The Future Starts Now: The Importance of Proactive Planning for Liberal Arts & Science Students
“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today” – Malcom X
A major initiative taken on by the Liberal Arts & Sciences Student Organization (LASSO) this semester is raising awareness among students in the College of Arts & Sciences at WIU-QC regarding the importance of internships and networking. Studies have shown that having the specific skills and job experience gained through internships can raise both the job opportunities and starting salaries of students with degrees in the Liberal Arts & Sciences. Internships also offer the added bonus of “trying out” a job before committing, and doing so while you are still in school and do not have the added burden of paying back student loans. This is especially helpful for those students who are not completely sure of what field they would like to work in.
Students in the various CAS programs are at a slight disadvantage in this area because an internship is not a graduation requirement the way it is for Education, Engineering, Marketing, Business and most other majors. However, the benefit of not having an internship requirement is that students are given a large amount of freedom to pursue internships in areas they find interesting. Since it is not a requirement, the responsibility for seeking out internship opportunities falls completely on the student; WIU-QC faculty are ready and waiting to help students set-up successful internships, but the student must take the initiative.
It may seem like it is too soon to be thinking about the summer or fall of 2017, with Finals looming and projects piling up, but now is the time to start planning for your internship! If students are interested in a summer internship (not-for-credit), they should visit LeatherneckLink and search for available internship opportunities, or they can contact Audrey in the Career Services Center. Students interested in earning credit next fall (which would count as an elective toward graduation requirements) for an internship should contact a faculty member at the WIU-QC CAS (Professors Hamner, Malachuk, Rabchuk, and Warner would be happy to assist).
Another facet of preparing for the future that students should begin right now is networking with professionals in their perspective fields. This can be a daunting task, but one of the best ways to start this process is by getting involved with the various student organizations on campus. LASSO, IDEAS!, GEMS, Psychology Club, ACE, CSS, Toast Masters, and many other groups offer events and opportunities to meet both new and established professionals in their respective fields. Students who would like more information regarding the various student organizations on campus can either go to the Student Life section of the WIU website, or they can contact the Student Services office for contact information and scheduled meeting times for all groups.
Now is the time!! Start planning for your life after college today!