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UCF Office of Professional Development

DO Something, DO Anything!

WTTM1Welcome to the Majors is one of my favorite days in the College.  Where else, in what other college, of ANY KIND, do you have to attend class in person when there’s over 1700 students in the class?!  We bill it as the “largest face to face class at UCF.” I’d argue it’s also one of the BEST!!

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Success in Three Simple Steps

This Friday our college hosts “Welcome to the Majors.” It’s a unique kick-off event that introduces students to the culture of our college.  I think it’s so important to a student’s success in our college that I require all students in GEB 3003 to attend.  Those who attend will get a LOT advice on how to make their time in our college productive.  Mostly I’ll talk about differentiating yourself through the choices you make.  Here’s three more tips:

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WHY?????????

I have to say that out of all the blogs submitted, this was my favorite.  Jessica perfectly captured the emotion of trying to figure out what to do for the rest of your life.  It isn’t an easy question to answer, so why would it be an easy class?  Good luck, Jessica.  I think you’re gonna do great!

Not once, not twice, not three times…If you are like me, you are now in your final course of the career professionalism series, GEB 4004. If you are also like me, you’ve been frustrated, confused, irritated (the list could go on and on). You’ve asked yourself time and time again…WHY!? Why am I required to take not only one of these classes but all four of what is seemingly the same class each semester. Each year I’ve fought this class and I’ve fought myself. Now, on the verge of graduation I can see, although these classes appear monotonous it’s all in the hope that each year something from these classes will stick. Perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned from my career professionalism experience is to plan. I can no longer be naïve and think the perfect job will somehow fall right into my lap. I wasn’t born knowing that I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer. Finding a career to fit my interests requires a well-crafted plan, it requires research and requires trial and error. Thanks to the career professionalism courses I now have the tools to select a career that I know best fits my interests and passions instead of hoping I choose the right one based on luck.

 

Jessica Lucarelli

FML – Figuring out My Life (One major at a time…)

I am what some would call your “typical” college student, from studying biomedical sciences to computer programming to marketing. At first, I felt like I was incapable of doing anything right. Going from a straight A student to failing out of core classes left me feeling unintelligent and unmotivated. Eventually, I realized all those setbacks (failing Chemistry and barely getting through computer programming) were only pushing me down a different path, one I could walk along without falling on my face. Though I do not advise taking your sweet time figuring it out like I did, one extra year in college never hurt anyone (other than your bank account) and is not an embarrassment.

 

I want to reach out to fellow students that didn’t know their passion since birth. The students who wanted to be a princess when they were little, and sadly you can’t major in that. I want to reach out to fellow students who still need time to figure out what they want to do. I want to show them that it may be frustrating to be “behind” but giving up will never push you towards your goal, or something close to it. So here’s my story and I hope it makes you guys feel a little less alone and a little more motivated.

 

Coming into college I was going to major in the medical field to become some kind of doctor like my family expected, and I sort of liked the idea of physical therapy. That’s when my freshman biology final happened- and no, it wasn’t the test that made me realize the medical field wasn’t for me: right in the middle of the exam one of the students started seizing, I’m talking foam from the mouth, eyes in the back of his head, seizing. Honestly, I cried. The ambulance came right away as we continued taking our final, me still teary eyed, but thankfully he was OK. That experience made me conscious of the fact that I am far too emotional to work in those kind of high stress situations. And if it wasn’t just my reaction to the seizure, it was my reaction to Chemistry 1A that pushed me out of the medical track completely. I was disappointed. I was scared. I was lost.

 

What was I supposed to change my major to when I had no idea what I wanted to do in the first place? I did a lot of soul searching (mostly online) and that’s when it hit me, I love working with computers and I’m pretty darn good at it. Though I had finally discovered my calling I still went on to make my biggest mistake in college, and though I’m not proud to admit it, that’s saying a lot: I chose a major for the money.

 

While I loved the aspects of digital media, I opted to make that my minor and chose computer programming as my major. Any statistic will tell you that computer programming is the highest grossing major right now. It was interesting to learn the programming language. It had me thinking how basic things were coded and how much of our world is programmed. That being said, it did not excite me enough. I couldn’t imagine myself at a desk programming all day. It wasn’t something I woke up wanting to practice, not even a little. But thanks to a required assignment in one of the career professionalism courses I took a Myers-Brigg personality test and that’s where I came across a “marketing management” position in my top ranked careers based off my results. I looked into the kind of positions and careers the marketing field had to offer and that’s when I stumbled across digital marketing. Then, as another suggestion from Lonny Butcher and the career courses, I attended a meeting at The Exchange with “Purple Rock Scissors”, a company of digital trade that works on emerging technology and endorsing it in an “entrepreneurial environment”. The vice president, senior media strategist and marketing specialist spoke to us about digital marketing today and in the future, I really enjoyed their pitch and plan on reaching out to them for an internship. All in all it further validated the fact I really did love digital marketing. Finally, I had something to look forward to. I kept my minor in digital media and switched over to marketing for my major, where I am currently waiting acceptance.

