I know this is cliché, but it’s absolutely true. I’m only a sophomore in college. As a sophomore, it's hard to get paid for the things you want to do and find the work experience you need. More still, the work experience you do get is usually shoddy at best. My work experience includes working as a birthday party coach, a camp counselor, a glorified phone salesperson, a tutor and a bank teller. Sure, it’s a lot. However, is it relevant to my field? Probably not…
I’m a Digital Communications major and my dream is to go into marketing/advertising as a copywriter. Since I can't ask someone to hire me with my vast inexperience, I decided to pursue activities that would reflect a desire to learn and grow in my particular field. You’d be surprised how one activity and opportunity leads to the next in a grand snowball effect.
I was extremely shy about my love of writing at the beginning of college, since I always considered it a ‘silly pipe-dream.’
However, because I loved it, I naturally gravitated toward activities with writing. I started out as a guest writer for Chimes, the Calvin student newspaper. However, as I wrote more and more articles people began to recognize my work. I went from contributing writer to on-call writer, where I got paid per article I wrote. I even had one article receive so much response that a person from Meijer reached out to me asking me to apply for their internship in Grand Rapids! While I did not end up applying, you’ll never know where one thing will lead.
Writing for Chimes led to starting my personal blog. I just couldn’t get enough of writing! Next came an opportunity for an unpaid internship at my church, which seemed like a great idea at the time but ended up being too large a time commitment to manage. After that, I started writing for TheOdysseyOnline and then received enough notoriety that I was asked to co-edit the Calvin chapter of Odyssey with my editor-in-chief and now good friend, Meghan Worley. And, for frosting on the cake, a friend recommended me for CalvinBlogs, and I’m happy to say it’s been one of the biggest blessings so far at Calvin! I never thought stepping out in one area would lead to all these opportunities, but I’m so happy to look back and see where I am now. All of these things, some jobs and others unpaid activities, all led to a rather impressive resume for a sophomore in college. While these activities may seem fruitless now, they may end up being key aspects of your resume or potential networking tools. It just goes to show that you should never give up what you love to do.