5 Things I've Learned From Working In Corporate
College Life |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

5 Things I've Learned From Working In Corporate

It's not like "Beauty and the Briefcase".

At the beginning of the summer, I was ecstatic to have two part-time internships at established companies. I felt like I would be the next Andrea Sachs. I loved thinking about decorating my desk, strutting into the office with a Starbucks in hand and getting those biweekly direct deposits.

Four weeks later, and I'm looking forward to the end of my internships, because I'll have time to be a nineteen year old college student during the summer--free of a forty-hour work week commitment. With that said, I'm grateful for the experience. I've learned a lot, made mistakes and discovered some aspects of what I do and don't want as a career.

If you're interning this summer, you can probably relate to these five things I determined from working in corporate:

It's not as glamorous as it appears on television.

Movies and TV shows have the tendency of making the office environment seem very appealing and enticing with hot men and women, classy outfits and exciting drama. However, I've quickly realized that this image distorts reality (like many things on screens do these days). Eight hour days are not my definition of "fun". Unpaid 30-minute lunches are a high luxury. Most days, I'd rather be rocking my classic college look. And no, I've never heard of any steamy office hook ups.

It really is all about money.

I never understood how important money is to people and companies until I worked a job in corporate. Numbers are super valuable, and I'm not talking about the low ones in my bank account. Revenue, profit, debt, etc. are what's on people's minds constantly in corporate. Nearly every decision made in any company happens with money at the center of attention. It doesn't seem right, but I suppose that's just how it is for businesses to thrive and people to make a living. I don't think anyone has the power to change that.

You can't escape the hierarchy or cliques.

You may have tricked yourself into thinking that middle school, high school and even college cliques would magically disappear post-college graduation. I hate to break the news that they won't. In corporate, I've concluded that most workers in each department stick to themselves; there's not a lot of integration among company workers on the whole. Plus, the sense of hierarchy is palpable in the office. People talk to higher-ups differently than they do to those below them or equal to them. Someone from senior management who treats people working under them with respect is one of the best things you can find in a working professional. I wish we could find them more frequently.

Interns don't have much say.

I agree that you get out of it what you put into it when it comes to internships, but I also think that corporate companies over all don't care too much about what interns have to say. They say they want fresh voices and innovation, yet simultaneously don't want to change their ways or take risks. It's been rewarding seeing some of my ideas implemented, but, at the same time, it's also disappointing, because I want to contribute more and feel like I'm incapable of that.

There's no rush.

Working in corporate gives me a smack in the face as to this is what I will most likely be doing for 40 years plus after college. That terrifies me. We're in a world that tells kids to not grow up too fast, but to also do things to prepare them for the "real world". I honestly think squeezing lemonade and waiting tables prepped me almost as much as working in corporate has. I may take a break from it next summer and do something more fun and exciting, for there will be countless office days in the further future. Enjoy being a student while you can!

Everyone's different. You may discover you love working in corporate and that it's your dream. You may find a company that treats their employees very well. As for me, I'm starting to brainstorm freelance opportunities and earning money through genuine passions of mine that don't involve a stuffy corporate environment.

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Five Things I Learned While Applying to Internships

It's never too early.

Going to college and earning a degree is hard, but getting an internship to complete that degree can be an even bigger challenge. Here are five things I learned while applying to internships.

1. Don't wait to take internships for experience.
My college expected students to wait until their senior year to complete a single internship for a school credit. This also depended on the student's major; not everyone had to complete an internship to graduate. I was genuinely shocked that the school wasn't encouraging more students to experience as many internships as possible as early as possible.

By the time my senior year rolled around, I had little work experience for my major, and was scrambling to find an internship that met my needs. While I followed my school's recommendation to wait until my senior year, it only hurt me in the end. They were probably trying to keep students from being overwhelmed, but in the end, they only starved students of more experience, and more opportunities for the future.

2. Don't wait until the last minute to apply.

We've all heard the saying, "it's not about what you know, but who you know." I thought that was true until my senior year. I worked in the communication studies office, and the secretary told me she knew a retired professor who was looking for writing and public relations interns. She gave me his phone number, and any thoughts of applying to other internships went out the window. To me, I had the internship in the bag.

My mistake was realized when the professor never returned my calls, and when I finally reached him and set up an interview, he never showed up. By this time, the internship paperwork was due in just a matter of weeks, and I had no internship. Because the deadline was so close, almost all of the available internships were taken.

