How is it possible that we are back already?
For those of you who are seniors like myself– HOW IS THIS OUR LAST SEMESTER???
Can you not vividly remember our first semester here as freshman thinking you had to eat three meals a day at the commons and sport a lanyard around your neck with your sharp new ID so you didn’t get locked out of your dorm? Yea, me too.
But my fellow seniors, the realization is that soon, we will no longer be able to bank on our midday naps to get us through the day. We will actually have to start paying for our Starbucks coffee with cash, not flex dollars. And free gym memberships….forget about it. It is 2015, our graduation year. We have been saying since we were kids, “I will be a college grad in 2015! I will be sophisticated, mature, and totally have my life together!” (What were we thinking?)
But it’s not too late! With a positive mindset and the proper preparation, we can become the greatest post-grads we always imagined we would be.
So, what’s the first step?
To start, look around you. I guarantee your smart phone is either attached to your body or sitting within 1-3 feet of you. As 20 something’s who grew up with Xanga, Myspace, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (the list goes on) we are pretty much social media experts. So why not take advantage of our knowledge and expertise? For those of you with big interviews lined up within the next month or so, one of the crucial things you need to do during your preparation process is clean up your social media accounts.
Social media can be a fantastic way to boost your brand, but only if you use it properly. Google yourself. See what you find. You want employers to find the goodies (your blog, a LinkedIn account, a digital portfolio, a professional twitter page). Make sure you like what you see when you type your name into an internet search. If your 2014 Block Party images are popping up from your roommates Facebook account, you may want to reconsider keeping your profile open to the public.
You are your brand
Even though you may know a lot of other upper-level students who are in the same process as you and are going to be graduating with the same degree, remember – the students sitting to the right and left of you at the May 2015 graduation ceremony are not you. So how exactly can you sell your brand and stand out from your competitors?
A great place to begin - establish a 20-30 second elevator pitch. Pre-grads who are soon to be post-grads, ahemmm, this is for you! An amazing opportunity may be standing next to you in line at your local coffee shop.
Get your communication face ready and be prepared to tell a stranger your story in a nut shell. Form a clear introduction with your name, your major, your career goals and achievements. Include any relevant work or internship experience you have, or research you have done that relates to the position.
I know, this may sound a bit robotic. But with practice you can work on establishing a bit of your personality into your pitch. Another tip - have a professional business card (with your email, LinkedIn account, Digital Portfolio link, etc.) ready in your wallet to hand potential employers at a conference or a work meeting. Pleaseeee…..put your phone down, and don’t be afraid to talk to people!
“Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” – Matt Damon, We Bought a Zoo.
Just remember, have fun establishing a personal brand. You are unique, you are educated, and you will soon have a fancy degree framed in your parent’s living room. Make something of yourself. Be courageous, be prepared, and most importantly be confident. Before you know it, you will be that cool post-grad you always dreamed you would be!
— Rachael Scicchitano, senior communication studies major #HuskyLife #ProfessionalU