Victoria Sabo was a Chemistry major at Illinois Tech. She says that during her time at IIT, she learned mostly from working in labs and taking part in researches that are readily available during the fall, spring and summer terms. Here’s what she had to say about her experience at Illinois Institute of Technology:
What is the greatest lesson you have learned during your time as a student at IIT?
The unknown will always be intimidating but everyone else is just pretending to know what’s going on too. Not just in college but really through the entirety of life. We all are faking it together- but if we get close enough it works anyway.
Did you have an internship in your undergrad? If so, what advice do you have for people who will be interning or doing co-op in the future?
No but I did plenty of lab work under Professor Hock. My advice applies to science majors specifically: it is important to have a good relation with your research professor as you are going to be working closely with them for extended periods of time. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them to ask for help with internships. Professor’s tend to have good contacts within the industry so they can definitely help you get connected to the right people.
What is one major thing you learned when you first stepped into your internship?
No one is looking out for your interests better than yourself. You need to take initiative if you want to grow your opportunities. Be proactive and also be open to learning and unlearning.
How did you land your first job?
I landed my first job by presenting myself as both confident and professional while also emphasizing my willingness to learn and take instruction. Being enthusiastic about your area of study helps as employers tend to go for applicants who are not only interested in the job but are eager to learn.
What advice would you give to graduates of 2020?
If you wait till someone decides you deserve respect you might never receive it. Even if you might be new to an environment, act politely but with confidence. Ask questions, offer solutions- demand the respect you are owed as an adult and peer.