Enrolling in college can be exciting and scary all at the same time. For new students attending orientation, those emotions become more real as they sit in a room with their peers listening to all of the ins and outs of attending classes, maintaining attendance, and earning good grades while also trying to fit in other parts of their busy lives.
Instead of overwhelming students with information, staff and faculty at Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center campus took a fresh approach to orientation for the summer quarter. Before students met with their program chairs, Teeda Sisombath, a current student working towards a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal, spoke to the new students about how to be successful in college.
Sisombath explained to the group that she started school in fall 2011 at the age of 19. She had a one year old at home, and starting school was not easy. “Coming to school and taking care of my child was stressful, tiring and hard,” she said. However, after being in school for three years as a full-time student and a full-time mom, Sisombath has maintained a 4.0 grade point average and has recently secured a position at a law firm in downtown Minneapolis assisting attorneys in the criminal field. How did she do it?
When she attended her own college orientation, she remembers the paralegal program chair talking about the importance of volunteering. “One thing that I took away was that volunteering is really important. You can put that on your resume. I volunteered for several months, and any time I applied for a job, I was asked if I do volunteer work. Even once a week will help in the long run.”
Sisombath also recommended that the new students keep a good relationship with each instructor. She said, “Stay hip to hip with your teachers. I sat in the front of the classroom where I was visible to my instructors. Now, when employers call the school to find out what type of student I was, my instructors have good things to say about me.”
The next tip that she offered was in regards to professionalism. “If I was not able to do something on time, I always let my instructor know. You don’t want your instructor to think that you are not professional enough for a real job.”
Last, Sisombath encouraged the students to utilize the tutors whenever possible. She said, “Algebra was very hard. Every day I asked questions, so I utilized the tutors. Schedule a time to visit the AVID Learning Connection. Without them, I would not have gotten an A in the class.”
Sisombath did a fantastic job at motivating the new students as she really showed that anything is possible as long as they aim to do their best.
Thank you to Teeda for sharing your best tips for doing well in school, and we wish you the best of luck as you finish your degree!