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Entry by Valerie Petrey, Public Relations & Event Planning Intern, Purdue Liberal Arts Career Development

When job and internship searching there is one important question we must ask ourselves: am I going to LOVE this position? Salary, benefits, location and values all count when choosing the right position, but passion really trumps them all.

For my current internship with Purdue Liberal Arts Career Development, I conducted a survey, which circulated among liberal arts students. 89.4% of students who responded to the survey (536 students responded) said passion matters most to them in job. I couldn’t agree more. While salary and location are also extremely important to my particular job search, passion is by far the number one thing that drives me.

Picture your life one year from now. Do you really want to be sitting at a desk with nothing to do, a boss you don’t like and a company you don’t believe in? Work will be a huge part of our lives until retirement. Going to work every day and doing something I dislike is unfathomable. I want to be able to wake up every morning and say “I love my job!”

The hard part is discovering what we are meant to do. Now is the time to do it! We are in college. Try new things, take different types of internships, take an off-the-wall class, join clubs, start a new hobby and get out there and meet new people! The best part about going to college is the opportunity to meet extraordinary and unique people. Think about all of your friends and where they come from. How are their perspectives different than yours?

Aside from meeting other students, get to know your professors! Sure they are in academia but they haven’t always been there. After talking with and researching faculty and staff at Purdue, I found out there are people who have worked at Edelman, a global public relations agency, a former presidential speechwriter and a featured History Channel biographer. All of these things will open you up to new ideas, and take you one step closer to discovering your passion. Pat Patterson wrote a great blog entry about finding out your interests and assessing your personality.

Once you find your passion, go after it! It’s going to be hard and you may have to do an unpaid internship or start as an assistant for your dream company, but in the end you will be happier.

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