 

I may have taken a few classes I didn’t need, cried on campus over grades, used all my grade forgiveness way earlier than intended and had some serious low moments of feeling like a loser, but I found comfort in marketing. And I think that’s when you know you found something that you actually wouldn’t mind doing for the next 40+ years of your life. You feel comfortable, things get a little easier and you find yourself more engaged in every aspect of your life.

 

My path to success (or at least my terms of it) was a long bumpy ride but I encourage you to never get to the point of calling yourself a failure, pick yourself up and keep looking for something you can succeed at.

 

Now I wont bore you with more of my story but before I sign out I would like to share some tips for any student at UCF that I am positive will help along the way:

  • Even if it’s a lecture/capture go once and make CLASS FRIENDS, they’re great reminders of upcoming due dates & people to study with
  • Advisors are your best friends, go as much as you can!
  • Get use out of UCF’s free tutoring system! SARC rocks
  • Set goals (e.g. finish general education classes by freshman summer or make the deans list at least once) – sounds obvious but with the whole college life it’s easy to get lost in the moment
  • Planners are your next best friend, or at least your iPhone reminders
  • Have a class schedule, college is not the place to be “laissez-fare”
  • Go to career fairs on campus- these employers are looking for fresh faces and students otherwise they wouldn’t be recruiting on campus
  • Remember failure is the first step to success

 

Dallas Scott, Junior, Pre-Marketing/ Digital Media

What If…?

What if you knew what you would do for the rest of your life by the time you were 6?

What if you could only ask one question every year?

What if you had to start every job like Jason Bourne, not knowing who you are or how you got there?

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Getting the Experience You NEED!

During my first semester of college I decided to major in Accounting. I knew nothing about accounting, all I knew was that I was good at math and figured I would make a great accountant. Shortly after, I decided to land my first “professional” job working with an accountant.

 

Getting a job as a Junior Accountant was very hard considering a had no experience. I spent hours each day looking at websites like Craigslist and Indeed in hope that someone would respond to my email. Finally, I heard from multiple employers willing to interview me! Fast forward a couple of weeks later and I began my first day working for a CPA. How did an 18-year-old freshman manage to land a job that college seniors were applying for as well? Here are my tips on how to obtain the experience you need!

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If Time Was Money I’d Need a Loan

I’ve been busy for as long as I can remember. Even as a young child, I played a number of sports and participated in many extracurricular activities. Fast forward to today and I am busier than ever, running a quickly growing business that requires more attention than a full-time job, being a part-time business student, working on gaining sponsors for a racecar, and attempting to keep somewhat of a social life intact. Some may think that I’m crazy for attempting to juggle all of these endeavors at the same time, but it’s not so difficult with proper planning and time management which was something I was never taught in school, but learned through plenty of trials and way too many errors.

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The End Result of an Internship

What is an internship? That is the question I thought I knew the answer to. You should do an internship in your major or you will waste your time doing something that is different. That is the worst misconception I had about an internship. I always thought that I should only do an internship on my specific major. I spent days, weeks, and even months looking for the perfect internship. I had specific requirements, such us pay, location, field, and schedule. I was never going to find the opportunity that would help me learn more about management. The purpose of an internship is to learn and gain knowledge from other professionals in a field.

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Why You Should Care About Numbers

Growing up there was nothing I disliked more than numbers and math. Spending hours working on my 10s times tables and 13th times tables was the bane of my early existence. Therefore it’s pretty ironic that I will be graduating this summer and starting my career as a data analyst. Never in my whole life did I think I was going too spend my days pouring through lines of data and numbers. But here I am using Excel for every portion of my job calculating efficiency rates and production! Now, why should you care about numbers? Well simply put, because they tell a story.

If you’ve spent any time in the College of Business here at UCF you’ve probably heard the whole “we are all in sales” speech. Well I’m here to tell you a new speech, you are all data analysts! No matter what position you take, there will be some kind of data generated! Unfortunately very few people actually look at this data, and if they do it’s a shallow analysis. This is where you, as a recent graduate or intern, can distinguish yourself from the established professionals! The ability to understand data and extract a meaningful story is invaluable too you and your company. Here are a few tips for how to get better at understanding data!

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