Shaping the Future

As rising juniors and seniors, UF students have a lot to look forward to, but also a lot of stressors. One of those key stressors is the future: everyone fears it, because it is the unknown. For students, it is uncharted territory, and many of us are unfamiliar with the next step. In previous semesters, students may have been part of internships, or job hunted. Those are key steps to take to ensure a strong future, right out of college. People are often unsure of whether to search for a paid or unpaid position, the field they should work in, as well as many other prevalent questions they would like answered.

The truth is, many students don't have somewhere to turn in order to help shape their future. Sure, there are advisors to meet and discuss with, but their focus is not on your future career. Advisors focus on your academic future, ensuring you are on track to graduate and are taking the proper classes required for your major and nothing more. They often lack the ability (unfortunately) to help with career advice, but that's where other organizations come into play.
One of these organizations focused on shaping future leaders is UF Hillel through its UF Hillel Works program.

After a pilot year during summer 2015, UF Hillel Works looks to expand it's participants and match Jewish students with Jewish professionals. Before the students are paired, UF Hillel extensively learns about each student to understand their aspirations for their career, and helps to build up their potential.

For six weeks, students in UF Hillel Works attend leadership seminars from professionals, ranging from resume workshops to social media presence. By covering all of these lessons, UF Hillel is helping to shape the future with strong Jewish leaders.

As a participant myself, I can honestly say with confidence that UF Hillel Works has positively affected my future. Due to this summer internship opportunity, I learned what employers are looking for, and how to make myself that ideal, stand out candidate. Because of UF Hillel Works, I was matched with a summer internship during the inaugural year of the program. From there, I grew into a leader and was able to find my own internship for the summer of 2016 because of the skills I learned as a participant in the program.

Regardless of what path a student chooses to take, it is important to focus on how the choices we make today ultimately impact our futures. We need to always be aware of our future, because it becomes a reality faster than we can blink. Organizations throughout campuses across the US are focused on shaping college students, and my advice is to take it all in and absorb all that you can. The "real world" can arguably be scary, but with help from campus assets such as UF Hillel Works, it can become much more attainable and realistic.