Students, take advantage of FIU resources

These opportunities go far beyond just attending classes, and can significantly impact one's personal, academic, and professional growth, particularly building a network. | Ariana Rodriguez, PantherNOW

Ariana Rodriguez | Staff Writer

Every week on campus there are academic seminars or conferences going on, yet nobody talks about it. These resources here at FIU are not taken advantage of by students either because they don’t know or the event is not marketed enough. University is a pivotal chapter in a person’s life, representing a rare and transformative period for growth and development. 

It’s not just about earning a degree; it’s about nurturing one’s full potential. While having fun in college can be exciting, students need to remember why they’re in the institution to begin with- to achieve something greater.

From a student’s perspective, I understand why events can be overwhelming. The amount of emails that flood my FIU email is astounding, so a lot of the time I scroll past flyers for events that cause me to miss out on great opportunities. 

Despite these shortcomings, it’s up to students to make the effort to RSVP or register for events and opportunities. These opportunities go far beyond just attending classes, and can significantly impact one’s personal, academic, and professional growth, particularly building a network. 

Allen Varela, assistant director of academic support services at the Honors College, described some challenges in accessing those resources at FIU. 

“One of the biggest challenges is accessibility. Is it a resource that is available for free? Is it an additional fee? I know the university is pushing for resources for no additional charge since inflation is impacting everyone. And of course, there are also students not being aware of a resource’s existence. Sometimes they may have missed that specific resources they weren’t aware of.”

Another challenge event coordinators face is incentive to have students attend events and utilize opportunities. 

“I’d say one critical factor is what can this resource give me as a unique benefit. As well as if this resource is available, how do I access it that is most convenient for me?” said Varela. “There needs to be an incentive for students to attend a particular event. If this event has resources a student can access through Google, YouTube, or A.I., why will the student travel to FIU and attend this event?”

Sophie Loureiro, engagement program manager at the Honors College, also had input more geared toward student life. 

“I think every student has a unique set of responsibilities and life experiences, commitments, that shape how they engage or don’t engage with the university. I wouldn’t say it all falls on the student, it’s also a part of the university to make sure the students are informed. Engagement is a two-way street, students need to show interest and ambition, but on the other side you have the university that should ensure students have access to these resources”

Loureiro further explained the many beneficial programs offered here at FIU. 

“Mentorship programs, such as Panther to Panther,  are great resources. Exploring campus and visiting organization fairs or walking through GC to see people tabling are great ways to see what’s going on. ” 

However, what good is a program if there is no upkeep? As explained, there can’t be a disconnect between the club and the student. 

“Longevity of organizations is very important, and I would suggest expanding engagement as something that goes beyond clubs and organizations,” said Loureiero. “Utilizing campus resources is vital, such as career resources or resume review. We also have college life coaching, if you’d like to set strong college goals that are personally beneficial, but still be engaged.” 

Andrea Cuadra, career specialist at the Honors College and professor also wanted to remind students to take advantage of opportunities, and how it can impact you post-grad as well. 

Research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows that students who utilized career services, whether that was seeking coaching or attending career events, had an average of 1.24 job offers compared to students who didn’t use career services who averaged 1.0 job offers. Students should take advantage of the career services offered on campus to be prepared and competitive for the world of work after graduation.”

Overall, campus involvement provides opportunities for personal development, helping students build essential life skills that can be beneficial post-grad, and it’s essential for students to take advantage of that.

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