Preparing for the Real World

Christopher Newport University really teaches us how to prepare for the real world post-grad. The Center for Career Planning does a great job with hosting workshops, information session, the career fair and other events that help us gain more knowledge about careers, jobs and internships. The center also welcomes students for resume reviews, mock interviews and help with choosing the right career and learning what we can do in each career.

Professors are also a great source for gaining knowledge about what the real world is really like. From personal experience, I have had professors who have impacted and advised me through my decision of what career I will be going into. Academics at CNU also is geared to help improve skills needed for life after college. Some professors require presentations in their classes and I believe that improves our public speaking skills, which is necessary in the real world.


Intercultural Festival

Intercultural Festival is an annual event hosted by the Campus Activities Board (CAB) on campus. Some things you will find at the event are food, raffle prizes, henna tattoos, tables set-up with information about international countries and cultural performances. All these things are free! College students sure do love that word.

The food provided is not just any food, it is from different countries. There are so many good dishes out there that I did not know about until I attended the Intercultural Festival. Going to this event truly gives you knowledge on other cultures, which is a great thing especially if you plan on traveling abroad in the future. I have enjoyed watching the music and dance performances. CAB does a great job at planning on and off-campus events for the entire student body, at no cost. Be sure to attend next year’s Intercultural Fest!

The Best Ways to Choose Classes

Deciding what classes to take is not as hard as it may sound. Figuring out what times work best with your schedule may be the tricky part. Thankfully, it has always worked out for me because all my classes have been offered throughout different times of the day.

Every semester, right before the registration period, we meet with our advisers to discuss what classes we should take during the upcoming semester. This is helpful, but my favorite method is viewing the What-If Analysis on CNU Live. All you have to do is enter your entry year, major and minor (if any). After entering this information, you will be directed to a page that displays all the requirements needed to graduate. It will list the courses you need to complete and if they have been completed already or not.

This is an organized way of viewing what classes you are required to take to graduate. I did not use this my freshman year, so I ended up taking a few classes that I did not even need. It is extremely helpful and may save you a lot of time.

Studying Abroad

Studying abroad is a huge part of the college experience here at Christopher Newport University. Most students study abroad between the summer after their freshman and the start of their junior years. There are so many different programs to choose from and the Study Abroad office will help you with your decision and pairing you up with a program that is ideal for you.

You get so many benefits from studying abroad, such as the following:

  • Explore new countries
  • Learn about different cultures
  • Meet people from all over the world
  • Live in a foreign country for months
  • May become a study abroad ambassador

These are just a few of the benefits. There are many more. You may be wondering, “what is a study abroad ambassador?” This is a job that you may apply for at the Study Abroad office. Typically, the office hires students who have already studied abroad. As a student ambassador you will help other students find the right program for them, share your experience with others and encourage students to study abroad.

I did a summer study abroad program for fashion design in Milan, Italy. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I met people from so many different countries, traveled on the weekends and even met family who live in Milan! I believe that studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I suggest that you go ahead and do it while you are still young and in college! Trust me, you will not regret it.

Weather in Newport News

As you may know, Christopher Newport University is located in Southeastern Virginia. This means beaches, rivers and warmer weather. Winter in Newport News is not as bad as other parts of Virginia, especially the north. It is usually 10 degrees warmer down here than it is up in Northern Virginia. I cannot complain about that!

The warm weather here in Newport News allows us to do so many outdoor activities. We can go to beaches nearby or even sit on the Great Lawn and do schoolwork or just relax while taking a break from school. Sitting on the Great Lawn is almost as great as going to the beach because of the wonderful view of the buildings here on campus, especially Christopher Newport Hall.

Newport News also has its rainy days! So, a rain coat and rain boots are a must when you are a student here. All in all, the weather in Newport News tends to be warmer than cities in Northern Virginia.

Service in Greek Life

Greek life here at Christopher Newport University is not all about socializing and making new friends. Service is a big role for each member of a fraternity or a sorority. As I walk around campus, I am constantly seeing flyers and other sorts of announcements for events being hosted by a fraternity or sorority on campus. They hold these events in order to raise money for their partnering organizations or other causes.

