Tag Archives: networking

Finding Your Wildcat Family

26 Sep

I remember the night before my first day as a college student.  With my backpack ready and my class schedule printed out, I thought about how many friends I was going to make, all the new adventures I’d have, and, most importantly, how many clubs and organizations I’d be in. I was about to set off on a journey to find my own crazy, fun, and unique “Modern Family”.

Since I was living off-campus my freshmen year, I wanted to make sure I was as involved as possible so I felt like I was a part of the campus. In high school, I was in almost every club offered. I was president of my class, secretary of three clubs, and tutored Spanish three days out of the week. (Fun Fact: I don’t even speak Spanish, so I don’t even know how I qualified for that position.) When I look back on my high school years, those activities are what I remember most. I knew that going into college, if there was an opportunity to get involved, I took it! Then I heard the most magical words to ever come out of a UA student’s mouth: “There are over 500 clubs on campus.” My mind nearly exploded with pure excitement.

hyper

 

On the second day of school, I went to the involvement fair on the mall– tent after tent of brochures and posters of every club I could imagine.  The first club I found an interest in was very similar to my high school student council. So, I decided to apply. I went through the entire process of attending socials and interviews. After meeting the other applicants, there was no doubt that these people would be my “college buddies” and this club would be my new home.

But a couple of weeks later, I received a rejection letter. I was devastated. I saw the rejection letter as a message that I wouldn’t have a home on campus. I only had a couple of friends on campus from high school and they were already friends with the people in their hall or found a club. So, here I was. I was lost and didn’t know what to do next.

crying

After a few days (and an embarrassing number of phone calls with my mom), I picked myself up and decided to keep trying. I knew what kind of college experience I wanted and I was going to make it happen! I was more determined than Lily on her first day of kindergarten.

cantwaittolearn

I went on to ASUA’s website and looked at the list of clubs. Some clubs definitely weren’t for me, but I saw some that interested me. I narrowed it down and attended some club meetings.  None of my friends were interested, so I went alone. I was a very dependent person, so flying solo was something very difficult for me to do- but I took the leap!

I decided to try to join a club whose focus was helping animals. If you know anything about me, you know that I love our furry friends! This had to be my place; there was no question about it! But, lo and behold, it just didn’t work out. Of course I loved the puppies (who wouldn’t?), but I just didn’t seem to click with the members. This happened a few times as I tried different clubs. It was now a month into school and I was questioning if I was doing college the “right way”. 

 

ivedonenothing

 

I was discouraged, but I kept trying different clubs. Then, one day, I went to a club meeting and thought, “I could get into this”. I went to a second meeting the week after and then to a third. I started to love spending time with the people there. I quickly made friends and believed in what the club’s goals were. At the time, I had no idea that these people would be the defining aspect of my college career, but soon enough, we were Gloria and Cam:

friends

I’m currently in my junior year and have an officer position in the club. I can wholeheartedly say that the club members are some of my best friends and they are totally invited to my future wedding (#isthatweird). It was a difficult road to find my place on campus, but when I finally found it, I knew it was perfect for me.

Going through this journey at the beginning of my freshman year taught me that everyone has their place, but it’s up to you to take the leap and find it! Sure, some of my high school friends found a place to fit in by the end of the first week. I didn’t find my home until about Week 6, but I FOUND IT! I tried and I tried and I finally found it. Just like the characters in Modern Family, we’re quirky, weird, and somehow found each other in unusual ways, but we love each other always. Even today, I feel like my Wildcat family was made just for me and I still cannot believe how lucky I am to have them in my life. So, I share this message to you: It doesn’t matter how late it is in the semester or how late it is in your college career, there is a place for you on our campus. All you need to do is take the leap and find your Wildcat Family.

thumbsup

 

–Briana

 

P.S.  Here’s the second part of the Lily’s “Can’t wait to learn!” GIF, because it’s hilarious. I laugh every time.

cantwaittolearn2

Clubs for Everyone!

17 Aug

During the first week of school there are many events happening at all times in class and on the mall (big grass area in front of the SUMC). As a first year student it may be overheliming coming to such a big University, but let me inform you from experience that you will find your community here! One of the most beneficial events for first year students is the ASUA Fall Club Fair. I have been to this event and can promise you that there is a club for everyone, and, if there is not, you can even create one with your friends! 

The 2012 annual ASUA Fall Club Fair will be taking place… 

  • Day: Wednesday, August 22nd
  • Time: 10am-2pm
  •  Location:  SUMC Mall.

