2021 Reflection: 4 Things I Learned About Professionalism as a College Student
Updated: Aug 3, 2022
While navigating my second year at Arizona State University, I have learned so much about how to become a stronger businesswoman. Even though I have more to learn, I think that it is important to reflect on my growth this year, and possibly help others with what I have learned!
This year was a year of growth— I went from learning through Zoom from the comfort of my childhood home in New Jersey to moving across the country to start my college experience in person at Arizona State University. While I have had the privilege to expand my network and learn from many, I have been able to absorb so much information about what kind of professional I want to become. Professionalism looks different for everyone, but to me, it comes down to three things: Empathy, mentorship, and leadership. Throughout this year, I have been able to strengthen my skills with these four things I have learned about professionalism:
1. Getting involved on campus is so important.
While being a college student, I have joined four organizations and held one position within the W.P. Carey School of Business. While being active on campus, I have not only met such incredible people that inspire me but I have also learned so much and gained a lot of experience about industries that interest me. There are hundreds of organizations and positions available on college campuses, and I always encourage every college student I know to get involved! After all, you have to get experience somehow, so it is the perfect way to start! Actually, because I joined a marketing club, I learned that I have a passion for it, so I switched my major this year— best decision EVER!
2. Get a mentor and be a mentor— both are learning experiences.
One of the organizations that I am a part of has a Mentor-Mentee Program where mentees are matched up with a mentor that can help them throughout their collegiate career, professionally and personally. I would say that this program has been extremely eye-opening because I have experienced being a mentee AND being a mentor this year. It is was scary— sometimes I did not feel that I was qualified to mentor someone, but I realized that I can still learn so much from the people I mentor. Mentorship is something that is extremely important to me because everyone should be able to continue growing their perspectives in every way.
3. Try to figure out what you are passionate about.
The keyword is to try. Of course, since we are always changing, our passions may change! However, I find that it is important to figure out at least one thing you love and run with it! During the Spring 2021 semester, I applied for a position on campus to become a WPC 101 Facilitator. After getting this position, during the Fall 2021 semester, I engaged with a class of 19 business students by using personal experiences and knowledge to deliver a business course and guide them to success. After I finished teaching in the Fall 2021 semester, I reflected on what I learned. From my reflection, I realized that I am passionate about mentorship and leadership. So, what can you take from this? Try something new— maybe you can figure out what your passions are.
4. Celebrate all wins. Learn from all losses.
All accomplishments are worth celebrating. For me, if I get one step closer to a goal I have, it is a win. However, sometimes things do not go as planned, and that is okay! When something does not go as planned, learn from it, and ask yourself: "What can I do next time to make this a win?". For example, while applying for internships in Spring 2021, companies turned me away for my lack of experience, so I knew I needed to learn from this and make a change. During the Fall 2021 semester, I started three leadership positions where I was gaining experience in marketing, leadership, and more. Eventually, after applying for several internships, I finally landed an internship at an amazing company! Of course, that was a major goal I was so excited to accomplish, but I am not done winning yet!
As human beings, we are forever evolving. The same thing goes for professionals— we are constantly becoming stronger through different experiences and learning opportunities. For me, I know that I have more to learn throughout my professional career, and I am so excited to see what is to come.
Thank you, 2021. I will never forget the lessons learned— cheers to a new year filled with growth and aspirations and manifestations coming true!