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How to succeed: Advice from successful seniors

DIY ideas for college students

Several seniors have provided their best tips on how to take advantage of resources, make connections within the community and ultimately find a path to success while making the most of Wright State University.

Mandy Shoopman | Photo taken by Erin Pence
Mandy Shoopman | Photo taken by Erin Pence

Mandy Shoopman graduated spring of 2018 Magna cum Laude with an undergraduate degree in Accounting.

She is currently an MBA student set to graduate this spring. She is a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory board for the college of business and works at Wright Patterson Air Force Base as a program manager.

Wyatt Stahl | Photo by Wyatt Stahl
Wyatt Stahl | Photo by Wyatt Stahl

Wyatt Stahl is a senior majoring in Biology with an applied physiology concentration and a minor in Psychology. Stahl runs for Wright State’s track and cross-country team as well as participating as an orientation mentor, a tutor and a supplemental instruction leader.

Meera Patel | Photo by Michael Rhinehart
Meera Patel | Photo by Michael Rhinehart

Meera Petel is a senior majoring in Political Science and minoring in Philosophy. She is involved with several campus organizations, works as a university writing coach and manages the financial accounts of the family business.

Her goal is to go to law school and become a judge or a well-established attorney.

Make Connections

Making connections is essential for getting internships and finding a job after graduating from college.

For some students, it can be difficult to put themselves out there, but there are easy ways to get noticed. One of the ways students can increase their chances of finding an internship is by talking to their advisors and getting to know their faculty. Many professors and faculty members are willing to write recommendations for students.

“A short hour or two of your time could be the deciding factor for your future,” said Shoopman. “It truly speaks volumes when you reach out to recruiters and show initiative to take the next step in your career, it truly does. I believe that many companies would rather choose a job candidate that they have met before, rather than somebody that they have only seen a description of on their resume.”

Take advantage of all of the events put on by Wright State. Career fairs are useful in making connections with future employers. One of the best things to do for yourself is to network before you actually need the job.

Career services speaker:

Thursday, Oct. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in 109 Oelman Hall

Wright State University Career Fair:

Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Student Union

It’s okay to fail

Failure is part of life. It happens to everyone. It’s important to remember that there is always a lesson to be learned from each mistake.

“Once I asked my dad why he let my mom win arguments even when he’s right. It’s something I saw him do several times, and I didn’t fully understand it. He said, ‘Sometimes you have to be the loser. Small issues are not the problem.’ That’s what failure is. It’s a small loss, but it’s not catastrophic. You are going to make progress in doing better next time than brooding over a blip. Failure does not stunt you; it teaches and motivates you” said Patel.

It’s okay to have doubts

Coming into college undecided, having doubts when it gets hard or even changing majors is normal, and not something that should be stressed over.

“I’m all about prioritizing yourself and your happiness. You are always going to be more successful in a field you have a passion for. Choose a field where you feel joy and your talents can thrive,” said Patel.

If undecided, spending time to take general education classes that pique interest can help provide clarity when choosing a major.

Additionally, don’t be deterred from changing majors. It is rare that students come into their first year of college knowing exactly what they want to do with their major without questioning changing.

“I had a roommate at my previous university who changed his major three or four times. He went from music to computer science to physics. Now he’s a biology major and he absolutely loves it. For some people, it may take multiple majors before they figure out something that they are truly passionate about, but you have time” said Stahl.

Know how to manage your stress

College is stressful, plain and simple. Students go to class and do hours of homework. On top of that, many are involved with several campus organizations and work.

Each person has to figure out a routine that works for them, but here are a few things to try:

Figure out what assignment is taking the majority of your time and power through so you can take a break and enjoy more time outside of schoolwork.

According to Stahl, dealing with stress essentially comes down to managing your time efficiently. Stahl keeps a whiteboard and plans out every detail of his day as well as future assignment due dates.

Use the campus resources

There are a multitude of on-campus resources available to students. The Student Success Center offers help with writing, resumes, cover letters and many more services. Wright State also has a tutoring program that is free to students.

“No one should be afraid to get a tutor. Getting a tutor is not a sign of unintelligence. I probably should have gotten a tutor for at least one of my classes that I could have done better, but I was stubborn,” said Stahl.

Talk to your professors

“It was not until my junior year that I truly took advantage of office hours and I can tell students from experience that it makes a world of a difference to physically go to a professor and ask questions,” said Shoopman.

Do not be afraid to reach out to professors and ask for help. They have office hours for a reason. They can answer any questions and further explain topics that might have come off as unclear.

“It’s easy for me to say, coming from somebody who has grown accustomed to balancing college life, but trust me when I say that you will get through whatever it is that’s been bothering you,” said Shoopman.

“Everybody in college is in some way, shape or form, going through the same things you’re going through, and when you surround yourself with these people, you’ll realize that you can and will succeed.”