In the first few weeks or months of your time at the University of Illinois, you may find it beneficial to seek out opportunities to become more involved with your major outside of the classroom and regular homework. Finding organizations, part-time jobs, and internships that support your major and interests will be a great help in your understanding of what you’re studying. Real-world, hands-on experience adds a dimension to the college experience that can’t be overlooked. You will also find that meeting other people who are gaining the same kind of experience will be a fantastic way to increase your network. Knowing others in your field and working on projects with these people can open doors for you later on. Who knows? Someday down the line, you might be searching for a job or internship, or maybe you will need help with a project that requires a skillset broader than your own. A connection you made through getting involved on campus could be the key to making your project or job hunting experience the best it can be.
Getting involved starts at Quad Day, an organization fair held on the Quad at the beginning of each fall semester. With so many registered student organizations (RSOs) across every major and interest reaching out to students at this large event on the Quad, it is not hard to find a group that will spark your interest. Throughout college, you may also find that the best extracurricular experiences you have are the ones that you never expected. You may have friends or acquaintances that encourage you to connect with organizations and projects that may help you to gain valuable experience. The key is to keep an open mind and to always put your best foot forward. While there will occasionally be things that just don’t work out, other opportunities will fall into place perfectly.
The University of Illinois is the perfect place to get involved outside the classroom. Our large and diverse student body represents an amazing amount of interests and paths that can provide a student with many unique opportunities to support and contribute to amazing work. Your resume will soon be filled with the advancements you made throughout college, which will help you to reach the heights of the career that you choose. Now is the time to explore and achieve. The road ahead is filled with possibilities.