This is open to all clubs, recognized and unrecognized! This is one of the only times you will be able to explore every club to see what interests you. I suggest to narrow your choices down to your top 3 or less so you can really connect with the those students in that certain club. To see a list of all the clubs that may be at the event, visit the ASUA Website and browse based on your interests.

Leaving on Good Terms

25 Apr

While I was at the Tucson Padres baseball game on Friday I got the chance to meet a grad student who is finishing up her first year at the school I will be attending next year. I asked her if she could give me any general advice that would help me transition from my undergrad years. Here is what she emphatically stressed and what I think can apply to more areas than one:

Don’t burn any bridges.

Especially if you plan on going into a professional program, it’s going to be a small world. I remember something that the organizers of Pima County Teen Court always tell volunteers is, “Even if you don’t know someone, you know someone who knows that person.” Essentially, we all have mutual friends. And this is great if you want to network, but it can also be seriously detrimental if you deal with drama in such a way that all remnants of a positive relationship are lost.

Things may be piling up now that it’s almost the end of the semester and maybe your boss isn’t being flexible with scheduling hours around your review sessions and final exams or maybe the only way that your roommate deals with end-of-term stress is to revert to Ultra-Bitch Mode.

Just take a deep breath, try to ignore or deal with them in a mature manner, and remember that a great cloud of anxiety/stress/pressure/etc. will be lifted after the second week of May.

When the World is Out to Get You…

12 Apr
You’re either the hunter or hunted. So how can I help you get yourself to become the hunted in the career world?

Throughout my short 3 years of college life, I have been to 5 career fairs, compiled a total of 25 resumes, applied to over 24 job positions, gone to 18 interviews, and have worked 9 different jobs. Yeesh.
But where did my insane job-hunt start? The moment I reconnected with old acquaintances.

If it was not for a high school requirement, I would not have gone to visit my 5th grade teacher during my Senior year. If it weren’t for my 5th grade teacher, I would not have gotten a job! People say that networking is really important for your future. And they never mention how simple it can be. The conversation between my teacher and I went roughly like this:

Teacher: “You don’t have a job yet? You should get one!”
Me: “No one will hire me… You should help me get one!”
Teacher: -insert thinking face here- “Right here! We’re hiring right now.”

Two days later, I’m hired to work for an after school day care. Did I know what I was getting myself into? No. But quite honestly, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I got hired for 9 out of 9 jobs.
Bottom Line: Just ask your neighbor if he/she knows anyone who’s hiring.

My 3rd job, in retail, was all thanks to a classmate of mine. She tipped me off when the store was hiring, since the place did not publicly advertise it. Thanks to her, I had less competition.
The 4th job was a summer position–I just wanted a job, and people were hiring. Don’t ask what you’ll be doing, and you won’t have expectations. Without expectations, you can convince yourself to get a great job! I ended up having a blast teaching for a summer, and I honestly did not know that I was going to be teaching.
I had to chase my 8th job down. It took me a month, but I got it. If you want a job bad enough, and you talk to the employees, search their company site, apply to every single job position that you’re interested in, then call them up to make sure that they look at your resume, they’ll remember you. Just make sure that you come off as friendly and determined, not rudely insistent.

So really, in order to become the hunted, you’ll have to do some hunting. Ask around, see if the person sitting next to you knows anyone who is hiring for anything. Then, when you apply for that job position, tell the interviewer that so-and-so referred you. Referrals are big bucks. Bonus points. Mega-I’m-the-one-you-should-hire hints. I mean, wouldn’t you hire someone that your friend has nothing but praise for? That’s when you turn into the hunted.

Getting Connected

10 Apr

Two words to describe what kind of person I used to be up until about last year: socially awkward. I would try my hardest to avoid talking to people and would instead keep to myself most of the time. If you had put me in a room with a random stranger or even someone I was acquainted with, no conversation would have been made that day. The end.

Fortunately, I grew out of this prolonged awkward phase and started meeting people. I volunteered at several different places. I went to club meetings and events. I helped plan and run events. I became a preceptor for a course I had taken. I got hired for a couple of jobs.

Most of it had no direct connection to the pharmacy field, but all of this networking ended up helping me in the best of all possible ways. Applicants to the UA College of Pharmacy have to go through an interview conducted by a faculty member or a respected pharmacist in the community. The pharmacist who interviewed me happened to work at the place that I have been volunteering at for the past 10 months. He also mentors for AZ Assurance, which I have had some experience with as an Outreach Facilitator. We talked about working in a research lab, even though what he was researching was a bit different than what I was doing with tobacco.

Point is, whether it’s a paid job or volunteering, related to your major or not, if you see some value in it in terms of networking, go for it. You never know when a relationship that you build now will help you establish another important one in the future.