Since we are now entering the third week of school, I hope everything has settled down and students are adjusting to their coursework. As we get farther in the school year, one important thing to remember is to prepare yourself for the first round of tests. The first test I ever took at RPI, I failed spectacularly. I didn’t study as hard as I should have because of misplaced confidence from high school academic achievements and reservations about seeking help from others. I want to make sure no one makes the same mistake, so please talk to your professors or teaching assistants, study with friends if you can, or visit the Advising & Learning Assistance Center, located in Academy Hall, to help with your studies. As a first year student, you don’t want to dig yourself a hole in the beginning because of a bad test or semester. Start out strong, and it will make your academic journey at RPI much smoother.
Besides grades, all students should be preparing for the upcoming NSBE/SHPE Career Fair on September 27 and 28 hosted by the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Now is the time for everyone to build, update, or polish off your résumé. For building your résumé, I suggest talking to the staff in the Center for Career and Professional Development, as they have great outlines to follow that will get you started. Once your resume is complete, make sure you can explain it to prospective employers if they ask any questions. The CCPD also does practice interviews that have certainly helped me with my interviewing skills for internships.
Finally, the elections for freshmen year are coming up next week. It’s not too late to sign up and win a position! These roles are great opportunities to get involved at RPI, and they help a person grow professionally. There are positions with varying levels of involvement and responsibility, so someone who wants less of a time commitment at first can find something to be a part of quite easily. I have never regretted getting involved in Student Government in my four years and I really encourage any freshmen to get out there and be proactive. As always, if anyone ever has any questions about this article or if you have suggestions on how to improve your RPI experience, please contact me.