“I am a biological sciences major and I have a concentration in pre-optometry and this semester I’m working in the lab under one of my professors. She’s helping me learn the basics of research and that’s really helping me prepare myself to work in the optometry field,” said Bramuchi.
It’s not the same for some of her peers.
“I have so many friends who have absolutely no idea what they’re going to do with their lives, which is fine because you’re not suppose to know right off the bat, but I would definitely encourage them to shadow under different professionals,” said Bramuchi.
And it’s not just Mari’s friends. Freshman Taylor Dawson knows plenty of people in the same boat.
“They have no clue, don’t know what exactly a major means, don’t know what that entails, what they can make, what they can do with them or with it,” said Dawson.
For many college students, the real world feels light years away. However, when graduation rolls around, resumes and cover letters are just the tip of the iceberg. From the first day on the job to the working environment, several students aren’t sure what to expect.
“In the classes that I’ve taught, we’ve done sample budgets for students and had them make their own budget first as far as what they thought their expenses were going to be and then when you match up their anticipated salary, they’re so far apart it’s not even funny,” said Scott Maynard, Director of the Career Center at Mississippi State.
Leaders at the career center say the No.1 thing students need to understand about the working world is the importance of communicating.
“Students from elementary education all the way to electrical engineering, their oral and written communication skills are extremely important,” said Maynard.
And preparing for those jobs should start long before senior year.
“They can participate in the co-op program or internships or summer jobs or externships or even volunteer experience or job shadowing,” said Maynard.
Students we spoke to say they’re heeding the warnings and hope others do the same.
“You can’t slack at any time, you’ve got to stay with it and do what you’ve go to do,” said Junior Kamesha Cunningham.
“It’s very important and when those deadlines start coming up you really need to get on your stuff,” said Senior Maxine Jones.
Mississippi State is starting a new program called ‘Maroon and Write.’ It will focus on enhancing a student’s writing skills from freshman year until graduation.