“A lot of people waste a lot of time in college,” said graduating senior Philip Agee. “If you actually do anything in college, you would graduate with a real skill and not be so clueless, unprepared and terrified
“I haven’t done anything to prepare,” said Agee, a criminal justice major from Bay Minette. “The only thing I’ve done to prepare is join the Army.”
Agee will be commissioned into the Army as a second lieutenant after graduation in May.
“I have a set career that I am contractually obligated to be in, and I did that on purpose,” he said.
However, Agee still held some regrets about his college career.
“Wasting so much time in college procrastinating and not improving myself,” he said. “If I had started going to the gym as a freshman, I’d be jacked right now.”
As Agee wished that he had begun preparation earlier than his senior year, others have been trying to prepare earlier.
Kelly Evans, a junior psychology major from Paxton, Florida, has almost completed her first semester at Troy since transferring from a community college closer to home.
“I’ll get my bachelor’s and then go to a different college that has my degree program for my master’s,” Evans said. The degree she is pursuing after Troy is one in behavioral therapy. “After that I’ll go into the school system and work with children.”
Having changed her mind to go into this specific field just a few weeks ago, Evans recalls a time that a boy threw a chair in her mother’s classroom and Kelly wondered “what makes people think like that.”
“I’ve kind of been the little therapist to all my friends and family,” she also said. “Whenever they have troubles they come to me.”
“I’m trying to get all my classes out of the way,” Evans said of preparing for a career. “I have a lady that will help me with my internship.”
Having researched her career path, she saw that it will include a large amount of coursework and studying. She has a couple of questions for those who are already working in the field.
“ ‘What did you do to keep yourself sane through the coursework?’ ” she said, laughing. “Like is there some sort of yoga or meditation technique?”
Others even earlier in their college careers still have an idea of what they need to be doing, though.
Jordan Ochoa, a freshman Spanish major from Homewood, said that she wants to be a translator.
“I’ve kind of been thinking about doing it at a elementary school, and that way I could help kids learning English,” she said. She also mentioned she was open to the idea of translating in the military.
“I’ve visited Ecuador and stayed there for two weeks, so that helped me immerse in the culture and learn more, and I’ve been taking classes,” she said.
“Probably what to minor in to actually make me look more professional, like I know what I’m doing,” she said when asked about questions she still had for getting through school and getting into a career. “Because being a Spanish major is good, and it’s good to know another language, but it’s like — what else can you do?”
Staff at Career Services, located on campus in Eldridge Hall room 104, had advice for students in all stages of college.
“If you’re an underclassman, it’ll be career exploration — finding out what type of job you want to do according to a strength,” said Lauren Cole, coordinator of the Troy campus Career Services. “Upper: helping them network, resumes, mock interviews so that students can get some practice.”
“Come as soon as you get to Troy,” said Emily Reiss, career counselor. “We would like to see students visit once a year at a minimum so we can be with them through their career at Troy and landing them that job by graduation.”
“Students should try to visit their career center earlier in their college career,” Cole agreed about common student mistakes. “Networking with the people in the industry they’re in — that needs to be done earlier so graduation doesn’t come up and they’re lost in the shuffle.”
“Just waiting until the last minute,” Reiss said of mistakes. “When you’re in the last semester of your senior year, we can still help you, but if you had come earlier, we can help a lot more — then we would really know you and can walk you through the process.”
“I think I would have done an internship instead of just working a part-time job during the summer,” said Cole of mistakes that she was guilty of in college. “It makes connections and builds your resume, and it’s so competitive right now.”
“First, come to the career center,” Cole said, addressing freshmen and those interested in taking steps toward their future careers. “Just talking through their thoughts about their career and what their major is. Even if they don’t walk away with the exact career that they want, just start the conversation.
“It doesn’t have to be just through the career center — if they have family or friends in the industry that they can network with, they can do that on their own.”
It isn’t all just networking, resumes and internships, though. Cole also recommends that students participate in well-rounded activities, such as clubs or studying abroad, to add to their resumes.
“Make sure everything you do gets you one step closer to that job you are looking for,” Reiss said.