Professional Advice for Students

Do the Right Thing

How can you maximize your time at Bellevue College to have the biggest impact on your life?

Here’s what Sociology faculty have to say about that:

  • First, if you are pursuing the Associates in Arts and Science degree, then you should consider getting an Academic Concentration.  An Academic Concentration is roughly equivalent to a “minor” (Concentrations require 20 credits), so it’s something that will benefit you.  You’ll be more deeply educated in an area.  And you should put it on your resume.  You have to get 90 credits anyways (and a lot of them are electives), so why not use some of those credits for something that can benefit you personally and professionally?  It doesn’t matter to our Program what you get your Concentration in (yes, we have one in Sociology and we’d love you to get one in our field), but if you don’t like Sociology, please at least consider getting one in something!  Not all Programs offer Concentrations, so see the newest College Catalog to look at the options.  Academic Concentrations are an outstanding option for students, but not a lot of people know about them.
  • On your resume, you should add a section called “highlighted courses” or “sampling of courses taken,” and then list a variety of courses that you took while at BC.  It’s a good idea to choose courses that either relate directly to your career path or increased your knowledge in a significant way.  For example, if your Introduction to Sociology course helped you to view the world from different perspectives and increased your critical thinking skills, then list that course on your resume!  If an Anthropology course taught you how to objectively analyze data, then list that course too.
  • Consider volunteering or doing an internship, even if only for a short while.  Find something that matters to you, and donate some of your time with them.  Follow your passions, while doing good for the world at the same time.  You’ll learn a tremendous amount about yourself and others.  It’ll be an enriching experience, no doubt.  Don’t forget to add these experiences to your resume, and talk about them in your personal statement when you apply to a 4-year university.
  • Get involved on campus in extracurriculars.  Join a student club, or get involved in student government.  Bellevue College has a TON of student clubs and organizations that appeal to a wide range of interests.  Not only will you likely learn important skills, but you’ll make new friends too and personally benefit in other ways.  You’ll also help build community at BC.  Put any and all extracurriculars on your resume too!
  • Approach your instructors, and try to get to know them.  Instructors do much more than teach.  Many of us also do research, so ask if you can help on research projects.  Your instructor might have ideas about ways you can get involved in both a Program of your interest and in campus – believe it or not, there are a lot of committees on campus that need students.  These experiences help you because your instructors will know you better (and can write better letters of recommendation for you), you get some professional socialization, you contribute to the college community (which we ALL benefit from!), and they build your resume.
  • Don’t shy away from classes that have large projects.  In fact, these projects will typically deepen your learning, having a more significant impact on your life.  You can even talk about these experiences when applying for jobs and universities!
  • If you’re really passionate about a discipline, consider joining their professional association (as a student member).  The American Sociological Association, for example, has a student membership rate.  Other disciplines, Math, Psychology, etc., likely have large organizations that students can join at a discounted rate.  You’ll learn a lot about the field through these organizations, and of course…put it on your resume!
  • If possible, apply for scholarships, study abroad opportunities, and special events on campus.  All of these help you intellectually and professionally.  And if you are awarded them…put them on your resume.  Do you see a pattern here?  Use your time at Bellevue College to not only increase your intellectual abilities and skills, but also contribute positively to our community and (bonus!) build your resume!

Last Updated April 26, 2022