I only have one semester left here at Loyola, so I feel like I am in a position to hand out unsolicited advice. Of course there’s the generic stuff; study hard, always do the readings, don’t wait until the night before your 13 blog posts are due to finish the last eight of them. I concur with all that. Ideally, those pieces of advice should be followed, although I am aware that most times the ideal does not happen, so don’t sweat it.
There are certain other things that I think are more important (and more pertinent to the advertising and public relations major then the aforementioned college 101 tips.
1. Study abroad during college.
While this does not directly relate to your studies and I most cases won’t have anything to do with them, study abroad experience is a great differentiator on a resume. If you can learn a foreign language while abroad, even better. During my internship this fall, my language skills came in to play much more than I expected, which is to say, the came in to play at all. During one of my first days on the job I was asked to research trade publications in Mexico. Based on the fact that I has studied abroad and learned Spanish and the other intern had not, I was given the project to myself. It wasn’t essentially a big deal, but projects like that do come up.
2. Get an internship early.
If you can get an internship at the end of your sophomore year, do it. If you can get one at the end of your freshman year, even better. I was a money hungry little monster my first years of college and would always choose a paying job over internship experience. I had my first internship this semester and I really wish I had a bit more to put on my resume. I have friends who have had four or five internships already and I know that they are not wanting for job offers.
When guest speakers come in to your classes, ask for their card, email follow-up questions and add them on LinkedIn. Also, public relations people aren’t the only useful contacts. The lady you babysit for might be a stay-at-home mom, but her best friend Suzzie’s sister might be an exec at Edelman.
4. Take a class will Allan Schoenberg…
Okay I put that for brownie points. But he is legitimately a good teacher and definitely worth taking. I’ve had him for two different classes you actually do learn things in his class. Plus he invites some really great guest speakers (aka networking opportunities.