Student Perspectives: Journey Since First Year by Hinali Shah

Student Perspectives provides an inside look to the career exploration and job search process from the student’s point of view.  This feature is written entirely by students who want to share their experiences to other students and industry professionals and provide feedback on our services and how we can assist them in their career planning.  

 

Journey Since First Year

IMG_2211

Architecture was an unfamiliar territory, even when I started architecture school.

Always having an interest in the arts, and having the ability to draw and paint, my parents suggested I consider the field of architecture as a possible career option. Being clueless about the real world, I took an architecture class during my senior year of high school, and I liked it. It didn’t teach me about the fundamentals,just how to use one of the popular programs. I liked designing my dream house as the final project, which made me decide to go for this career path.

My first semester at New York Institute of Technology was extremely difficult. I was thrown into a design class from day one, and realized that I didn’t truly have a basis of what architecture was. The knowledge I had from my high school class was not enough. I struggled that first semester, and during the winter break of 2014, I pushed myself to the extreme to understand and better my designing and model-making skills. I have continued to push myself for the past 4 years I have been in this school, which has helped me to love this field that I once found impossible. I’ve encountered some amazing mentors and have made steps to overcome my shy personality to ask for help and resources when needed.

When I started working as a student ambassador at Career Services in 2015, I met a lot of staff who encouraged me to participate in different activities on and off campus, which helped me develop leadership skills. Since I have been working there, I have helped organize many firm visits, curated an art show, and headed a voter registration contest. This responsibility also lead me to get more confident in the classroom. I was able to ask questions when I didn’t understand something and to take pride in my own work, which is a must in architecture. This past semester, I got an internship at a celebrated architecture magazine and during the spring break, I was able to travel to the Dominican Republic with 11 other students and help build a home for a woman in need. This happened because I made myself aware of what NYIT had to offer, whether it be academic, extracurricular, or experiential opportunities, and I was able to take action and participate.

For new students who are reading this, my advice to you is to join a club or get an on-campus job in your first year of school. It will help you get more connections and aid you in your transition from a high school to a college atmosphere. Also identify the areas in which you struggle, because there are tons of resources like peer tutoring, counselors in career services, volunteer organizations like the Community Service Center, financial aid office, etc., which can help you to break through your barriers or be there for you when needed.

 

 

Hinali Shah is a senior majoring in Bachelor of Architecture at New York Institute of Technology. She was born in India, but moved to the United States at the age of 13. Her passions include learning about cultural architecture, travelling, writing, and fashion styling. So far her favorite city apart from New York is Barcelona. 

Advertisements

Developing Your Career Plan

Finding employment in any industry at any time can be a daunting task.  In order to find a rewarding career that you are passionate about, you should devise a plan to help you map it out.

career-1015600__480

What is your career goal? 

The first and most important question that you must ask yourself, what do you want to do?  Whether it’s becoming an engineer, architect, a doctor, or a teacher, find something that inspires you.  Your family and friends may have their own opinions on the type of career you should have, but at the end of the day, you should choose a career that feels right for you.

Not sure about which career path to take? Think about the skills and interests you possess.  Are you good with numbers?  Do you have an interest in art?   If you have trouble figuring out your skills, try doing a self-assessment to evaluate your interests.

If you’re debating between a few different career options, opportunity is something to consider.  Choosing a career that has job growth could be a major factor in your decision.  You can research data collected on the job market and trends by The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

What type of training do you need for your career goal? 

Once you figure out what your career goal is, you will need to figure out the type of training you need to get there.  Can your current major provide you with the background and education necessary for this career?  Do you need additional schooling such as a graduate degree or technical training?  What type of internships or on-site training can you obtain that will prepare you for this career?

Develop your career plan

At NYIT, we help our students start thinking about what they will do after graduation during their first year.  Our Career Services office can help explore professional development resources and answer many of the questions listed in this post.  We created a career plan that guides you toward setting short-term goals while working toward your ideal career.

