Within the Patriot Experience pathway, there are three of the eight career readiness skills that I think I have been working on most during my time at Mason. I take my academic success very seriously and often joke that I am in a committed relationship with my GPA. However, coming to Mason made me realize that school is not the defining category of my life. The reason I am at Mason is to earn a degree and get a running start into the “real world.” Of course school work matters, and I will probably always be a huge nerd that obsesses over grades, but I have been more open this year than ever at the career readiness skills that employers are looking for.
First, there is the skill of critical thinking. This is a huge skill that I definitely have been working on for years. My critical thinking is best showcased in my essays I write in my Integrative Studies courses. The classes I have had a chance to take within the School of Integrative Studies often require me to connect course readings with real life experiences. I have spent hours reading articles, textbook chapters, and books, and constantly think critically about what I am learning. I enjoy taking a critical lens when reading, and I am confident that this skill will help me find a career path in teaching.
Next, a career readiness skill I have worked on a lot is global/intercultural fluency. This relates very well to the “global and multicultural” competency. I have been fortunate to meet an amazingly diverse group of people at Mason. It has been very humbling to learn other peoples’ stories, and share ideas across cultures. The intersectional approach I have been able to take has really helped me strengthen this career readiness skill.
Finally, the skill I have been most passionate about, leadership. I have been seeking a minor in leadership since my freshman year at Mason. I have taken courses such as INTS 204: Leadership Theory and Practice, INTS 404: Ethics Leadership, and INTS 405: Women and Leadership. Each course provided me with a chance to explore a different facet of what leadership really means. I love discussing individual ideas about the definition of leadership, and find it interesting to watch as my own personal definition of leadership changes. I feel confident that this career readiness skill will be an asset of mine as I enter the work world.
The Career Readiness pathway of the Patriot Experience focuses on experiential learning, which I do a lot of within the School of Integrative Studies. As I move closer to graduation, I will take the lessons I have learned with me into my future career.