Being 21 years old and saying that Winnie the Pooh is my favorite book can cause heads to turn. But A.A. Milne managed to impart some great life lessons through a talking stuffed bear that everyone can relate to. College students in particular should consider Pooh’s insight when faced with career and life decisions. I have found a lot of inspiration from what most would call a simplistic children’s book; this past semester has been a turning point for my career goals and reading Winnie the Pooh helped me to realize, “You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
IU does a fantastic job connecting students with job and internship opportunities, but the goal should be utilizing the resource as a starting point, not simply filling a graduation requirement as fast as possible. At a university that allows students to create their own major, there is something to be said for forging your own path, even if it isn’t the most convenient or conventional. I have a vision for where I want to go in life, as most students do, and the internship opportunities being presented to me by email and career fairs weren’t completely aligned with that vision. Don’t get me wrong, they were great opportunities, but none were making me jump up and down with excitement – and anything that costs thousands of dollars in tuition and four years to prepare for should do that.
To that end, I have challenged myself to push one step further and look beyond the jobs that conveniently land in my inbox. I am going to make my vision a reality. It’s hard. And time consuming. But putting in the effort is allowing me to dictate my future, rather than waiting for something to present itself. I know that I will be happier because of it.
I could spend more free time binge watching shows on Netflix if I settled for the first few internships I heard about, but I have realized that apathy won’t get me to where I want to be. Instead of hitting snooze every morning, I need to remember the reason behind waking up for daily 8 am classes and get energized about what they are preparing me for: an internship that will launch me into a career.
With A.A. Milne’s reminder to seek out the opportunities I’m looking for, I have found a slew of internships that more closely relate to my goals. LinkedIn has a search tool that can find IU alumni in specific fields. Internships.com compiles thousands of opportunities and can narrow searches based on location, duration, and company. I also shared my ideas with professors and advisors who have helped me reach out to field professionals. It is important to make connections where you need in order to get where you want.
It all boils down to taking a risk, exploring options, and putting myself out there because the internship of a lifetime does exist, and I can’t get discouraged when it doesn’t present itself easily. It’s easier said than done, but I’m happier because of it and encourage anyone who has ever felt stuck somewhere to do the same. Do your research, dream big, and take a chance. I hope this time on my soapbox has motivated you to step away from your safe corner of the forest and open your eyes to the options you have in order to have the career of a lifetime.
“Sean MacLennan is a junior in the fitness specialist degree program with a minor in nutrition. She is the event and social media correspondent for IU Kinesiology Club, a UTA for the P215 physiology labs, and a monitor at the Briscoe Fitness and Wellness Center. She hopes to one day own her own wellness center to help people live full, happy, and healthy lives.”
Categories: Career Advice
IUSPH Career Services
Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:
•resume and cover letter preparation
•graduate school preparation