 

6 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Work / Life Balance

6 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Work/Life Balance

Balancing the demands of your career can be a difficult task.  The best thing to do is prioritize and maintain a realistic mindset.  Here are 6 ways to maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

  1. Turn Off Your Phone

You’re constantly checking your phone for texts, emails from work, and looking at social media updates.  You reply, forward emails, comment on your friend’s Facebook page.  At some point, one swipe of the phone to check your inbox can turn into 20 minutes of browsing through Twitter and Instagram.

telephone-586268__340

One way to maintain balance is to unplug from this technology.  Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, it’ll give you some time to recharge and focus.  If you can do it for 10 minutes, try it for 20 minutes.

That text, email, or social media post can wait.

  1. Exercise

Some people find it difficult to fit exercising into their schedule (or they find an excuse not to).  However, the overwhelming evidence on the health benefits of exercise makes it an essential activity to fit into your schedule.  Here are some ways you can get out and get moving if you’re searching for ideas:

  • Join a gym. Some companies have gyms onsite or have arrangements with local gyms at a discount.  Check with your human resources department for these opportunities.
  • Join a league. This is great for anyone looking to recapture some of their team sports days or if you just want to try a new sport.  You can join with some friends or coworkers or make new friends as a free agent.  Organizations like Zogsports offer a social sports community that is popular amongst working professionals.
  • Take a class. If you’re not into the gym or joining a league, you can always take a class like yoga, boxing, or CrossFit, where you can focus on a specific type of fitness and health that is right for you.
  • Go for a run. Still arguably the most popular and easiest way to get your exercise because…
    • It doesn’t take a long. Running for about 20 minutes is usually a good daily exercise.
    • You don’t need a lot of equipment besides your running shoes.
    • You don’t need a team or other people, although it can be nice to run with friends.
    • You can do it anywhere. Run on a track, near your house, or run to and from work.
  1. Avoid Junk Food at Work

Eating healthy takes a lot of discipline and effort as you try to figure out what to eat, getting a combination of protein and vegetables, and developing good habits during meal times.

In some cases, it may be easier to just avoid junk food.  When your day is full of meetings and you need to finish that report by 5pm, it may be a challenge to eat something that isn’t fast food or a bag of chips.

Here are a few alternatives to your junk food options at work:

787e8cc3ec383ce94dd72afd2b6c9c22

People sometimes misconstrue eating healthy to not eating at all.  You don’t have to stop eating: you can still snack and it’s often encouraged to eat smaller, lighter meals.  Cutting out junk food will lead you to feeling healthier and having more energy for the workday.

  1. Make Time for Family and Friends

Make sure you’re spending time with family and friends when you’re not at work.  We often forget about loved ones as we get caught up our professional lives.  Hang out with friends after work or on the weekend or give your parents a call to see how they’re doing.  Being able to balance your work and personal life involves bringing people into it as well.

  1. Talk to Your Coworkers

You’re with your coworkers for 40+ hours a week.  Days and weeks can feel long when the office culture and environment is cold and impersonal.  Spend some time finding out more about them.  You don’t have to be nosey or imposing, but exchanging pleasantries, asking if they had a good weekend, or the occasional lunch outing can go a long way in maintaining a positive work environment.

office-space-milton

  1. Create a Schedule

As you’re reading this post, one thought that probably came to your mind is, “I don’t have time for any of this.”  Creating a schedule provides the structure that is needed to balance your work and personal life.

For example, you can fit exercise in before work, during lunch, or right when you get off.  It may take a little sacrificing such as waking up early, eating your lunch at your desk, or skipping social plans after work, but it can be done.

Keeping a calendar or blocking off time for meetings at work can also be done in your personal life too.  Create a monthly schedule of events for you and your family to make sure you’re spending time or doing activities together.  Add a monthly poker game or book club meeting with friends.  After a while, the events or activities become a staple within your lifestyle that’s just as important (if not more) as any work event or meeting

 

Maintaining a healthy work/life balance can lead to a more fulfilling lifestyle and can help you to be more productive at work and be happier overall.  At the end of the day, it’s important to remember to take the time and focus on yourself and your well-being.