Even if you think you have an internship early on, don't wait to apply to more. It could fall through, and you don't want to wait until the last minute to start applying for something else. You can always tell other places you've applied that you are waiting to make a decision until it gets closer to the deadline.

3. Apply to as many internships as you can.
When I began applying for internships, I had a very specific idea of what I wanted, and I ended up limiting myself. Had I applied to any available internship in my field, I would have had a better chance at finding one sooner. I was stubborn, and kept looking specifically for film or production, but I could have applied to so many more, and had so many other possibilities for myself. Instead, I only applied to a few, and ended up picking one I wasn't completely happy with.

4. Research the internships you apply to.
Speaking of choosing an internship I wasn't happy with... it's because I didn't do my research. Just like when applying for jobs, you will want to research the company or organization thoroughly. What is their mission statement? What have past employees or interns thought of them? While you obviously want to bring something to the table for them, you also need to consider what experiences they can give you. Internships should ideally be experience that helps you find a career, and if they can't give you that experience, you shouldn't give them your hard work and dedication.

Also, you definitely want to make sure the internship you choose isn't going to treat you like a stereotypical intern; you don't want to be doing coffee runs and errands. While this may be an internship to be completed for a school credit, you shouldn't blow off the work experience part. That's important.

5. Don't get your hopes up.
This one may sound odd and a little bit harsh, but I have to be real with you; some people are offered full-time positions from their internship, while others aren't. You shouldn't get it stuck in your head that your the company you are interning for will immediately going to hire you. Most places don't, and too many college students rely on that experience to save them after college. The ones who do get hired are lucky, and put a lot of hard work, dedication, and effort into their time interning.

It also depends on the type of internship. I interned for a small non-profit organization who simply couldn't afford to hire me. So start applying to jobs while you are still interning. Don't wait until your internship is complete and you have your diploma in your hand to start making some calls. It's always good to be one step ahead.

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College Life |  Source: rookeekelund

5 Athletic Things To Do This Summer

You don't have to be a pro to have a good time.

We're a little over a week away from the first day of summer, but it already feels like it outside. Temperatures are climbing, the sun is out shining so much the moon is begging for attention and the beaches are filling up daily.

There's plenty of things you can do this summer -- take a trip to an exotic place, have nightly BBQs, or visit old friends. But what if you want to do something active, like your favorite athletes are doing daily? Here are five athletic things you can do this summer.

1.Go outside and play a sport
It's the most basic idea out there. Find a time when your friends are free and find a game or sport you all can play together. If you're all a baseball or softball crew, go grab your gloves and bats and head off to an available field. Or, you can play its alternative cousins -- wiffleball and the grade school classic kickball.

You can play street hockey, shoot hoops, or even play dodgeball. Just be prepared for those anti-dodgeball activists.

2. Join a rec league.
If you really want to add a small spice of competitiveness to your athletics, find a recreational league for any sport, and join a team, or create one of your own. Go to a place like the YMCA (congrats, the Village People song is now stuck in your head), and see if they have a basketball league for the summer. Or maybe your local bowling alley has a summer league. Pick a sport and do some research!

3. Go to the gym.
Make use of that gym membership that's just sitting around and eating at your wallet! Or, if you haven't joined a gym before, sign up for one. Make use of its pool if it has one. Work with the machines they provide. Just make sure you have a spotter you can trust.

If you don't feel comfortable in a gym setting, find an at-home workout you can do. This summer, I'm working on completing Shaun T's Insanity program for a second time. I lost 15 pounds and felt in so much better shape the first time I did it two summers ago.

No matter your choice, make sure you have a list of goals and a set game plan on how to accomplish your goal.

4. Find an exercise class you're interested in.
If you don't want to just spend time lifting weights on your own and want something more organized, see if that gym has an exercise class you're interested in. Even better, try to find a studio that is dedicated to that class. Maybe it's yoga, or maybe it's zumba.

5. Run
They say 30 minutes of exercise a day is good enough to keep you healthy. If there's one simple exercise you can do for those 30 minutes, it's go outside, have your MP3 player ready, and go out for a run in the neighborhood or park. If you can't pace yourself, get on a treadmill and have it help you. Something like a fitbit watch would help here, too, as it keeps track of your workouts.

No matter which of these you choose, don't let this summer slip away! Enjoy it while it lasts!

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College Life |  Source: thejupitercountryclub.com

What I Learned from Working at a Country Club

It's not all tennis, golf, and brunch.

