Saint Joseph’s University is one of the few schools that have a major known as Food Marketing, and this area of study is quite possibly the most popular major on Hawk Hill. Students have graduated with jobs lined up at large companies, such as General Mills, and have gained valuable experience from their professors, who have worked in the food industry. Another aspect to the Food Marketing major is an option known as the Food Marketing Co-op. In this plan, students are in a five-year program where they take the required courses for the major, as well as have three Co-op opportunities before they graduate.
Though I am not a Food Marketing major, my older sister, who also attends SJU, is one. She recently completed her second co-op at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture where she and another SJU student worked at from July to January. At the end of their Co-op, they had the opportunity to utilize all of their hard earned knowledge, while working the Culinary Connection Stage at the Farm Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Though this whole experience was my sisters’, I feel like I was part of this process every step of the way, because only now do I realize just how much goes into being a ‘real’ adult.
Prior to this experience I always imagined interviewing, and (hopefully) accepting a job, to be such a glorious thing. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure it is an absolute wonderful feeling, but it is not just a case closed situation. There is so much that goes into starting a new life, in my sister’s case she had to relocate for her Co-op. How fun I thought — a different area, another fresh start, and a chance to live somewhere new for just six months, what more could you ask for? Little did I know all that actually goes into relocating, and how getting a job is only half the battle.
One prime example of just how little I knew about the real world was renter’s insurance. Who knew how tedious getting this necessity was, and how even when you move out you still have to make sure to cancel everything you had to have for that space. I guess what was most important for me to realize, when I saw my sister go through these Co-ops, is that you are not just a college student anymore. You are in the working world now and are expected to complete your tasks and complete them well. Of course there are ups and downs, as with any job, but knowing you get to come back to school after it’s finished is (of course) a great feeling.
I think that visiting my sister in Harrisburg, hearing her stories from work, and seeing her in action at the Farm Show has really made me excited to get into the working world. Though, it has definitely made me cherish my time as a student, and reminded me to not try to grow up too fast. Just like my dad has always told me, “Stay in school as long as you can, you’re going to be working the rest of your life!”