Tips For College Seniors

It has been a full year since I’ve graduated from the University of Oregon which also means it has been a full year of working in the “real world.” Though it has not been as scary as I imagined it would, I definitely can attribute much of my success to my actions during my senior year at the UO. Although many of my peers have just graduated, I thought it might be helpful to create a list of tips for what I thought benefited me while I was at school.

1. Internships. During my junior and senior year, I was involved in several internships — often more than one at a time. Yes, I was busy, but I also gained extremely valuable experience during the time when I needed it the most. Nearly all were unpaid but in the long run, it doesn’t matter. Take advantage of this experience while you can. Businesses will favor potential employees that have experience (unpaid or not) and it is much harder to work at an unpaid internship after you finish school when you have to start paying back student loans. Tip: There are many ways to find an internship — such as through your school, online, or social media. If you are still having trouble, find a local non-profit organization that you are passionate about. E-mail them and see if they could benefit from some of your skills!

2.Get involved on campus. Whatever your passion is, get involved in groups and activities with other people that share your passion. Though this is something I wish I did more of at the U of O, I had plenty of opportunity. For me, I could have become involved in my school’s PRSSA chapter or even Allen Hall Public Relations, a student-run PR firm at the U of O. If you don’t know of any activities that you can get involved in, ask your professor or talk to an advisor. These extracurricular activities look great on a resume.

3. Get to know your peers, professors and advisors — and stay in touch! Luckily for me, my classes senior year were all small and intimate, allowing me to get to know many of my peers and professors. These people are a great resource for you now and in the future. Everyone goes their separate way when they graduate and in the long run, that separation provides you to have resources in many different places. Not only can these people inform you about potential new opportunities but it’s always easier to get involved in a company if you already know someone who is connected. And, with social media now-a-days, it’s easy to keep in touch with these people.

4. Be involved and knowledgeable about new media. Technology is ever-changing and its growth will not stop anytime soon. Understanding and being involved in current and new technology just adds more to your personal branding. It’s even more important to know how to use this technology to benefit you in your field of interest. I personally have a strong interest in social media and have made an effort to incorporated my knowledge and interest in social media to use strategically for brand management. An updated and constant knowledge and understanding of new media, especially because it’s always changing, will set you apart from colleagues who lack this skill.

Although there are an infinite amount of tips for college seniors, these are my best four. What other tips would you recommend?

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