My first real summer job was at the beautiful and prestigious Ivanhoe Club, a country club and 27-hole golf course in Ivanhoe, Illinois. I worked on the golf course as a bag room attendant, organizing and cleaning all the members' golf bags, washing and recycling the golf carts, and performing various duties out on the course.

Ever wonder who gets to drive that funky tractor-looking thing out on the driving range, picking up all the golf balls and trying to avoid getting "accidentally" hit by the members as they take swings? Yep, that's me.

When I took the job last summer, I didn't think it would be all that fulfilling. I'd literally be cleaning golf clubs, loading bags onto carts, and waiting on the members (with a smile, of course) for eight hours per day, including on weekends, because that's when clubs are busiest.

I didn't even play golf. I went into my first day expecting a summer job and nothing more. This was simply a way to pay for my summer classes and summer rent, and to save a little money, if possible.

By the end of that first summer, however, I was surprised at how much I had learned and taken away from the experience. It wasn't all polishing pitching wedges and cleaning up half-eaten sandwiches (although these were regular duties). Contrary to what I'd thought, the job was fulfilling. Here are some valuable and interesting things I learned.

1. Perspective.
I gained insight into a completely new lifestyle that redefined my idea of perspective during my first few weeks. What I would consider luxury, some people would consider commonplace. And what some people consider luxury, I would consider unfathomable. I had never before been exposed to the lifestyle that these rich members follow, but being up close and personal with several of the members was an eye-opening experience.

2. The value of money.
I heard a member talking to one of the pro's in the golf shop about trying a demo club. The pro reminded the member that he'd have to return the club after his round, and the member said "Hmmm...nah, just put it on my tab so I don't have to come back." This was a $600 club that he hadn't even tried yet. And he bought it to save a trip to the golf shop...which is literally adjacent to the cart barn, where he'd return after his round of golf.

To me, $600 would be a month of rent. Spending that much on one item would be completely ridiculous to me. If I was that serious about making a purchase like that, I'd probably sit down and plan it out for weeks, making amends to my budget to ensure I could afford it. To him, $600 wasn't worth two minutes in the golf shop.

3. Connections are everything.
Country clubs are also full of amazing potential connections. I'm talking rich business tycoons, pro athletes, entrepreneurs...you name it, I've seen it. When I started, I didn't think that the members would have much time to talk to and remember the girl who simply washes off golf clubs. I was wrong again; countless members not only remember me, they remember my name, that I'm an athlete, future teacher, etc. I've landed several smaller side jobs for many members, such as getting paid $100 to snap some photos for a birthday party. Bottom line? Relationships pay off.

4. A new definition of "waste".
One busy Saturday, as a little experiment, I decided to count how many unfinished water bottles were left in carts as the members finished their rounds. I stopped my count after 100, which was only about five hours into my eight hour shift. This ranged from almost-finished bottles to ones that looked like one sip had been taken before the beverage was forgotten.

This was just water, too. I didn't count the half-finished sodas, beers, lemonades, bags of chips, sandwiches, cups of trail mix, granola bars...all of the things that I'm required to throw away. It hurts me sometimes to think that I could be feeding a small family with one cart worth of trash. This goes along with #1 and #2. Different lifestyle, different perspective.

5. Rich people are not snobs.
I will admit, somewhat guiltily, that I began this job thinking I'd be dealing with a bunch of bratty, snobby, rich people who treated me like I was below them. Luckily, I was dead wrong (for the most part, anyway...). These people are some of the kindest I've ever met. They'll stop by the cart barn to chat with me, and ask me about school and volleyball. They'll remember my name and give me huge smiles as they head out for their rounds. I even have some inside jokes going with a few. Of course, there are those members who give off that "don't associate with the peasants" vibe, but they are the minority of the members.

I took the job again this summer, and I'm very glad I stuck with it. Yes, there are times when washing golf carts, putting bags away, and saying a cheerful, "Have a great evening, sir!" can get quite monotonous, but the job has taught me a lot, and I'm still learning valuable things everyday. In short? Summer jobs may not be careers, but they can be more than fulfilling.

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College Life |  Source: N. Leeper, Shutterstock

5 Struggles of Wearing Makeup in the Summer

Unless you can afford all the high-end stuff.

It's summer and the living's easy, until it comes to wearing makeup. It's one struggle after another, but the good thing is, tan skin seems to cover up more blemishes than pale ever does. Really hoping I'm not the only one with these struggles:

Orange one day, ghostly the next.
Keeping up with the right color foundation during the summer is seriously impossible. You keep getting darker but unfortunately your foundation does not. Still waiting on someone to create a chameleon-style makeup.

