Blending Your Degree and Experiences into a Perfect Mixture
by Shayna Ginster
RIT is a unique school; not only does RIT have a wide range of academic programs, but has strong research and co-op opportunities, as well. Because of this, RIT students are able to explore subjects they otherwise may not have and develop a resume to be extremely proud of.
Let’s Talk About Majors, Minors, and Immersions
To earn a bachelor’s degree at RIT, you are required to have a major and an immersion. An immersion is a concentration of three classes in a certain topic. Minors consist of a concentration of five classes in a particular area, but minors are completely optional. If available, some students turn their immersions into minors by taking two extra classes. I chose to complete a separate major, minor, and immersion. I was a Graphic Design Major, with a minor in Mobile Design and Development, and an immersion in Advertising and Public Relations. Although Mobile Design and Development wasn’t offered as an immersion, I’m happy that I chose to do all three. Each gave me experience in different areas that I found to be valuable during my co-ops. When it comes to picking an immersion, you can go two ways. You can either choose to select one that is completely unrelated to your major field of study. That way, you are able to get an education in a topic that you may not want to pursue as a career, but really interested in. Alternatively, you can pick an immersion that does somehow relate to your field of study. This may help you specify your degree into an area of the field you are most interested in pursuing. Either way, you will get to take some really interesting classes! I loved both my minor and immersion. They pushed me outside of my comfort zone and I wouldn’t change anything. My Experiences Outside of the Classroom My experiences inside the classroom at RIT were amazing, but I pursued other experiences that made my education so valuable, including jobs and co-ops. I had two jobs during my time at RIT. I was a Notetaker in many of my classes for students that were deaf or hard of hearing. This was a great job! I found it was easier for me to focus in class, because I was concentrating on making my notes detailed and organized. I was also a Writer for Behind the Bricks, a student-run team that bridges the gap between staff and students by working closely with Finance & Administration. Working on campus was great. I loved having some extra cash and it showed my campus involvement on my resume, which employers love! My program did not require co-ops, but I took advantage of the great name and network that RIT has. I interned with GM Financial and did a co-op with Procter and Gamble. Both were amazing companies and my experiences taught me things that you simply cannot learn in a classroom! Definitely try to pursue as many professional opportunities as you can, they are so helpful and will easily make you stand out in a pool of candidates. My final bit of advice to blend your degree into a perfect mixture: take advantage of every opportunity you can. College is a lot of fun, but time flies. It’s never too early to think about the classes you want to take in later years, getting a job on campus, or applying to outside opportunities. RIT has a great reputation and network of alumni; you’re already at an advantage! Good luck, Tigers!