Wednesday, October 17, 2012

4 Things I've Learned as a College Grad

August marked my first year as a college grad. I decided to make a little list out there for all my peeps getting ready to move on to colleges, or still trying to make it through, worrying about the future, etc. I still have so much to learn, but here are my tips for now.

  1. Make internships your top priority. Internships have gotten me absolutely everywhere. They got me the job I have today and the best experience I could ask for. Sure, you'll be required to take an internship to graduate, but why not take an extra one, just for your resume? Many internships these days do pay (all of mine did). Sometimes internships end after a few months and sometimes they are rabbit holes. All of mine has been portals to something waaay better.
  2. Don't count on your degree teaching you much. This sounds terrible, and you learn great skills in college: time management, dedication, inter-personal skills, public speaking, etc... but there are SO many things you don't learn. For example, as a communications major and a working PR girl Friday, the  most important and useful classes I took in college were about writing, grammar and editorial skills. I'm sure a nurse or a doctor would have a much different experience with education. Do well in school,try your very best, but don't become disheartened when you loath certain classes. Chances are you'll never have to worry about them again *cough*statistic*cough*
  3. Don't stress about graduating in four years. You want to take a year or two to volunteer/ go on a mission/travel the world/ hike the Appalachian trail? Go for it baby. My advice is to stay anxiously engaged (see vs 27). Moving forward and learning doesn't always mean uninterrupted semesters.
  4. Make your life happen. Not a lot of people these days get jobs in their field straight out of the gate. Smart, fantastically talented people don't have jobs. You may have to do things you feel are "beneath" you, like doing extended internships, working part time jobs, substitute teaching, whatever pays the bills. But make things happen for yourself. Apply for jobs every day, even if you don't think you'll get them. Create opportunities for yourself. Want to get a job in sportscasting, open a cupcake palace or make movies? Start a blog. Opportunities often sneak in very very quietly and don't announce that they've arrived until they're ready to dash out the door.

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