepared for the next opportunity (in which I would repeat until I found success).

Well turns out, success came much faster than I had expected. A couple weeks later I got an email from a company I had expressed interest in and was invited to an interview. Again, the same thoughts clouded my mind. Sophomores rarely get internships anyway, so why waste my time? But then again, why not me?

I scheduled the interview with the same mind set: At least this will give me more experience so that I can be better prepared for next time, and when I actually have a chance…. Next year, I will know what I’m doing.

More time past following the interview and again, I had no expectations. But this time I was even more proud of myself for attending the Iowa State career fair. And with no expectations of getting the position, I still practiced all of the necessary actions, including calling the company to express, yet again, my interest in working for them. “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have” is what I was once told.

I waited and waited to hear back and thought to myself, maybe they forgot about me. After all… I am just an inexperienced sophomore. But next year will be my time!!

Just when I gave up any hope, and packed my things to go home for the summer, I received a call. I was offered the summer intern position. To say the least, I was surprised. Why me? – the inexperienced sophomore? But then again, why not me? 

Now I will really be ready for next year.

Thanks for reading!

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