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Finding Your Opportunity at JMU

About a week ago while I walked home from campus and the falling snow accumulated on my jacket, I realized JMU had given me quite the day, one full of opportunities. I had formulated an email to the president and CEO of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham chamber of commerce. I had a meeting with the executive director of the Gilliam Center for Entrepreneurship. I had met with the academic unit head of the school of communication studies. I met with JMU’s head sports dietitian and spent 3 hours purchasing and transporting $1,000 worth of food for student athletes. And lastly, I negotiated with a friend’s landlord to reverse their decision not to renew his lease and keep him in his apartment. For me that was an extraordinary day, but one that was only made possible by my decision to pursue opportunities outside of my normal JMU coursework.

For example, the first and third opportunities were made possible by my decision to apply to Bluestone Communications, the second by my decision to join Madison Inc which is a year-long business incubator program through the College of Business’ Gilliam Center, the fourth was from a volunteer opportunity presented in a dietetics class, and the last was learned from taking an extra negotiations class (SCOM 333) in summer school. The point is, JMU is full of opportunities outside of your normal coursework, you just have to look for them and tailor them to your interests.

Here are some of the free opportunities available to students in just the next 7 days:

· Wed. 2/9, 10am-1pm, Festival Ballroom: Career Fair for Hospitality and Sports & Recreation

Management (Handshake)

· Thur. 2/10, 7pm, AUBC: Men’s Basketball vs. Elon (JMU students always get free general admission


· Fri. 2/11, 11am-1pm, Gabbin Hall 204: Resume Prep for Campus-Wide Career Fair

· Sat. 2/12, 4pm, AUBC: Men’s Basketball vs. William & Mary

· Sun. 2/13, 6:30pm: Super Bowl LVI parties!!!!

· Tue. 2/15, 11am-3pm, Festival Ballroom: Campus-Wide Career Fair

· Wed. 2/16, 11am-3pm, Festival Ballroom: Campus-Wide Career Fair

· Wed. 2/16, 6pm, Livestream on Facebook and YouTube: Madison Vision Series (3 Mayors Discussing

Future Leadership Challenges)

Besides the recent opportunities I’ve just mentioned, I’ve had even more over the last year that I’ve enjoyed. Last fall I got to watch the men’s and women’s basketball teams practice as I worked at their nutrition fuel zones. Last summer coursework sent me to Inova Fairfax Hospital for two weeks (during COVID) to work with their director of clinical nutrition, 18 dietitians, and Morrison’s director of food services to learn more about their hospital food service. And last spring I had the opportunity to interview an idol of mine who runs a major non-profit organization in California, for about 60 minutes over Zoom.

The point is JMU abounds with opportunities. Go out there, take advantage of the resources JMU provides you. Whether it’s an on-campus job, off-campus volunteer opportunity, "preprofessional" club, or university resource in the SSC. You can find the opportunity that fits your goals and be well on your way towards achieving them! Best of luck and remember there’s always more out there for you to discover at JMU!

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