Religious Studies - From Classroom to Career Sophomore Year
Talk to your faculty advisor and start planning now for potential internships as an upperclassman. Think about "trying out" a career, gaining work experience, marketable skills, mentors, and a competitive edge. Look for potential matches between an internship with your career.
What would be your "dream job" - and how do you get there? After graduation, Religious Studies majors have all the opportunities available to fellow graduates in the humanities and social sciences. Our graduates become teachers, social workers, go on to law or medical school, into business, or on to graduate study in a variety of fields.
We find that taking the enduring questions seriously means that the real world will take you seriously. Recent graduate stories include students who ... completed a master's degree at Yale and now teach in Baltimore ... completed a master's in theology at Boston College and now does social work in Haiti ... and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was offered a full scholarship to law school.
Use your faculty advisor and peer advising to choose the best courses, given your interest. Be prepared for your annual meetings.
Qualified Religious Studies students participate in the Honors Program at Fairfield University and, for students with an exceptional academic record of achievement, the opportunity to be elected to the country's premier honor society, Phi Beta Kappa.
Our strongest students are inducted into Theta Alpha Kappa, a national honor society. Induction requires nomination by a local chapter. To be eligible, students must have a 3.5 GPA in Religious Studies and/or Theology and a 3.0 GPA overall. Residency, class ranking, and unit requirements must also be met. In addition to encouraging the activities of local chapters, Theta Alpha Kappa maintains a vigorous national program of scholarship awards and fellowship competitions. Its primary publication, the Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa, offers an annual prize and the publication of outstanding student papers.
At the College of Arts and Sciences awards banquet each spring, an outstanding graduating senior in Religious Studies is awarded the Irene Gallagher Medal, Fairfield University's oldest academic honor.
Line Up References
Start to look for 3+ professors in Religious Studies and elsewhere who might serve as professional references for you. Discuss your future plans with them and ask for guidance. Stay in touch with them so they can speak about your successes in an informed way.
Package Yourself Professionally
Start building a LinkedIn.com profile, one of the most popular ways to find jobs and internships for college students. Establishing a professional profile page and networking with both peers and working professionals will significantly enhance the chance to have a flying start in the professional world after graduation.
Service Learning Associates
The Service Learning Associates (SLA) program engages 8 to 10 undergraduates each semester as student leaders to their peers in service learning courses. Each SLA works intensively with one professor to support a service-learning course which aligns with the associate's academic background and interests. The SLAs meet regularly with both faculty and fellow associates throughout the semester and attend professional development training.
As Commencement nears and your job hunt picks up, what materials can you put in a portfolio to market yourself and help show your experience? Create a blog or e-portfolio to both present your best work (essays, research papers, work done through a campus club, internship or summer job) and to offer reflections on them. Your faculty advisor can help you sort through potential items and build a strong portfolio to accompany your resume and cover letter. Contact CAS Associate Dean Aaron Perkus to create an e-portfolio.
After discussing internship options freshman and sophomore years, map out when you will do the two internships for credit that are allowed at Fairfield. Remember that summer jobs, not for credit, also can be useful in gaining experience and building a resume.
Every spring, the department honors students who produce outstanding academic work during the past year. Gain experience in entering such a competition and learn how to effectively package and present your work and yourself. Non-seniors are often singled out for their great work.
That's just the start. Take a look at this career information from other University offices that we think is also valuable to Psychology majors.