Hey, I’m McKenzie and I am a double major in Cultural Entrepreneurship and Hispanic Studies. After this semester I will have completed my sophomore year at UMD. I moved to Duluth in Fall of 2015 and I found my favorite place soon after moving here my freshman year. There is a spot on the rocks near Lake Superior that is a bit of a hike, but well worth it. During the day you can dip your feet into the water and during the night you can set up a fire and gaze at the stars. I enjoy going into the woods and exploring new areas. I like to take my friends along with me since it is a great bonding experience when you discover new places together. I began working at Career and Internship Services Fall 2016, and it has been an amazing experience. Some of the best career advice that I have ever received was when I was told, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” My advice to peers about careers is an addition to the best career advice I have ever received. My advice is that our lives and the things that we love are constantly evolving, therefore our paths do not remain fixed, so always be open to opportunities and dabble with the ideas that grasp your curiosity.
Name: Whitney Majors: Psychology & Communication Year in School: Senior Length of time worked at UMD Career & Internship Services: January 2017 Favorite Place in Duluth: Dannie Duluth’s Consignment Hobbies: Thrift shopping, kayaking, traveling, bargain hunting, and working on DIY projects
Best career advice I have received: What you want to do for the rest of your life isn’t a fill in the blank, it is a paragraph or essay question. (Basically, life does not need to be figured out all at once, you choose what you do, and you are not required to do one thing for the rest of your life.)
Career Advice: Branch out, discover new things about yourself, skills you have, and things you are interested in. You have many skills and strengths you can bring into anything you do. Put your time, effort, and energy into activities you enjoy and find valuable.
Name: Kimberly Major: Management Information System Minor: Healthcare Management Year: Junior When I Started Working at C&IS: Fall 2016 Favorite Place in Duluth: The Lakewalk Favorite Hobbies: Soccer, Volleyball, and Working Out Fun Facts: I hate cheese. Best Career Advice You’ve Received: Explore all the possibilities before you settle on a career. Piece of Career Advice You Have for Other Students: Experiences is crucial; so never think you have enough.
Name: Tori Major: Human Resource Management Minor: Communication Year in school: Junior Length of time worked at UMD Career & Internship Services: Started Fall 2016 Favorite place in Duluth: Hartley, Lester, and Chester Park… anywhere you can hammock! Favorite hobbies: I loveorganizing, playing soccer and basketball, hiking, skiing, dancing at weddings, and driving up the shore with friends. Fun Facts: I am from Austin, MN, also known as Spamtown, USA. I’ve hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim, jumped in a glacier fjord in Norway, and summited three 14,000 foot mountains! If you get to know me well, you may get the chance to hear me drop a beat and rap. Best career advice you’ve received: Connections are the key to success. Using who you know and what you know will get you to where you want to be. Continue to build new friendships, professional relationships, and make sure you maintain those connections. You never know who could have your back in the future. Piece of advice you have for other students: Do your best and forget the rest! Be authentic. It’s so simple, but so true. Put your best foot forward and let others see who you are.
During my first week as a UMD student, I walked through a tunnel with my fellow incoming students, lined by upperclassmen orientation leaders, staff, and faculty cheering as we were welcomed to the UMD community. Just a couple months ago, I walked through a similar tunnel. Except this time, it was lined by faculty members dressed in commencement regalia while I was outfitted with my black robe and gold tassel. This time, I walked through that tunnel on my last day as a UMD student.
That wasn’t my last act as a member of the UMD community; I have still been working in the office over the summer. It also wasn’t my last day as a student, as I will be starting a graduate program this fall. But it was the last day of my four years as a UMD student, years which were filled with experiencing more change in myself than I could have possibly wrapped my mind around as a lost and intimidated freshman.
While at UMD, I spoke to a lecture hall’s worth of people, voluntarily, on several occasions. In high school, I couldn’t speak in front of a small class without my voice trembling. At UMD, I danced and yelled and acted a fool while wearing a bright t-shirt and flower headband, for a week, surrounded by hundreds of people. In high school, I did everything I could to disappear into my surroundings, and avoided attention at all costs. At UMD, I completed my psychology degree and got accepted into a counseling grad program. In high school, I had never taken a psychology class nor considered a profession in which I would be so closely involved with others.
