Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Why I Took a Leave

One of my favorite times of year is the first week back to school. Putting together your room, seeing all of your friends, all of the social events that take place and looking towards the awesome semester ahead of you. But this year, I’m going to miss that first week back from summer break because I decided to take a leave of absence. This was probably one of the hardest decisions I have had to make for my academic career because it meant I wouldn’t be able to go abroad, I’d have to take a few online classes (I HATE online classes) and I’d be missing the “college experience” for a semester along with that first week back. Now that my summer internship has come to close though, I couldn’t be happier that I took this semester off.

When I initially made this decision to take a leave, I had two reasons. First, I was becoming a bit drained from taking classes, stressing over exams and grades, and the Babson schedule. I felt like I was taking all of these classes, but had no idea what direction I needed to concentrate in for my career or what my focus needed to be. Since I want to go into the Music Industry, and Babson only offers a handful of music industry classes, I felt like interning at a record label for six months would help direct me as to what classes were going to be most valuable to my own career. I want to graduate knowing I was able to get the most out of Babson and that my education will be as helpful to me as possible when I start applying to jobs at record labels.

My second decision was that I though interning for six months at a record label would not only give me more educational direction, but it would give me a leg up over other applicants when I start applying to jobs. By the time I graduate I hope to have had at least three internships within the music industry, and two of those internships are from this summer and up coming fall. The more experience, the more people I know, and the more educated I am about the industry will only help me with interviewing and filling out applications.

Now that the summer has come to a close, and I begin to prepare for my next internship, I can definitely say I made the right choice to take off the semester and continue working for Sony Music. In just three and a half months, I have learned so much about the industry, met and built relationships with so many people, and have gained much more of a direction for my career. What I have also realized is that the Music Industry has so many different parts and positions that I could consider doing, and the more experience I have, the more I will know what I do and especially what I do not want to do.

Along with continuing my internship at Sony, I have also had the opportunity to start working part time for a startup, which is an experience I have wanted to gain for a while now, and have finally had the opportunity to accomplish. It’s incredible how different the cultures of working at the Startup, Cents, and Sony have been but both have really taught me a lot, and also has showed me where my strengths and weaknesses lie. I have learned so much about myself in these past three months, and I have another three months to continue to conquer my weaknesses and continue to learn about myself.

Needless to say, taking a semester off was a difficult decision at the beginning, but now that I have finished half of my six month hiatus, I can see that I am far from finished on this journey, and I realize how many opportunities I have been afforded because I decided to take some time to learn outside of a classroom. I will miss the first week back from school, but I’ll make up for it my senior year. Taking a leave of absence isn’t for everyone, but I know for sure that it is for me.