I by NO MEANS am trying to act like I am trying to educate others on career advice or college advice. I didn’t make all the right decisions in college, and there are probably so many things I’ve could’ve done better. However, mistakes make the best learning experiences..right? lol.
Most of my advice might be directed more towards business majors, but there are some things that everyone can twek and do, regardless of your major.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
- School comes first:: There are a lot of distractions around you when you are in college. But you need to remember why you are there- to learn. At the end of the day, its not going to make a difference if you went to that frat party or not. I always tried to go to class, even when a lot of my friends wouldn’t and it was hard to stay motivated to go. But class is important, teachers recognize if you are someone that skips class a lot and that will end up hurting your grade and your relationship with that professor.
- Unpaid experience is better than no experience:: Finding an internship could be really difficult, depending on your major. When I entered college I wanted to major in marketing, so I applied for a ton of marketing internships and got one unpaid working for a nonprofit sports company in Cleveland. The experience was really hands on and helped give me stories to land my following two internships. But putting work into any nonprofit or club is really the key, you need experience or you have nothing to back yourself up.
- Networking:: you learn the most from others that have this experience and that can connect you to someone else to learn from. I got to network a lot in college, in the business school I was in a business frat that helped me link up and learn from other like-minded business students. It was also vital in my internships that I networked with people across functions in the company to learn about how they got to where they are in their career. Networking is vital to get your name out there, learn from others, and make connections that can help you in the future.
- Confidence:: confidence is something I’ve struggled with my whole life. I think middle school, and high school killed my confidence, and I quickly learned in college (especially at the university I attended) that without confidence you could be eaten alive. I always knew I didnt have confidence, but I knew I had to do something about it after my second internship when my boss was giving me feedback he told me to “be more confident”… I didn’t realize that it was that obvious! I took the feedback to heart and I really tried to become more confident going into my junior year of college. I worked on this by participating in class more, asking for help (which I used to absolutely hate doing). I think confidence is KEY. Fake it till you make it honey.
- Build relationships with professors, especially those professors in your major. They have so much knowledge to the industry and have helped guide many pasts students careers. They want to help you. I just graduated three months ago and I still e-mail old professors for career advice and help. Keep those relationships strong.
- Build your resume:: Volunteer, join clubs, get involved. I definitely wish I was more involved, and always felt guilty when I was in college for not being more involved. However, I did dedicate a huge chunk of my time to my social life–which I don’t regret in any way. However, I tried to be involved in the fashion club, a business fraternity, and the supply chain club to meet people and get involved with my university and my interests. These activities gave me things to talk about in interviews when I didn’t have a lot of work experience to pull from. They show you are hard working and motivated. Don’t do NOTHING in college…this will show you just went to keggers and partied your way through-red flags. The job market is COMPETITIVE nowadays and its hard to find a job, do things to help you stand apart from other candidates.
College isn’t always fun, and you will take classes that you absolutely hate. But you have to just keep pushing and get through. Its only about 4 years of your life, and some of the best times. So for those who are still in college, enjoy every minute. Take advantage of all your university has to offer. I graduated from college with a full time job, and 3 internships under my belt so I think I did something right.