Things Most People Do Later That You Should Be Doing Now
Real Talk | 

Things Most People Do Later That You Should Be Doing Now

If you don't have a LinkedIn, get one. Yesterday.

College is the only time in your life where you can get blackout drunk on a Wednesday without any real repercussions. It's four years where you can have fun and be slightly more irresponsible than you can be in real life. However, if you're doing college right, you should be balancing partying with your future and professional life. Here are a few things you can do now to seriously help you later.

Create a LinkedIn. It honestly blows my mind that the whole world doesn't have a LinkedIn--and a majority of my friends who are only a few months from graduation have yet to make one. It's pretty much an online resume that lets you stay connected with all of your professional contacts, helps you find jobs, and lets companies check you out for potential employment. While this isn't the end-all of your professional life, it is definitely something employers will expect you to have, use, and keep updated. Also don't use a pic of your dog for your profile photo.

Make business cards. I've literally had business cards since I was a sophomore in high school. Yes, I can see how that may seem a little ridiculous, but it's never hurt me to have them. You never know who you might meet and I find it much more professional to hand someone my card than hand them my email/number on a Starbucks napkin. Not to mention they make a great icing on the cake when handing someone your resume. It's kind of a silent way of saying you take yourself seriously, which goes a long way when making a first impression.

Start interning. If you have the ability to intern, do it. Don't wait until your senior year. Get your internships out of the way in college so you don't get stuck doing them post-graduation. The more experience you have the more of an asset you are going to be to a company. They'll be excited to see you have a base knowledge in the industry you're pursuing. Even better, they'll see that you're motivated enough to put yourself out there and take your future by the balls.

Visit your career services office. Now I sound like a college professor, but seriously, take advantage of the resources your school has to offer--they're in place for a reason. They can help you prepare for--and even search out--job opportunities you may not have had before. Don't wait until your senior year.

Make connections. I don't care if you're a freshman or a senior, networking should be a priority. Take the time to see who your family and friends know, talk to people on the phone, email with old bosses and see what connections they have in your industry. In an ideal world, you'd get hired for a job based solely on your merit, but the truth is knowing someone goes a long way.

Get paid for what you do. Being able to show a future employer that someone has already been interested enough in your work to pay for it will say a lot. It will show that not only are you motivated enough to hold a job, but that you're talented enough that someone wants you to do that job for them.

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Advice on Getting an Internship for People With No Connections

You suck, but it's OK!

There is no sugar coating it: getting the right internship is just as important as going to college at this point. While it can be stressful, it is more than possible to score yourself an internship.

A year ago, being a girl from small-town Indiana, I would have told you finding an internship in an industry almost foreign to my state would be impossible. Now, I've been to New York City for one and am on my way back this summer for not one, but two more internships. Here's some pro advice on doing what you think can't be done from someone who's been there.

1.Attend every career fair.
I know so many people who have gotten amazing internships from career fairs. While they can sometimes seem like a hassle, they are so worth it if you're serious about your future. Prepare a resume and research information on the companies you want to hit while you're there.

They'll be impressed that you know your shit; and if they feel like they're important to you, you'll become more important to them. While seeing a list of big companies can be intimidating and the "why would they want someone like me" mentality is an easy one to pick up on, there is a reason they're coming to your school: They're looking for people like you.

2. Figure out where alumni work.
This can be really helpful simply because people like to hire other people from their alma mater. While, of course, you have to have the credentials, school pride holds a lot of weight in the job market. Universities often have a list of alumni at big companies somewhere on their website, but if you don't find what you're looking for there, use the LinkedIn search options or visit your career center.

3. Search company websites.
Scroll to the bottom of the page and companies will typically have a career section. This is a good place to find out if the company is hiring interns or at least a good place to find an email and a name to contact with inquiries.

