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So what does it take to enter college, do well as an undergraduate, and earn the degrees needed for a rewarding career?

The answer to that depends on whom you ask, but some of the best people to broach the topic with are students who have navigated their college careers with outstanding results.

Lucretia Williams is a student at Howard University. She is a computer information system major who has developed a mobile app that creates holistic solutions to help relieve the stress and pressures for HBCU students.

Networking is key

“It’s important that students have a great advisor and an upperclassmen mentor to help them figure out their curriculum scheme and the best classes and professors,” Lucretia explained. “Networking is key. Make sure you are making the right connections because the connections you make may provide many opportunities down the road.”

Get Involved on Campus

“Freshmen should want to build their resumes the best way they can,” Lucretia explained, “especially if they don’t have job experience in the fields they are pursuing. I definitely suggest joining organizations in their majors and holding some type of leadership position. I would also recommend participating in competitions and seeking out opportunities to volunteer.”

She continued, “You should consider going to career fairs as a freshman, even though you haven’t had any experience. This will help you develop what companies are looking for in a successful intern so that you can prepare yourself to be the ideal candidate.

Also, don’t count yourself out and think that you can’t get a big internship as a freshman. I know many of my peers at Howard received internships with Google, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman as a freshman.”

Develop Time Management Skills

“You have to utilize your time wisely,” Lucretia added. “There will be so many events and interests
on and off campus, but you have to choose to make studying and homework a priority. I would definitely suggest keeping a planner and sticking to it.”

Maintain Your Motivation

“My biggest motivation is my family,” Lucretia explained, “They have invested so much for me to be here. I’m from the South Bronx, where most people don’t graduate high school or even go to college, let alone attend great schools like Howard. I feel it is my duty to do the best I can so I that I will have the ability to give back to my community and everyone who helped me get to where I am today.

After my undergraduate studies, I want to go to graduate school for human–computer interaction studies. I also want to start my own non-profit that teaches STEM to inner-city students as well as continue growing a start-up company that I started last year.”

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