Ohio State’s College of Arts and Sciences is offering a new contest to encourage students to think about their career after college.
The main question being asked of students is whether they are ‘Ready to Achieve the Competitive Edge’ in their career development. RACE works by having students complete three out of five tasks in order to have their names entered in a lottery to win a grand prize of a Nook Color and $75 Barnes & Noble gift card.
“It is just a fun way for more students to get more involved in activities we do all the time,” said Randy Dineen, the internship specialist to the College of Arts and Sciences.
The activities in RACE include having a resume reviewed, having an internship, attending a networking event, completing a mock interview and holding a leadership position in an organization. All of these activities are geared to have students thinking about their future, Dineen said.
Although RACE was a concept developed last year, this is the first time it has actually been done, Dineen said.
The concept is something that Elliot Stone, a fourth-year in international studies, said he likes.
“I think it’s easy to get lost here and this could really help students,” Stone said.
OSU does have some students who tend to not think about their future careers until the later part of college. Dineen said he could see this reflecting on the attendance amount at the College of Arts and Sciences’ events.
“We don’t see a lot of students participating in the events we have,” Dineen said. “And we don’t see as many students do internships as we would like.”
Maggie Wentz, a fourth-year in English, said she wishes she started internships earlier in her college career. Wentz said the reason she and many other students did not get involved earlier was because adjusting to college itself can be difficult.
“A lot of times, (the first two years) are about getting settled into school,” Wentz said.
“The problem with this is that students find themselves trying to cram two years worth of experience into four or five quarters,” Dineen said. “By creating a contest like RACE, it can be the push students need to start working on their career earlier.”
However, there are many students around OSU who have already begun to think about their future.
Javonne Lafontaine, a second-year in biochemistry, said he knows he needs an internship to succeed in within his career.
“Especially within my major, I know that life is going to be tough and I don’t want to be unaware,” Lafontaine said. “There are a lot of opportunities out there that students are unaware of.”
This understanding is exactly what RACE looks to achieve through the contest.
“It’s just an awareness campaign,” Dineen said.
The contest begins Nov. 1 and ends Feb. 10. Students can print out a passport, or progress tracker, on the College of Arts and Sciences website to track the activities they have completed. Other than the grand prize, there are more than 30 prizes contributed from multiple donors. Arts and Sciences are also working closely with other departments to inform students about the contest.