I have a distinct and difficult memory of the day when I made the jump from my high school life to my college one. My parents and brothers had helped me move my things into my dorm and shop for dorm-friendly snacks and decor, and now all that was left was to say goodbye. Leading up to that day, I had been excited about being on my own. But when the moment came to stand on a new campus in a new city full of strangers while my family drove away, I hesitated. I tried feebly to say something that would keep them around a little longer, because I suddenly felt lost and alone, terrified of what my shy self would do when my support system left me.
I like to think of that moment when I look toward the day in the near future when I will be moving across the country to begin a new program at a new school in a state where I don’t know a soul. It’s a similar situation, yet this time, I’ll have four years of growth and strength to draw on. I started at UMD shy, timid, alone, and confused, but I’m leaving it open, confident, and capable.
Reflecting on all this, I can think of so many things I wish I could have told my college self throughout the past 4 years. In the absence of this opportunity, I’ll write my advice here, in the hopes that some other college student might benefit.
So, here’s what I can tell you. Know that you won’t be the same person as you move your tassel across your cap on commencement day as you were when you first walked on campus as an 18-year-old. Know that the changes that occur during that time in between are up to you, mostly. Know that your openness to new experiences, new people, and new ideas will become the foundation and the finishing touch on your college experience. Know that there will be things that happen to you, both good and bad, which will influence that experience just as much as the things you choose to do. Know that you don’t need to be in such a rush to figure it all out. It’ll happen somehow, perhaps without you even knowing it.
Most importantly, know that college is going to end one day, and after that, you are pushed out of the educational bubble you’ve lived in most of your life and will truly be responsible for the state of your existence. So before that day, take advantage of these years to focus on yourself.
Flip all the furniture around in the lounge of the dorm floor below yours (ahem..just kidding..I definitely never did that…). Stay up way too late hanging out with your friends even though you have a test at 8am the following day. I promise you, you’ll remember those late nights more than you’ll remember whatever grade you’ll get on that test. Take a ceramics class even though your parents are pushing you to be a doctor like the rest of the family. Embrace every crazy, fun, overwhelming, emotional, unforgettable moment.
If done right, your college years will be ones you’ll miss. I know I will.
When I first started working at C&IS: September of 2015
Favorite Place in Duluth: My favorite place in Duluth is a location named by the locals called Roxbury. It is a little hike off of the Superior Hiking Trail that is an open rock “platform” with amazing views. I go here to study, watch the sunset, have a picnic and relax. I love it because it over looks all of Duluth and Superior!
Favorite Hobbies: My favorite hobbies are playing sports, especially lacrosse and hockey.
Best career advice I have received: The best advice I have been given is actually a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Career advice that I have for others: Pursue what you are passionate about and do not settle for less. In the end, doing what you love will bring you the most happiness.
Name: Kirsi Major: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Double Major Minor: Computer Engineering Minor Year in school: Junior Length of time worked at UMD Career & Internship Services: Started Spring 2016 Favorite place in Duluth: Any shore on Lake Superior with ample sea glass to find. Favorite hobbies: Drawing, playing Magic the Gathering and kayaking. Fun Facts: Current Co-op for NASA Johnson Space Center. Instead of pretending to hold important landmarks in photos I lick them. I have licked the White House, Chicago Bean, last Space Shuttle landing site, and St. Louis Archway. Best career advice you’ve received: Do not weed yourself out. Although you may be doubtful of your qualification for a job but you are passionate about it apply for the position anyway. Give the hiring manager the final say. You may be surprised about what the employer sees in you. Piece of career advice you have for other students: Start thinking about your career as early as possible. You do not need to have your whole life figured out. Simply keep in mind what disciplines you are interested in, what work environment would be the best for you and imagine your ideal life in five years. Once you have a vision set goals to make it happen. Network with professionals who have your dream job, attend job fairs/conferences and intern.