Tips for first year college students

Olivia is a Public Relations Professional from Michigan currently working at an advertising agency based in Scottsdale, Arizona. She graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Retailing and a specialization in Public Relations. She enjoys traveling, hiking, reading and spending time with family.

You enter college and are presented with a wealth of options: what dorm to request, what your major will be, what clubs you want to join, if you want to play intramural sports, along with countless others options.

It’s hard to know what to do and where to start.

Looking back there are certain things that I would place a great emphasis on: joining (at least 1) organizations that are related to your major, garner as much experience as you can through internships, job shadowing or even firm tours, solidify mentors and if you like to travel, join a study abroad or alternative spring break program,

Join student clubs/organizations
First things first; once you have decided on a major, utilize the resources within that college’s department. For example, the College of Communication Arts & Sciences, Education, Business, etc.

By doing this you will easily find clubs and organizations that pertain to specifically to your degree and will lead you to resources that help prepare you for the real world. It allows you to network with like-minded peer and professors, which may open the door to potential internships.

Garner experience
Before you graduate I highly suggest pursuing an internship. Internships allow you to see inside a career you may uphold once you graduate. By doing this early on you can make sure you like that career, the real world comes quick and doing something that makes you happy will only help you excel that much faster.

Acquire a Mentor
The student clubs or organizations you join and possible internships you complete should provide you with access to many experienced and trusted advisers. Don’t be afraid to ask someone you look up to that currently holds your dream job to meet for coffee, tell them what you’re thinking and ask if they’d be interested in being your mentor. What better way to get advice than from someone in your desired career path?

Your college department also provides counselor’s you should utilize to ensure you are taking the right courses to graduate on time and get the most value out of your education.

Study Abroad
Additionally, by being part of a student organization you may be eligible for scholarships to study abroad. If you like to travel at all, I suggest you look into a study abroad program or for a cheaper option, look into an alternative spring break program.

Traveling helps provide you with a clearer view of the world and expands your horizons. The trips expose you to so many fun new things and you come away with an entire new group of friends. And maybe you’ll even learn a new language?

The earlier you talk to a counselor about programs you are interested in the more options you will have.

By getting involved in student organizations, garnering experience through internships, establishing mentors and traveling throughout college you will be better prepared for the real world.

Tips for first year college students

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