Some events held on campus are Gamma Phi Beta’s Best Dance Crew, Alpha Phi’s Red Dress Gala, Zeta Tau Alpha’s Pink-Out during a basketball game, and many more. If a big event is being held, the organizations set up fundraisers with local restaurants and a portion of the proceeds go toward their cause. All of these events have proven to be successful, which is why they have become an annual thing.

Next time you are on campus during one of these events, I would recommend you check them out!

CNU Engage

Christopher Newport University’s students, including myself, make service and giving back one of our priorities. We are very involved with local organizations and doing our best to help others. CNU encourages service as a way for us to have relationships with the local community and not just make it a one-time thing. Through The Center for Community Engagement (CNU Engage) there is a Service Distinction program, where participants must serve a minimum of 140 hours. There are 10 tracks to choose from and we each select one to serve in. The service track I am in is Environment & Animals. We must complete 100 hours in that specific track and the remaining 40 hours can be in any other track of our choice. The 10 tracks are the following:

  1. Aging
  2. Arts & Culture
  3. Community Development
  4. Environment & Animals
  5. Health Related
  6. Hunger & Housing
  7. International Interest
  8. Newport News Public Schools
  9. Women’s Interest
  10. Youth Development

As it says on the CNU Engage website, this program allows students to “gain valuable, real-world, marketable skills and experience” and “develop skills related to policy development, program planning, and advocacy, while establishing a deeper understanding of societal issues and root causes.” This is truly a wonderful experience, especially if you love making an impact in your community. You can also make connections and life-long friendships. By serving in the community we become more aware of the reality of this world and we may learn to appreciate what we have more.

Summer Classes

Students may choose to stay on campus a little longer and into the summer to take classes. There are several reasons for why this is done. Some of us may just want to be ahead and get some classes we need for our major out of the way so we can have more time during the actual academic year. Others may be a little behind on their progress toward graduation, possibly because of a change in major or taking a semester off.

Taking summer classes while in college is not the same as doing it in elementary or middle school. The first thing people may think of when they hear “summer school” is bad grades or failure. However, that is not the case here at college.

Taking summer classes is a great way to open up our academic year schedule to more opportunities. That may include jobs, internships, volunteering and social time because everyone needs a little relaxation. As far as housing and meal plans, they work the same as regular semesters. There are many things to do in the area during our free time, such as going to the beach, the Virginia Living Museum, the Mariners’ Museum, Busch Gardens and more!

Working While Being a Full-Time Student

Some of you may be wondering, “Will I have enough time to balance school and work?” The answer is, yes. Hearing the word “work” may frighten you and get you thinking that your job will require you to work many hours and constantly be occupied by it. However, there are several on-campus jobs that will do the opposite. The employers here on campus are very understanding of our school schedules and that we are currently focused on getting our degree.

A great thing about being a student employee is there is a wide range of different jobs you can get on campus. You could have a more relaxed work area where you are allowed to get schoolwork done while working or you could work in something where you will get more experience in the field that you are interested in going into.

Some jobs that are offered on campus are being a barista at Einstein’s Cafe, a tutor, working with events staff, the admissions office and more. Some jobs may lead to a position as an intern and others may hire you as an intern right off the bat. Another job opportunity that CNU offers its students is an internship with the Center for Career Planning (CCP). Students benefit so much from this internship because they learn a lot about what the CCP does. Using their knowledge of career planning, they help their peers and themselves. This gives them a better outlook while searching for jobs. These are all great things to put on resumes.

All in all, the jobs that Christopher Newport University offers us leaves us with a remarkable experience and values that we will take with us as we begin working in the field we are pursuing.

Career Fair

Every year, Christopher Newport University’s Center for Career Planning (CCP) hosts a career fair during both the fall and spring semesters. A large number of organizations and graduate schools are invited to the event. This is a great way for students to network and potentially find an internship or a full-time job.

The CCP recommend that we look over the list of organizations and graduate schools attending prior to going to the career fair. A helpful tip is to make a list of the top organizations or schools you are interested in and to talk to a representative of each one. It is important to make yourself stand out because, remember, that representative could be your employer.

Professional dress is required and it is important to have copies of your resume to give to each representative of the organizations you are interested in. The CCP holds other events throughout the semester to prepare you for the career fair. You will receive help on your resume and practice interview skills. Their famous quote around campus is “You get jobs by talking to people.” So, go on out to the career fair to learn about organizations and graduate schools that you may be interested in!