The spring semester has sprung, and while our college experience is still limited in many ways by COVID-19, this semester at Boston College has new opportunities to seize. While it seems that we are returning to the same chilly winter season in Boston that we left, it is important to recognize the shifts that BC’s academic environment has undergone while we were away. Hopefully, I can give you some insight into what to expect for your first, second, third, or even last spring semester at BC.
Fall = Academics, Spring = Opportunity
From my personal experience as a BC student, I found that the most rigorous courses related to major or core requirements are offered during the fall semester—and this structure makes sense. When the seasons are changing and the winter comes, the opportunities BC offers are mainly to help you focus on your academics. Meeting with academic counselors, planning for study abroad opportunities, and long library hours seem to typically define the fall semester. On the other hand, the spring semester is a time where BC recognizes the upcoming spring and summer internship months, thus offering students an opportunity to balance their academic workload and applications. In my experience, although the academics of the spring semester are still rigorous, BC does a good job at recognizing how the semesters transition. In this way, BC offers students the ability to balance their academic career with …
Internships! While many students don’t have the slightest clue about what career path they want to take with their major, BC encourages students to engage in exploratory experiences to figure out this critical decision. BC offers a wide variety of opportunities to find an internship that suits each student and their needs. At the Spring Internship and Career Fair, students can bring a prepared resume in order to network with a variety of companies and businesses that are looking to employ bright young interns. The Career Center also offers a variety of resume writing and informational workshops to help students prepare for and take full advantage of the career fair.
This year, Handshake will be used in order to hold the career fair virtually. Handshake is a program in which students are able to upload their resume, major, and academic information to help them decide what sort of internship they would be interested in for the upcoming summer term. Handshake does an excellent job recommending and narrowing down potential internship, part-time, and full-time job opportunities based on location, field of interest, and the strengths that you provide as an applicant.
Another resource is the Career Center at BC. The Career Center offers occupational guidance for individuals still trying to figure out how they want to spend their summer months in terms of internships, academic courses, or study abroad opportunities.
Another avenue to connect with internships and other opportunities for experiential learning is signing up for email mailing lists for your major or minors at BC. This provides you with frequent emails that inform you on upcoming events, seminars, and internship opportunities specifically tailored to your area of study. Here is an example of a mailing list for a pre-law student:
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Spring Club Activities
Spring club activities are always something to look forward to as the new semester begins. The Korean Student Association holds an annual culture show in which all students are invited to enjoy a night sharing Korean culture. During the last weekend in April, the BC Arts Council puts on the spring Arts Festival, which allows students to celebrate the work of art students at BC and potentially find groups they would be interested in joining. These events are just snippets of the plentiful extracurricular activities going on during the spring semester at BC. With a semester of planning and organizing already under their belt, most BC student organizations will be holding events to both showcase their own work and provide opportunities for other students to join and become more active members on campus.
Attending club events that sound interesting can aid students in gauging what kind of courses and extracurriculars they want to invest their time in moving forward. If something such as a culture show or the Art Festival piques your interest, then feel free to reach out to different clubs to see if they have a spot for you—many are more than willing to welcome a motivated student.
Ultimately, while I am only able to shed light on a sliver of the great opportunities that BC offers, I hope this encourages you to know that the college experience is really what you make of it. Moving into the spring semester, I would urge students to ease themselves into new activities or opportunities that interest them, and despite the limitations of COVID-19, work to take advantage of the many good things to come this spring semester.
Graphic by Olivia Charbonneau / Heights Editor
Photo Courtesy of Nathan Lee / Heights Staff