Getting the Most Out of My College Experience 

When I first started college, I had a predetermined idea of what type of experience I would have. I had tunnel vision on this idea that I had to focus on academics. Because college was strictly for education, right? While this is mostly true, I found out that college is also the place to explore career paths and gain experience in specific industries. 

While I am still a student who believes in focusing on academics, I realized my time at the university was limited and I needed to explore what was available to me. College is such a unique experience because there are so many opportunities to examine different career options through a variety of opportunities such as career fairs, internships, panels/classroom presentations with professionals, and networking. 

When I decided I wanted a degree in psychology, I knew I had to get hands-on experience. It’s such a diverse field where I could possibly go anywhere, if I had the right mindset and experience under my belt. So, what did I want to do with my degree? I couldn’t answer this question at first.  

My family always had a motto of getting “Real world experience” and while I work on campus, I knew off-campus experiences are different and I wanted to start exploring these options before graduation. So, I decided to take this motto and look for an internship off-campus to explore the “real world.” It was time to start gaining experience in different fields so I could start narrowing down my career interests. 

Summer 2022, I got the opportunity to get an Internship with SARSEF for marketing. For me, this was something I never saw myself doing. But once I started it, I realized what doors it opened for me. Through this internship experience, I gained so much insight on what I could do for my future career. Because it was a marketing internship, I got to explore the non-profit organization, their message, and how they supported Arizona students exploring STEM. Through this internship, I also had the opportunity to work with local students and staff and this is when I realized I had a strong interest for helping students.  

While I knew I wanted to help people through my future career, I couldn’t point a finger at a direct position or career I wanted. But through this internship, I was able to find this. I realized I want to explore the field of supporting students who want to attend college and college students who need guidance with their degrees.  

After my internship was over, I never felt more confident in concluding my academic and career path. Through my internship, I was able to explore the opportunities available to me and get the “real world” experience. My college experience has changed so much because I have been able to understand that while I’m approaching my senior year, I’m ready to move into the next stage of the career that I found so much interest in through my internship.  

By Sarah Randolph
Sarah Randolph