Beyond the Classroom

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Finding Your Niche

Last updated October 23, 2017 by Division of Student Affairs in Student-focused

I went to VCU originally for Creative Advertising degree. I graduated in 2012 and I fell in love with Richmond immediately and then fell in love with the school and the campus. I was a little nervous about being in such a large campus environment right away but you still have a small town feel and a community feel at this campus. There are so many opportunities and great experiences I have been able to gain while being here so it was really a no brainer when I decided I wanted to go back to school, VCU was definitely top of the list for sure.

In general, when you're looking at schools, you want to find somewhere where you feel like you're going to have opportunities where you're going to fit in and where you're going to feel at home. You want to find a place where you feel comfortable. VCU was able to provide that for me. The opportunities have been greater than what I expected.

I've done more as a graduate student than undergraduate. I've been able to expand my horizons and reach out to doing the Undergraduate Research Program. When I was pursuing my Advertising degree, I worked as a Student Counselor or Student Ambassador for Mass Communications. These experiences helped shape my future decisions. They helped me decide what routes I wanted to take, jobs I wanted to be in, areas I wanted to work in, and definitely helped build my character, personal responsibility, and networking.

Looking back on my college experience, I would suggest to upcoming students to utilize all the resources that VCU has to offer. VCU Career Services and the Writing Center are great resources for putting your resume together and help with job search, along with the Job Fair. When you first come to VCU, find your niche and take the time to find your friends and your family away from home. Getting involved will be a small challenge since opportunities won't hit you immediately but all opportunities are there. You just have to go out there and look for them.

When I first went to school, it wasn't that hard to get involved. The first semester was the hardest because I was adjusting to being away from home and being on campus. By the second semester, I didn't want to go home at all, until the summer when I moved out of the freshman dorms. By that time, I had no interest in leaving Richmond whatsoever. It took a semester to warm up to VCU but after that I was set.

Emily Johnson, 4th Year Dental Hygiene Graduate Student, B.S. Mass Communication/Media Studies Class of 2012 

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