Advice for college freshmen

Jennifer Laski is a 2014 graduate of Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in music. She has a passion for PR and the entertainment industry (television, theatre, music, etc). She loves performing on stage, working on productions behind the scenes and singing for crowds. She is open to career opportunities and networking and would love to hear from you!

Let me first say I loved every second of college and there are benefits to every decision I made during my four years there. However, there are some things I wish I had done differently. To keep it short and sweet, these are the top 5 things I would do-over if I went back to the start of my college life.

5. Eat right and find time to work out.
I didn’t take care of myself too well my first two years of college. I didn’t watch what I ate and I didn’t work out as much as I should. Thankfully by junior year, I began to work out more and I started to cook for myself and choose better foods. I gained a lot more energy junior year and I felt more awake during classes and presentations. This is a general tip for life, but if I had to re-do college I would have made time for the gym freshmen year (and I probably would have started eating salads more often too).

4. Go to networking events.
I did a good amount of networking through college, but I definitely could have done better, especially during my freshman year. Marist provides students with lots of networking events and speakers. I regret not going to hear more speakers because those are special networking opportunities. You get to hear great advice from seasoned professionals and you can meet with them afterward and exchange business cards or emails. I actually got my first internship through the Marist alumni network, but I still wish I had gone to more speaker events.

3. Take classes outside your major.
I learned a lot through my communications and public relations courses, but you need to know more if you want to exceed in the marketing/communications industry. I learned how to write press releases and make strategies, but there are other specific skills I didn’t realize I needed until I was applying for jobs my senior year. I’m making up for it now by using Lynda.org to learn about Photoshop and SEO and I’m planning to take more courses on coding, SEM and anything else I might need to get ahead in public relations. If I went back to the start of college, I would have taken electives in coding and graphic design. Going outside your comfort zone will benefit you in the end.

2. Intern your senior year.
I wasn’t fortunate enough to graduate with a job offer. I’m not saying interning the last semester of my senior year would have guaranteed that, but it may have helped. A good number of my friends who got jobs immediately after graduation got them because they interned their last spring semester. The places they interned at offered them jobs upon graduation. That certainly would have put my mind at rest, but instead I spent the following three months after college applying and interviewing for jobs. If you have the time, try and intern your last semester at a company you could picture yourself working at.

1. Go Abroad.
This is definitely my biggest regret. I loved the semesters I spent at Marist, but I know I missed out on so many experiences by not going abroad. It would have been the perfect time for me to explore different countries and learn about various cultures. I would have also liked to intern with a company in another country to gain more experience in the communications world, which has become international in every way possible. Going abroad is not only academically rewarding but you gain a lot of life skills as well. I’m hoping one day to get on a plane over to Europe and explore the countries I missed out on in college.

advice for college freshmen 

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