Insight: Benefit or a Waste of Time?

Students are required to complete Insight activities to graduate. Are they worth it?


Fall Career Fair in 2019. Photo from @champlainedu on Instagram.

The Insight program at Champlain College is meant to better prepare students for the future in their field. Each August, students are given a set of tasks to complete over the course of the school year. Students must complete all of the tasks before they graduate.

Some tasks the Insight program requires make sense, but others feel like a waste of time. 

Students are introduced to the Insight program through the “Game of Life” activity, in which they visit different tables to discuss their salary and what sort of budget they should create based on it. The Game of Life activity was somewhat interesting; I learned about what my life could potentially be like with a proposed salary of someone in my field. Another task includes an ‘A la Carte’ activity. I don’t even remember which one I participated in my freshman year, since it was so unmemorable.

In our second year of college, the most valuable Insight tasks are the LinkedIn and resume submissions. Students must meet certain guidelines in order to pass, which means they may have to revise several times. They must also participate in a credit review process and plan, ensuring they understand how credit works and how they can build theirs. At least, those are the goals.

I came into college understanding a gist of what credit was and how to build it. I opened a credit card when I started college, and most of the information given in this lesson was about that concept. The aspects that were repetitive seemed unnecessary to me, whereas the parts that were new didn’t make sense, so they didn’t stick in my head. The resume and LinkedIn submissions were very helpful; I still keep up with both of mine to make sure they are up-to-date.

I am currently in my third year of college, and this year, we are expected to attend the Virtual Career Fair, amongst other tasks. I recently attended the Virtual Career Fair, and in my eyes, it felt like a waste of time.

Normally, in these situations, I find a way to make the best of it. Even if it’s something I feel like I don’t want to participate in, it typically turns out to be worth it, because I learn more about my career and future goals. The Virtual Career Fair did not speak to me. We were expected to participate in a 30 minute session with other students to get an idea about a business and what their goals and expectations for employees were. Then, we could ask questions. We were also expected to have a 10 minute one-on-one conversation with an employer so we could talk more personally about how our education could play into a job at that business or ones like it.

I felt unadvised as to which programs I was expected to sign up for. Professional Writing students can fit into many different categories, yet none of the ones created for the CCM division made sense to what I specifically was studying. I ended up choosing a 30 minute session and 10 minute one-on-one with a local TV station, figuring that broadcast journalism was as close as I was going to get to my interests. It wasn’t. Instead, I felt embarrassed and on-the-spot when the employer was asking me questions during the one-on-one session, considering I largely didn’t know what he was talking about.

These opportunities created through the Insight program make sense, but they’re missing the mark. If Career Collaborative and the College expect students to finish these tasks before graduation, they need to make them worthwhile and something we will actually use in the future. Students are busy people, and they don’t need fluff work added onto plates that are already overflowing.