In high school, we were told to join clubs and volunteer for our applications for college. In college, we’ve been told the same, but for graduate school and entering the work force.
So what actually helps once you’re in the real world?
“I wish I had selected a more practical major,” said Billy Breeden, who graduated from Troy in 2012 with a social science degree. “I went in undecided, but my scholarship required me to pick one.”
Breeden is pursuing an MBA while working in the Army reserves.
“College prepared me for an adult workload and helped me mature socially,” Breeden said. “It also helped me realize that college is not necessarily required and that sometimes a trade school would suit folks more appropriately.”
“What prepared me was being as involved and as busy as possible,” said Taylor Oaks, a 2013 Troy graduate. “I was balancing working two jobs, being a full-time student, student government, Army ROTC, Pi Kappa Phi and volunteering.”
Oaks is currently an operations manager at an Amazon.com fulfillment center in South Carolina. He cited leadership roles in both his fraternity and the Army in teaching him time management, networking and other skills that have been important in creating a good work and life balance.
“I wish I had done more networking in school and kept in touch with more of my peers throughout school and after I graduated,” Oaks said.
“Part of my college career that prepared me for life was the demands of reading, writing and critical thinking placed on me at Troy in the department of political science and the Johnson Center,” said Ryan Spires, a 2013 Troy graduate. “I really learned a lot about teaching myself, research and thinking more divergently from my professors at Troy, and it made graduate school a very easy transition.”
Spires will soon have his M.A., and hopes to earn a doctorate later.
“My time in the Sound of the South taught me about attitude, consistency and hard work,” Spires said of what else he learned at Troy. “Being punctual, consistent and having a desire to improve was instilled in me on the field, and employers have told me it is a strong suit of mine.”
Spires had one thing he would change, though.
“One thing I wish I would have done differently would have been to study abroad long term in undergrad,” he said. “The opportunity to attend school in another country for a long period of time would have complemented my formal and personal education greatly.”