Amy Schuster Roger Williams Alumna – When you first enter college as a freshman you have simple goals in mind. You start the semester by making many new friends, meeting professors, colleagues, and of course taking a number of general education classes required by RWU. By the second semester all you want to do is dive into the necessary classes needed to fulfill the major of your liking.
You dream of yourself one day in the perfect working world, managing a position of your choosing. You daydream how wonderful life will be when you finally graduate. Being on your own, making your own financial decisions–including paying back your student loans–coming and going from your own home, buying a vehicle, traveling and perhaps even relocating to a different part of the country and/or globe.
Now here it comes, your final semester. You have to make a crucial decision and ask yourself that serious question: what do I plan on doing when I get out of school? Where will I work? You’ll start to recall all the advice from your advisors, internship directors, RWU staff, friends, and family. You know there are business fairs and possible job placement interviews. The trained Career Center staff will assist in writing your resume. Personnel from many diverse companies come to RWU and take the time to interview you for possible entry level positions within promising companies of your choosing. They may even fly you to their headquarters for an extensive interview. And if you are an eligible candidate for the job post, you may receive an offer.
When I was a student in your position, what seems like a lifetime ago, this was grand. I had attended Roger Williams for four years and graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science with a minor in Economics in 1984. I was offered a fine job with The National Security Agency (NSA) in Washington, DC. However, life has a way of classically throwing curve balls at us, and for personal reasons I declined their offer. And to date, I do not have any regrets.
I have had many jobs since I graduated from RWU over thirty years ago, and am proud to say that my many opportunities of engaging in a variety of positions in different fields has led me to gain a better sense of self. I never let grass grow under my feet. I can do just about any job, perform it well and be perfectly content all at the same time. To me, it has always been about being content. At some points, I honored my degree and utilized it in its relative field, however at other times in my life, I suddenly found that it was no longer the right fit.
If you’d like some advice from an alumna of RWU, hear me when I say it will not matter if you do not pursue the dream job from freshman year. Over the four years at university your taste may have changed. You will have matured and those ideas and dreams will have faded–but the most important thing to remember before heading off into the real world is to be happy. Just be happy in whatever you do professionally, and everything will fall into place.