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Kopp's Weekly - So Where Is the Yellow Brick Road?‏

Kopp's Weekly - So Where Is the Yellow Brick Road?‏

Finding your own path to success.

Dear Students,

For a short time tonight Austin was enveloped by a double rainbow. I've never seen one before, except for the famous video on youtube. It was a cathartic closure of the rain of the past few days, especially after standing out in it on Friday.

This week one of my classes got on the subject of the big goals of college, and I found myself contrasting the world many portray on Facebook and the world that is real life. The orderly world of Facebook can leave us with the false impression that everyone else's life is perfect and progressing along a linear path, a yellow brick road, to fame and glory. But real life, and college as a first step on that path to real life, is considerably less linear.

Sometimes tests go poorly and we have to learn alternate study strategies. A project goes poorly, and we have to start over, sometimes even reconsidering the original question we wanted to explore. Relationships falter and require reinvestment. Sometimes we aren't picked for a coveted internship, and we need to find alternate ways to obtain experience and skills. As any scientist can tell you, even in those cases where the defining data that made for a great publication takes a matter of hours to accumulate, that can only happen after the false starts, the failed attempts to get that data, or the many hypotheses that had to be eliminated in order to suggest the successful path.

You all are just at the beginning of learning how to strategize to succeed, and of discovering what  your passions are. That exploration requires lots of trial and error. It is what careers are made of, and in this sense college is an opportunity to practice that process. It's a reality that is considerably more complex and rewarding, and I hope you never feel despair that somehow the yellow brick road has eluded you.

Best wishes for the coming week,
Sacha Kopp
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education,
College of Natural Sciences

PS:  Speaking of exploration, remember that the Fall Career Expo on Monday, 9/24 from 1pm-6pm at the Frank Erwin Center.  This is a great opportunity for you to meet and network with employers from a variety of industries, who will be there to hire for full-time, part-time and internship positions. For more information, and to see a list of participating employers, go to cns.utexas.edu/careers.  Business casual attired is required so dress to impress!

To help you prepare for the Expo, plan to attend the “How to Work a Career Fair” workshop on 9/20 in WAG 420 from 5pm-6pm and you are required to RSVP at:  http://tiny.cc/workfairfall2012.  The Career Design Center will also be available in advance to help you get your resume in shape at  Resumania: 9/17, and 9/19 from 10am – 3pm in the hallway of Welch and at a  Walk-In Resume Review Day on 9/20 from 10am – 4pm in the Career Design Center (PAI 5.03) – recruiters from local companies will also be on hand during this event to help review resumes!  And to help you prepare for interviews, plan to attend the “Ace Your Interview” workshop on 9/25 from 5pm-6pm in WEL 1.316. RSVP at: http://tinyurl.com/InterviewWKSHP.

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Tuesday, 19 October 2021

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