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Professionalism 101

Figure out what you want to do, not what to put on your resume

Instead of focusing on building your resume, focus more on learning and figuring out what you want to do.

Hannah Demissie



As a junior at American University, I’m getting closer to graduation and as time has gone on, I been getting asked a specific question often: What do you want to do after college?

When I think of situations like these, I look back to being a senior in high school and figuring out what I wanted to do after school, actually not figuring it out; I knew I was going to college. By the time November rolled around, I already got accepted into two out of the seven colleges I had applied too, and I wasn’t going to hear back from the rest until the second semester of senior year.

This time though it’s different. When you’re getting close to graduating college that’s when you really have to figure out what you want to do with your life or have an idea. By no means am I saying you need to have it all together by the time you graduate, but for myself at least I would like to know my next step.

For me, doing internships have been a great outlet for finding out what I want to do. Writing for College Media Network and interning at Mothership Strategies has given me a lot of insight into what I like and most importantly what I don’t like.

It seems like though there has been a shift to why people pursue internships during college. It feels like now that college students get internships to build their resume instead of their skills and discovering what they want to do.

College classes give you the tools and background knowledge you need for an internship, but it doesn’t necessarily tell you what type of work or job you’ll be interested in later on in life. Only real-world experiences will tell you that. Students now have become so focused on building their resume and trying to score internships at companies that are very well known, that they’re missing the entire point of what having an internship is about.

The years you spend in college are the best because with each new semester is a new opportunity at a different internship and figuring out what you want to do.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

I'm a rising junior at American University majoring in political science. Besides writing for CMN, I'm also a tour guide at American University, a senator in Student Government, and a member of my sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi. You can check out more of my writing on my blog:

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