Do you wear it at the beach?
You wanna impress the hot lifeguard, but unless all of your makeup is completely waterproof, then your streaky face won't be any more impressive than your bare face would be. It's a real struggle honestly.

You'll sweat it off.
Like I said, unless you have some seriously high-class makeup (what college kid's gonna have money for that?), then the chances of it sweating off your face in the hot summer sun are high. 1) that's a waste of makeup 2) you're gonna end up with streaks across your face. Like I said earlier, your bare face (I really hope) is better than that.

You don't wanna cover up your tan.
You wanna have smooth skin, but that means dulling your natural color. Not a bad problem to have, but still a problem.

Sunscreen or lobster?
Do you want a Rudolph nose for pictures tonight or do you want to wear sunscreen? Problem is, if you put sunscreen on over your makeup it makes it oily. If you put sunscreen on first, it makes your face sticky and your makeup goes on as cakey as last year's birthday cake. Ultimate question: burn or no makeup? That might be a lose-lose situation, I'm afraid.

So the real question is do you wanna look streaky or natural? I've learned from experience that streaky looks worse and sunglasses can mask the dark circles under your eyes that scream hangover. Just my advice though...maybe if you keep trying, streaky will be in style some day.

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College Life |  Source: news.central.edu

City Hacks: How to Network as an Intern

Don't be afraid to put yourself out there!

So, you've scored a summer internship, congrats! Now that you have that taken care of, the next step is to learn from this new experience and hopefully build on it by forming a professional network. I know that seems like a daunting task, but it can be fun! Here are some steps to getting yourself out there and expanding on your network!

1. Believe it or not, getting the job is the easiest part about internships. The next few months will require a lot of time, hard work and people skills. I've found that a lot of interns find it difficult to switch gears from their school person to their professional person.

In other words, they're not sure where the boundaries lay in an office dynamic. This can become especially difficult when you're trying to create a mentor-student relationship with a co-worker.

To be honest, there are no set boundaries; in fact, each office environment will have its own dynamic. So, it is important to remember that you are there to learn from your co-workers. Following your boss's lead is sometimes the safest way for an intern to be sure they have not misspoken.

2. Additionally, the change of course from school to work can be jarring for interns because for the first time, your superiors aren't there to watch your every move or to tell you what to do every second of the day- hell, they have their own work to do!

I know it seems weird, but in the real world, no one really has the answers. You'll start to see that in order for you to succeed in your career, sometimes you have to take the initiative and approach your boss with an idea or solution. Sometimes inexperience is the most valuable asset an intern can bring to the boardroom table!

3. Be yourself. As an intern, you might find it easier to come into work and just do the assignments you have been given. Even though that shows great work ethic, it probably won't get you noticed or leave your employers with a lasting impression of you.

Next time you feel like hiding behind your cubicle divider and eating lunch by yourself, push yourself to go to the employee lunchroom and have lunch with a co-worker. Even if you ask one person a week, that's still one more person that will remember your face than before. Just get yourself out there, I promise it's not as scary as you think!

4. Once you have become acclimated to your new environment, the real networking can begin. Most offices have events you can attend or office activities you can participate in.

These events and opportunities are indispensable for interns because they allow you to meet people in other departments that you wouldn't run into on a daily basis. Moreover, they allow you to learn more about the career you are interested in and the types of people that inhabit that field.

5. The next step in building your network is to sign up for conferences in your area that appeal to you. One of the best pieces of advice I have received thus far, is to challenge yourself to meet at least three new contacts at these conferences. You can even make it a game to meet more people than you did at the previous conference or event that you attended.

6. Another great way to expand your professional network is to join organizations that interest you. For example, if you are interested in writing, joining a writing organization will allow you to meet in that industry in your area. Who knows, one of them could end up being your future mentor or boss!

7. As you begin to grow your network and meet people that impact you, it is important to enrich those relationships. It is not enough to just make that initial acquaintance, you have to foster each relationship as you would any other one. Reaching out to a contact to see what they are up to or let them know what you are doing is a great way to keep the lines of communication open.

8. Once your network begins to grow, you will start to notice that the contacts you meet will begin to introduce you to people they think you will have commonalities with. Or they may just introduce you because they think that relationship could help advance your career or help you learn something about the industry you are interested in that you may have not previously known.

Just like anything else worthwhile, building a professional network takes time and energy. Don't get frustrated if you do not receive the response you want while networking. Just like most things, networking is a trial and error activity. You'll start to learn what works for you personally which will make your #networkinggame that much stronger!