5 Things Career Counselors Wished Incoming Freshmen Did Their First Year

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 4/10/15 9:00 AM

If you haven’t figured out your dream career and you’re starting to look at colleges, it’s okay! You’re not alone. Not by a long shot.

child inside a cardboard rocketship

Not everyone grew up knowing they wanted to be an  astronaut

In fact, there are plenty of college students halfway through their degree programs who still wonder what they want to do after they graduate. 

Still, we want to encourage you to start exploring your options now. College is going to afford you so many opportunities to try new things, explore fields of study, connect with people, and figure out what really matters to you.

There is literally no better time to sort out what you want to do with your life!

Any college career counselor can tell you how panicking college seniors come to them in droves a couple months before graduation, stressed about jobs—and how much more they could help them if only they had started coming in sooner.

We talked with some of our career counselors here at IPFW and asked them what they wished incoming freshmen would do when they start their first year.

Career Counselors Speak: 5 Things They Wish You Would Do as an Incoming Freshman

1. Make an appointment to actually meet with them.

Career counselors help students with more than finding jobs, perfecting résumés, and doing mock interviews. They are there to help you with the whole career process. That means helping you explore your interests, even if you have no idea what you want to do when you start school or after you graduate. They can help you pick some areas of interest to explore and suggest classes to get you started.

man weaving a basekt

Basket weaving? Yeah, you can even take classes in that.

2. Pick classes with the intention of finding out your interests. 

General education (Gen-Ed) requirements are a great way to create well-rounded students, but they’re also a great excuse for new students to explore different areas of study.

You’ll probably have some flexibility in which class you choose to satisfy a gen-ed requirement, so choose something you’re curious about—you never know where it might take you.

3. Get involved!

Join clubs. Go to events. Meet new people.

It sounds so simple, but how else are you going to discover a part of yourself that you never knew existed or a passion for something that you never thought you would like?

4. Consider a summer internship or externship.

Why get a typical summer job when you can build some experience for your résumé and try out a field you’ve always been curious about? We can help connect you with possible internship, externship, cooperative education, or job shadowing opportunities with local businesses and nonprofits. 

5. Did we mention go see your career counselor?

Check in with your school’s career counselor regularly. We mean it when we say they are there for the whole process—from helping you figure out what interests you to connecting you with opportunities to helping you prepare for the job market after you graduate. Stop by and chat with a counselor regularly about where you are and where you want to go. 


Next Steps: Download the IPFW Viewbook

As Indiana’s only Multisystem Metropolitan University, IPFW combines the global prestige of two prominent institutions—Indiana University and Purdue University—our beautiful nearly 700-acre campus, all at an affordable rate and right here in Fort Wayne.

We offer a variety of opportunities with more than 200 academic programs, tons of scholarship and financial aid options, and an incredible student experience with luxury housing options, 14 NCAA Division I athletics programs, and more than 120 student organizations—and so much more.Learn What It Means to Ba a Mastodon: Download the IPFW Viewbook


Topics: Choosing a College





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