This post was written as a freelancer. It was published to the Dream Row blog on October 2, 2012.
It’s no secret that college isn’t just about classes. In fact, most alumni’s favorite things about college happened outside the classroom. So how does one make the most of student life? Here are a few tips:
- Join Student Professional Organizations Most universities offer a variety of student professional organizations, such as the Public Relations Student Society of America and the Society of Professional Journalists’ student chapters. These organizations give students the opportunity to attend meetings and conferences, network with other students and meet industry professionals. These groups are unique opportunities for students to get most of the benefits of belonging to a professional networking organization without paying the sometimes hefty memberships fees. If there isn’t a chapter on you campus, start one. Not only will you meet other motivated students in your major, but you’ll have a great accomplishment to put on your resume.
- Treat Gatherings as Networking Opportunities While the computer science major sitting next to you in math class may just seem like any other person, he may be the next Steve Jobs. Or the girl you meet watching the game could be on her way to becoming a CEO. Not everyone you meet has to
be your best friend, but it will probably be beneficial to make some acquaintances. You never know who may be helpful when searching for your dream job.
- Take Advantage of Office Hours It may seem that the only person who goes to office hours is the annoying kid who asks too many questions. But office hours are underrated. They give students a unique opportunity to talk to professors face-to-face and discuss goals for the class and beyond. They also help professors get acquainted with their students, and even link them with jobs and internships. Most professors have many connections in their field and you’ll never have as much access to them as when you are in their class.
- Intern, intern, intern. This one has probably been drilled into your head a hundred times, but it’s important. Most students have the time and are used to the low or non-paying wages. In fact, due to recent law suits from former interns, many companies will only accept interns who can earn school credit for their time. Catching up on sleep and watching The Walking Dead may seem like a more fun use of time now, but your future self will thank you while job hunting.
- Have a Little Fun. It would be a mistake to spend your entire college career thinking about the next party and ignoring your future career. However, it would also be a mistake to spend every waking moment working. College is a unique, sometimes stressful experience you most likely won’t have again, so don’t be afraid to let loose every once in a while. Once you get that job, you’ll need some fun stories to share around the water cooler.