Laura Darza: There’s a lot to learn from SCU grads
Prior to my freshman year, I always assumed that people were on the same trajectory in college. I always thought that there was this straight line that you had to follow - get into college, get good grades, find an internship, get a job, and see where that takes you. That assumption changed immediately when I was a first year student at SCU. Even if there are 6000 undergraduate students in the same college, everyone is going through something different - whether that be the professors they’re taking, the organizations they’re joining, the internships they’re taking on, or even the hobbies they enjoy in their free time. This realization was further emphasized when I attended an Alumni Panel hosted by the professional fraternity I am a part of called Alpha Kappa Psi. Six SCU/AKPsi alumni came back to speak about their transition out of college and into the workforce. They spoke of their challenges and achievements, what they would’ve done differently if they were in college again, job and internship application processes, and the importance of de-stressing and decompressing.
From the panel, I was able to gather several insights that I wanted to share to anyone that feels like they need some guidance:
- It’s so easy to get caught up in the future and post-grad life that you forget to cherish the current one you’re in. The friends you make in college, the professors you meet, the organizations and events you can participate in are all a part of your growth that you should be exploring.
- Cold applications are not the way to go. In order to fully succeed in the internship or job search, you have to maximize the connections you already have. SCU has a wide alumni network that you should be reaching out to to schedule information interviews. People love talking about themselves, so it’s a great idea to let them speak while you listen and learn.
- Don’t stress out on that test or assignment you didn’t do well on. You’re not going to remember it in the long-run. As long as you’re improving and seeking improvement, everything will work out.
- Find hobbies and interests that you enjoy and make the time to pursue them. Whether it’s taking long walks or going away for a weekend trip, doing things that make you happy should be prioritized more than anything at the end of the day.
- Don’t only take classes for your majors and minors. If you’re a Finance major interested in jazz, take an intro to jazz class. If you’re an MIS major interested in philosophy, then go ahead and take a philosophy class. You should be learning from your major and minor curriculums but not limiting yourself to just that. There are so many great departments in Santa Clara and making the most out of it will go a long way.