Once you’re enrolled in college, it’s essential to get value from the experience. A large part of the knowledge you get will be in the classroom, learning about your major. Beyond this, there are internships, networking, and university clubs. A combination of these activities gives you a richer education and helps to prepare you for post-grad life. However, there is one more thing I would recommend, and that’s taking a class outside of your major.
Now, if your university is like mine, you may be required to take classes outside of your major in order to graduate. But, in this case, I’m not talking about graduation requirements. Typically at some point during your college career, you’ll have open classes where you can take electives. While it might be tempting to select the easiest class, I encourage you to take a class outside of your major instead. When it comes to choosing a class, the topic can cover a variety of things. In my case, I would choose topics I was interested in but never got the opportunity to study in more detail. One example of this was a political science course I took. Like most Americans, I had a basic knowledge of how the government worked. Prior to this course, I even felt like my understanding of the constitution was better than average. However, while taking this class I realized there was still more for me to learn. There were more nuances to how politics worked and how history shaped the way our country looked. Even though this doesn’t directly correlate with my major, it makes me a better citizen and hopefully, in turn, a better marketer. Each industry has similarities in some ways, so the more you know the more you can do.
Overall, I think there are two lessons we can all learn from exploring a class outside of our major. Lesson one is to learn how to adapt to new circumstances and environments. Chances are the class will be taught by a professor you don’t already know and will also be full of students you’ve never seen. Welcome the chance to learn about how another major learns and researches their topics. Build a relationship with this professor like you would with a professor in your own major. Be open to speaking to those students, because they could become your new friends. The other lesson to learn is how connected the world is. Like I said before, marketing and politics don’t always match, but having a better understanding of one can help you with the other. The same thing can be said for almost any other industry like engineering, graphic design, law, biology, and art. And once we start to consider the similarities of these different fields, we can create more innovative solutions. A change in perspective may be just what your industry needs to solve it’s most difficult issues.
I’ve found curiosity is one of the best traits you can have as a college student. Embrace this chance to learn and make your experience as unique as you can. This can give you new ideas about topics in your industry or could be the beginning of your next hobby.
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