5 Questions to Ask When Picking a University

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So many people focus on the easy questions, the location, the degree, Christian vs public, in and out of state. The crazy thing is that none of these have anything to do with your future career. Location and faith are great questions to think about, but these are the most transformative years of your life, it’s good to have some “outside the box” type questions ready.

Location and faith are great questions to think about, but these are the most transformative years of your life, it’s good to have some “outside the box” type questions ready.

5. What’s the university’s record with job shadowing/internships?

It’s becoming more and more common to find Starbucks managers with masters degrees. What happens is students devote their lives to school and never get the opportunity to see what the career they’re studying so tirelessly for is really like.

If you want to be a lawyer, are there programs that allow you to shadow an attorney? Are there opportunities for you to intern in an accredited law firm? Is the university associated with attorney’s you’re already a fan of that you could contact to learn from? Who are the people you look up to in your profession and figure out what university they’re attached to?

I’m not saying to base your entire decision on this but it’s so important to be able to get as much of an inside look on the career you’re about to spend 10’s of thousands of dollars learning about before you’re even employed.

4. Are there well-established clubs offered in alignment with my passions?

I went to school for architectural engineering and there were a few clubs where students got together to design simple things like dog houses and window blinds for senior citizen homes. So many universities offer incredible clubs for students to get involved in their career path before they have the piece of paper.

Do everything you can to get a taste of your degree before you get it. You never know! You might just end up falling in love with an adjacent career that might require a different degree. What better place to find out than in your sophomore year of college when you’re just finishing your GED?

3. What is the success rate of students within my career path from the University?

This one seems pretty obvious but is crucial to think about. Schools really do specialize in certain categories, but make sure they follow through with all of them, meeting all the previous questions in this article.

Some schools have incredible medical professors but maybe don’t connect you with a job. Some may have incredible clubs but the school isn’t revered by hospitals like another school that might be a better option. Just something that could easily be overlooked but needs to be addressed.

2. What are my strengths and how do I learn?

I loved high school, I was a huge socializer and figured the larger the class the better. More kids to make friends with and more people to talk to. The only problem is what I WANTED isn’t what I NEEDED, there’s a huge difference between the two.

If you can, figure out how you learn while you’re in high school and this will help you determine which University is best for you, from climate to classroom size.

If I could go back now and pay attention to my character I’d know that I need small classrooms, a shared dorm room, and a university in a changing climate. I don’t do well in isolation, I don’t learn in massive groups, and I need someone there to help me fight temptations as dumb as that may seem. The college years can be a time where many people make mistakes that they regret for the rest of their lives, something important to think about!

1. What’s my BIGGEST passion?

So often we think, I love card tricks but being a doctor would make better money. There’s nothing wrong with thinking practically but what if you could chase your dreams AND something to pay the bills? For example, I love marketing but I also love music so if I could go back, I’d go to a school that had incredible business classes AS WELL AS an awesome music program. This way I can learn what I love and maybe even get enough business classes to turn it into a career!

It’s common assumption in culture that to achieve a career you must give up on your dreams but this is 2016. People make millions off of YouTube channels and writing down their feelings. Anything is achievable, you just need to figure out how to use your gifts to make your passions profitable!

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