Hi! I’m Courtney Hiltunen, a 2010 graduate of Randolph-Macon College. I am a Seventh Grade Math teacher for Teach For America.
If you had asked me what I wanted to "be" at any point in my life, right up until my senior year of high school, I would have surely said a teacher. But I put that dream on hold when I got to college and found a place to explore my love of foreign language. I majored in French, minored in economics, and didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do with either. I did, however, take advantage of as many opportunities as I could. I studied abroad, did an internship with United Airlines, volunteered with a youth organization off campus, participated in Access CEO, and worked in the Career Center and the HAC. By senior year, I still had no idea which direction I would go: Business? Foreign language? Education? As someone who had always had a plan, graduation was sneaking up a little too quickly.
If there’s one thing I learned my senior year, it's that it's not too late. If you abandoned a dream or a passion your first three years, or you suddenly found a new one, you can still find a way to make it happen. Just don’t be afraid to explore your options. You may have to work a little harder or follow a different path than you expected, but if it's truly what you want it will be worth it. After three years of new and exciting experiences, I rediscovered my passion for teaching and knew I wanted to be in the classroom. With no education major or formal teaching experience, I needed an alternative route. I researched my options, and eventually applied to and was accepted by Teach For America. It was unconventional and a challenging process, but I’m blessed today to have a job that I absolutely love.
If you still aren't sure where you want to be after graduation, take advantage of opportunities that you might otherwise have overlooked. You never know what you may discover about yourself and the world of possibilities around you, and how it may change your plans. If nothing else, you gain more insight into what you don't want to do, and you grow personally and professionally. Whatever you do, don’t compare your resume, your timeline, and your future to someone else's. Do what’s best for you and not what you think others expect you to do.
Enjoy this wonderful year!Courtney
Basics of Personal and Career Development
If Graduate School