Something I wish I did differently – Leanne Kopec

I am now in my last semester at GMC and as I am getting ready to go out into the real world (i.e. working on cover letters and searching for jobs) there is something that I wish I had done differently:

I am looking for jobs mostly in the field of environmental consulting and/or sustainability planning and while I am reviewing the skills that I will need for some of these positions, I have realized that it has actually been quite some time since I have learned these things.  The last class I took which completed the requirements for my concentration in policy, Environmental Law, which was also the last class I took which directly relates to the type of career I have chosen, I took over a year ago; during the fall semester of my junior year! While I have been taking other classes which I do really enjoy and while contribute to my education in many ways, it seems like so long since I have learned about policy. 

When I was planning out my classes during each registration time freshmen and sophomore year, it made a lot of sense to take the classes I really need now, rather than later, to ensure that I will be able to complete all of my requirements.  However, it was almost too quick.  I really wish that I had sat down early on in my career here and planned out my schedule for each semester (classes are usually offered on a rotation like every other semester, every fall/spring, every third semester, et cetera) so you can figure out when the classes you need will be offered.  

I am not suggesting to put off your important classes until right before you graduate and there are many reasons why you shouldn’t; professors go on sabbatical, catalogs and therefore classes that are offered change, time conflicts, and you do not want to be doing many hard classes during your last semester, also you want to be very prepared if you do an internship (which I think everyone should) between your junior and senior year.  

I guess what I am saying is just don’t rush through things.  Even though time here goes by very fast, you will have enough to do what you need to.  So, take your time freshmen year; if you know your major, take the intro class, but take a lot of other random classes that seem interesting to you and that do not go directly with your major (for me, I wish I had taken classes in ceramics, photography, GIS, and more classes in agriculture and anthropology).  This will expose you to many more subjects and will give you a much more broad outlook on things, as well as give you some comparison between your chosen major and other subjects. Don’t forget about the Liberal Arts aspect of your degree.  

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