What I’ve Learned in My Four Years: Reflecting Back on Four Years of Incredible Experiences
I looked at my calendar the other day, and I came to the realization that I only have about 80 short days until I graduate college. College has provided me with so many wonderful experiences, many of them with the help of William Jewell College. I thought I would take some time to reflect back on a few of the professional lessons I have learned throughout my many experiences. I hope these three things help not only college students, but professionals old and young as well. Here are my three pieces of knowledge that would like to share with you all.
Experience really does matter.
I have had many different experiences and internships throughout my four years in college. Experiences give you the chance not only to build up your resume, but to give yourself a chance to explore different career fields. With a broad major like Business Administration, this could not be more true in terms of helping me figure out what I want to do after graduation. From taking a sports marketing trip to San Francisco to a couple Program Management internships to this internship as the Digital Marketing Intern at Pure Pursuit Automotive, my experiences have not only given me the chance to bolster my resume, but they have given me the chance to gain different experiences in many different fields and have helped me figure out my intended career path after graduation. All my experiences helped me figure out where my passions lied; all I had to do was take advantage of these experiences.
My passions may lie in marketing, but where do yours lie? Different experiences give you multiple insights into other career fields and give you the chance to discover what you are really passionate about and what you are not so passionate about. If you aren’t really sure of your intended career path or are struggling to decide whether your current career choice is the one for you, immerse yourself in the culture and activities of another career field. Try to learn as much as you can about another career field that interests you. Gain new experiences that will help you make your decision. This is how I figured out what I wanted to do. If it worked for me, it can work for you.
What you learn in your classes DOES apply to your life, despite what you think.
I have found this to be most true with many of my upper-level and senior-level courses. So many times, I have walked out of class and noticed a tie from something I learned in class to something I have encountered or worked with in real life. Last semester, I took my Business Capstone course, as well as a course on creativity. The Business Capstone course has two parts; the first part is a set of case studies on well-known companies and the second part is a start-up project, where we build a start-up company from the ground up and present on it at the end of the semester. Let me just say, I have never been pushed so hard in a class, but I have never learned more from a class than I did with this one. Where I found a connection with this class was that my work with building this start-up company taught me so much about building a start-up company from the ground up in real life. I was able to tie this back to my experience at Pure Pursuit, a start-up company. I learned how hard it really was to build a start-up company from the ground up, and it gave me so much more respect not only for Glen, but for all entrepreneurial-minded people who build start-up companies from the ground up. There is so much work that goes into even getting the company off the ground that I never realized until I took this class.
My creativity class gave me insight into the creative and unique minds of entrepreneurs. One thing I learned last semester in my creativity class was that creativity doesn’t just have to be creating something new and unique; creativity can be coming up with a new way of thinking about or doing things. Again, I found a tie to my work at Pure Pursuit. Car buying is no new process; it is typically seen as spending the day at a dealer, making a deal, and leaving with your new car. What Glen and the team are doing at Pure Pursuit is changing the way cars are bought–a creative take on the already-existent car buying process. Again, another real life application of what I learned in class. See? What you learn in class can tie back to your life. You just have to be smart enough to recognize the ties.
Make lasting connections.
I can’t tell you enough how important I have found this piece of advice. Going through college, everyone told me how important connections were and how important it was to network. Now that I am in my last semester of college and reflecting back on the number of professional connections I have made, I am finally starting to see the impact of these professional connections in my own life. Through the numerous experiences I have had while in college, I have been able to connect with a large number of professionals. These professionals are able to give me advice and some are even able to connect me with other professionals in my desired career field.
You may be the most well-networked individual and may have numerous connections, but it is what you do with those connections that truly matters in the long run. You may have 500+ connections on LinkedIn, or hundreds of business cards sitting in your office, but how can each individual connection help you out in the long run? Are they just a connection because they are your friend? Or are they a connection because they have provided you valuable advice, connected you with other people, or helped you take advantage of certain opportunities? Make sure that the connections you make are memorable and helpful connections. And make sure you take advantage of the advice, opportunities, and other potential connections that these people can provide for you. Here’s an example of taking advantage of your connections: I got this internship because my creativity teacher knew Glen and was able to connect me to him. In turn, Glen was able to offer me this internship at Pure Pursuit, which is somewhere that has really taught me so much and has really shown me where my passions truly lie. Your connections can lead you to some really great opportunities; you just have to take advantage of those potential opportunities. The connections you make aren’t going to be of any benefit if they just remain a connection on LinkedIn or their business card just sits on your desk and no action is taken to engage further with these connections. Figure out how your connections can benefit you, and take advantage of it! That’s what networking and making connections is all about.
Looking back on my experiences, I can honestly say that I have learned more than I have ever imagined in my four years of college. Yes, I did learn something from my classes, but it was my experiences and my connections that have truly helped me learn so much more beyond what I ever imagined I would learn in college. It is these three pieces of knowledge that have truly helped me to learn so much and to grow not only professionally, but as a person as well. I know I have found these three pieces of knowledge valuable in my own life, and I hope you can find them valuable too.
About Pure Pursuit:
Pure Pursuit is Kansas City’s premier Luxury Sports Car Dealer. We Specialize in Mercedes- Benz AMG’s, BMW M’s, Audi S/RS, Porsche Turbo/S, and more. We ship Worldwide, and deliver concierge-level service that customers are raving about. See For Yourself Here!
Courtney Wells is a marketing intern at Pure Pursuit Automotive. A native of Wichita, KS, she is pursuing her Business Administration degree while cultivating her passion for marketing. In her free time, you can probably find her on the golf course or catching up on all things sports.