Hi everyone! I hope you are enjoying a beautiful autumn season as you read this – change of weather is in the air, leaves are falling, rain clouds are forming, and its starting to feel like fall, which is so lovely here at USC!
One of the most exciting and nerve-wracking aspects of college is the way reality sits on the very near horizon. Time literally seems to fly by as we near the frightening but wonderful thing called the future. Everything we do here in college helps us prepare for this dynamically uncertain future, and our biggest mission is to find what we love doing so we can dedicate ourselves to doing this something for the rest of our lives as we choose a career. Figuring out what you love to do can often be a challenging process, and it takes us four years of college or longer to finally make a choice, and even when we do we often change our minds multiple times throughout our lives. This mission of “finding our passion” is no small feat!
If you’re like me, then when you realize the vast number of options for things you could do, you suddenly realize you want to do a little bit of everything! For me, the challenge has been narrowing down to choose just one career from the seemingly infinite options. To do so, I started picking things I knew I wanted in a career, then I narrowed down my choices from there (kind of like imposing necessary parameters on a materials graph in order to eliminate options and zero in on the best choice, as shown below – classes are in full swing so of course I had to make an academic reference!).
To be as methodical as possible I started to make a list – I know I want to work in medicine, I know I want to work with children, have a family, innovate and invent cool things that improve the lives of others better, and I know I definitely want to travel all around the world. Knowing these are things I want, my goal now is to try and find work as a biomedical engineer that will allow me to work in research and development, hopefully in patient care and hopefully someday abroad. Within every engineering major there is an incredible spectrum of possible careers. Like glass blowing, each individual therefore has to bend and shape to find this desired perfect fit. The best part, however, is being pleasantly surprised by all the amazing choices. Although frightening, nothing has been yet set in stone, so I have the incredible freedom to try anything and everything, experiment, explore, and discover new things, which is a blessing beyond measure – I can’t wait to explore all the great things out there!
Career season at USC starts early – I feel like all my friends already started interviewing yesterday! I still have miles to go and so much to learn about the epic career hunt, but here are some of the things I’ve learned so far:
- RESUME – Your resume really is important! I’ve been so blessed to have many great mentors, professionals, and talented friends look over my resume to give me good constructive advice on everything from content to colon placement.
- RESEARCH – Start to know what companies are out there and who does what so you are knowledgeable about potential opportunities and companies you might be interested in. It definitely helps to have a foundation of what is out there and discover what projects and programs make you excited!
- NETWORKING – At USC, there is a plethora of opportunities for networking and professional development and career connections. Over the course of two weeks, I have attended or will be attending the Viterbi Career Conference, SWE Professional Development Night, Viterbi Industry Networking Night, the Viterbi Career Fair, SWE Fall Evening with the Industry, and the ASBME Fall Evening with the Industry among numerous tech talks, info sessions, and internship panels. In my experience, it is best to attend as many events as possible to learn everything you can!
- BE ORGANIC – I have found that true passion overshadows all else. If you truly love what you do, it will be evident in your elevator pitch, your resume, your interview, and your conversations with recruiters. Prepare yourself well by polishing your resume and practicing your elevator pitch, but then know that at the end of the day if you love what you do, you can’t go wrong!
All this talk about a career can be very intimidating – I’ve had butterflies in my stomach for weeks preparing for these upcoming career events! The big picture take-away, however, is to remember that amidst all the craziness of this internship hunting season, it is pivotal to remember that ultimately it is the goal to “Choose a job you love” because if you do “you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Dr. Seuss once wrote an amazing, simple book (which I highly recommend) called “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” – Here in Viterbi, dreaming about a career is so exciting because I know we’ve all got amazing places we can go and amazing things we can do![author title=”Author” author_id=””] href="#" data-color-override="false" data-hover-color-override="false" data-hover-text-color-override="#fff">Button Text