9 Tips For Being Professional In College

9 Tips For Being Professional In College

Planners, time management, professional Dress—oh how the list continues.
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College is hard, but learning how to be professional while finding your way can be even harder. Here are a few tips and tricks to stay professional and begin increasing your network.

1. Check your emails, frequently

I know so many kids who would let email upon email pile up in their inbox during high school. News flash: we're not in high school anymore. Professors will email, classmates for team projects will email, sales for the bookstores or local events will come to you via email. You might even get free stuff from your email. Check your email more than once a day! It is time for big kid communication.

2. Time Management

Nothing, and I mean nothing, drives me more insane than that kid who continuously walks into class 10 minutes late every single day! It is rude to your professor or TA, it is rude to your classmates, it is distracting, and a very, very bad habit to have. You should be at least five to ten minutes early, trust me. This will make life a lot easier.

3. Keeping a Planner

You need some way to do it. Throughout high school, when things got super crazy, I would just stop using my planner. I didn’t have time to write all that down. But, that really isn’t a very good way to go in college. Whether it be via your phone, computer, or good ‘ol pen and paper, plan things out. I love using the Reminders app on my MacBook and iPhone so that they are all synced together. I made a list for each day, which allows me to plan out what sections I need to read, what assignments I have to get done, and what other chores I should accomplish. I also see a lot of traditional planners, or people use sticky notes or notes on their computers to keep running lists. All are very good options, pick one that works for your life.

4. Taking risks, the right kind of risks

I am not saying that you should see if you can drink five four locos in an hour. I am talking about applying for that difficult internship, running for a position within your organization or club. Push your limits to expand academic and personal success. Go outside your comfort zone.

5. Professional dress

That mini skirt you are constantly tugging at while trying to gracefully (and somewhat comfortably) sit in the chair outside the interview office is not attractive. Professional dress is quite the art, and you should make sure to have a nice business casual, a nice business formal, and a few spare items in your college wardrobe, especially as you get into your elder years of college. Everyone loves a well dressed person. And, if you are in business school, you better be able to have business clothes to dress up for presentations, I am overwhelmingly shocked by all of the freshmen business students who do not have any dress clothes, or even business casual clothes with them. You are in business school, people! Making a good impression will help you land the job, and being the girl who couldn't sit comfortably in your chair will not be the right impression to leave.

6. How to Study

If you can’t learn how to study within the first few exams, you are basically doomed. Figure out what works best for you. Re-reading the textbook chapters, notecards, practice tests, the list can go on. Don’t feel like you are obligated to stay in the norm, whatever helps you helps you.

7. LinkedIn

Networking is a must. You need a nice, professional looking headshot. It doesn’t have to be from some fancy studio, just put on some business clothes and try to get a professional looking selfie. Make sure to connect with people you meet, expand your horizons. The saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

8. Handling your responsibilities

Feeling sick, schedule yourself a doctor's appointment. Lost your debit card? Time to call the bank and tell them to shut it down. Bad hangover? How about, no more drinking on a Tuesday night.

9. Building your resume

This goes hand in hand with LinkedIn and taking the right decisions. You have four years to add as much as you can to your resume. Remember, longevity looks good to companies, diversity looks good to companies, and it's more than paid work they are looking for. Volunteerism is a big aspect of what companies look for in future employees.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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I Chose A Major That Won't Make Me Millions, But I Would Not Want It Any Other Way

Because if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

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As high school comes to a close, your parents, teachers and friends start to ask you what you want to do with your life. They tell you it's time to start deciding because you'll have to pick a major once you get to college.

Some people start their college career without declaring a major. Some choose a major, only to change it months, or even years, later. I went into college with a declared major. I may have changed my specific career a few times, but I have never changed my major.

I chose something that I was passionate about.

I chose something that I always enjoyed. I chose something that I knew I could make a career out of, while also knowing I can enjoy what I do because it is something I care about.

I may not have chosen to be a doctor or a lawyer. I may not be rolling around in money as an adult. I may not make a top-notch salary.

But money isn't the most important part of choosing a career.

I chose a career path that I knew I would enjoy. I didn't want to wake up every morning and dread having to go to work because I chose something just for the money it could bring me.

So, don't let anyone talk down on you for your chosen career. Every career out there has some kind of importance. Doctors, lawyers, salesmen, teachers, writers, first responders...you're all important and you all contribute to the building blocks of society.

My major may not lead me to make millions throughout my lifetime, but I will be doing something that I love. That is what is important.

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@jakkaiser/Instagram

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