What is college really like

Welcome to a piece of my world! My name is Desiree M. Williams, I was born in New York City and was raised in Dover, Delaware. I graduated in May of 2012 Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations. I have a strong passion for events and hopefully one day I will own my own business and be a well-known wedding planner. Currently, I am the site manager of Buena Vista Conference Center in New Castle, Delaware. I maintain the historic integrity of the mansion, give tours of the property to clients and potential brides, assist with the planning and logistics of events, maintain all social media presence of the estate and create new marketing and promotional strategies to better serve local vendors and the public.
I can say without question that college was one of the best experiences of my life, things were not always easy but it was certainly worth it. There is a certain level of expectation that most people set themselves up to believe before they attend college. For example, you may decide to take a French course expecting to leave the course knowing how to speak French fluently. Or you may decide on your major and think you will leave college feeling like the “Einstein” of your field. Well, I am here to tell that this will not be the case and that is certainly not the expectation of your professors, so do not put that pressure on yourself. Learn as much as you can, ask as many questions as you can but understand that you gain so much more from college in just the little life lessons you experience.
Rule # 1: Be Proactive and Make Connections! Yes it may be your freshman year in college and you feel like you have nothing but time to get your act together, but this is false. Your four years of college will fly by within a blink of an eye. Take your time on campus to get to know your professors, make connections, seek mentors, go to career services, etc. These are the people that will be writing your letters of recommendations, informing you about opportunities and internships available and helping you make connections with other people that will be able to assist you in your future endeavors. I was once told that it’s not always about who you know, but who knows you. And that brings me to my next rule…
Rule # 2: Find yourself and Brand yourself. Be creative, be fun but most importantly be you! College is such a fun time and you can sometimes get caught up with wanting to be associated with “popular groups” and that’s okay, but college is really about finding yourself and discovering who you want to be as an individual. For most people, college is the first time that they have been away from home, so use this time to discover who you are and what you want to do. After you figure out what it is you want to do, make a name for yourself. Start promoting your talents, carry around business cards, offer help and assistance to student organizations and do freelance work. All of these things are perfect opportunities to get your feet wet and really start to brand yourself.
Rule # 3: Get Experience in Your Field. This rule will be short, sweet and to the point. Seek any internship or volunteer opportunities in your field because that looks extremely good on your resume. This will also help you decide if you really like what it is that you are taking up in school. Having hands on experience in your field is the best way to really learn and get exposure. Visit your career services on campus and see what opportunities may be available both non-paid and paid.
Rule # 4: Keep your connections. You learned from rule # 1 that it is important to make connections, now you must learn that it is just as important to keep those connections. After college still keep in touch with your professors in your field, mentors and career coaches. They are the ones that hear about different job opportunities first, if you fall off of their radar they will not think to contact you when a new opportunity arises. If you send e-mails every three to six months, this will help you stay in the forefront if there is a new job or internship available.

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