Professional Opportunities in College

College provides many more opportunities for professional development and networking than I realized before I attended. I assumed you went to school, got your degree, and then applied for jobs once you graduated. And it does work that way… sort of. The truth is, getting jobs today can be tough, and being successful often centers around the connections you’ve made and the experiences you’ve had. It’s never too early to start, and luckily, college can provide many opportunities.

This weekend, I attended the OMEA (Ohio Music Education Association) conference in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a busy weekend, filled with educational sessions, concerts, networking, and music galore. I learned a lot, met very successful people, and remembered why I want to teach.

This wasn’t, however, my first conference. It was my fourth. I also got to hear a renowned speaker on diversity in education a few years back, and on top of that, I’ve had experience in music classrooms of all shapes and sizes as I’ve gone through my coursework. In addition to being great networking experiences, these conferences and sessions have given me an idea of what the professional world is really like, and have given me insight into what it takes to be a music educator.

I highly suggest getting some professional experience like this before you leave college: be it conferences, internships, or shadowing someone in the field. There are opportunities available for everyone! I think it prepares you for what comes next, and gives you some great resume boosters. It makes the idea of getting a job less intimidating, and it solidifies your choice of career. At least, it has for me!

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This was the exhibition hall at OMEA… filled with more booths about music than you could imagine!

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