4. Find exact names and emails.
While this can sometime be extremely difficult, finding a way to contact a real person (not just jobs@whatever.com) is extremely helpful and important. A lot of times these won't be right on the careers page, but there are ways to find who you're looking for. Sometimes it takes serious investigation of the company's website; and sometimes it takes a little cyber-stalking.

I've gotten emails from searching names of people I know who work there and the name of the company. Sometimes they have their email out on other social and professional platforms. This works especially well for magazine internships. Search the internet and try to find the email format of the company you want to apply for, ie. firstname@companyname.com. The next step is as simple as finding the names of people in the department you want to work for (in a magazine check out the masthead towards the front) plug the name into the email format, and send away.

Search the internet and try to find the email format of the company you want to apply for, ie. firstname@companyname.com. Next step is as simple as finding the names of people in the department you want to work for (in a magazine check out the masthead towards the front) plug the name into the email format and send away.

5. Find websites that post internships.
While I can't tell you specific sites for all industries, for those of you looking for fashion or editorial internships, check out freefashioninternships.com (where I scored my first internship). These kinds of websites post who's looking for what kind of intern, as well as either information to send your resume to or an application right there you can fill out.

6. Ask around.
You'd be surprised how many potential connections are around you. Maybe one of your dad's coworkers knows someone, or maybe a friend of a family friend works for the company where you're trying to intern. Spread the word and see what happens.

7. Talk to professors.
A lot of professors actually worked in the industry their classes center on. Their prior field experience can help you a lot. Make a point to become friends with your professors and attend their office hours. Eventually, you may find yourself in a position to ask if they could help you out a little on your internship hunt. Most likely, they'll be more than happy to do it.

8. Get involved.
This is a great way to meet people with similar interests, who then may have helpful connections. Whether it's writing for a website like FlockU or joining an on campus club. Even people your own age may have connections they're willing to share.

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Real Talk | 

Use Social Media To Pick Your Major

Because nothing says more about you than your habits on social.

Instagram: You are totally with it and probably the queen/king of social media in general. You're super outgoing and love to share what you're doing and let people know just how fabulous you are. No brunch, beach, or GNO is a match for your filtering skills. You're creative and cool and pretty much run shit. You're definitely majoring in something creative and will most likely not get a typical 9-5 gig after graduation. There's a good chance that fashion or fine arts play a role in your curriculum.

Snapchat: Hello, flirty. You love the novelty of a 10-second Snap and spread the love with all your friends. It's just another place for you to let your crush know just how cute and fun you are. Probably a communications major, because well, you love to communicate. You're all about social interactions and people pleasing and a comm degree is your perfect match.

Twitter: You LOVE the drama. Whether it's celeb drama or a back and forth between some hometown acquaintances. You love to be in the know and on top of the gossip before anyone else. Sometimes you even get in a little 140 character beef yourself. You'd make a great PR major if you aren't one already. You're desire to be in the know so quickly and your experience with public drama would make you a great asset to your clients.

Facebook Oh honey, you're a little behind. Facebook simmered down with the launch of Twitter and pretty much bit the dust with the coming of our lord and savior Instagram. If you're still enthralled in a platform that's now made up of moms and weirdos from high school obsessively sharing cat videos, you need to check your calendar because you must have missed the last few New Years. It's 2016, doll face. Maybe make your New Year's resolution to get yourself back in the know.

Tumblr: You're like super artsy and creative, or at least you like to think you are. You're a little less than mainstream and probably like super introverted. You spend your time making friends on the internet, but hey, you've got a super cool page so go you. Oh, and there is also a solid chance there is at least some rainbow coloring in your hair, or has been in the past. Graphic design without a doubt. You're consumed in the digital world and appreciate the aesthetics involved.

Pinterest: If Tumblr is the North Pole, than you are the South. You're pretty much as basic as they come and that's totally OK. You spend your time pinning your future wedding, squat challenges you'll never do, and street style outfits that probably include Uggs. You're an elementary ed major and I really think everyone should be able to agree without any further explanation.

LinkedIn: You boring, professional you. You are the definition of ambition which is really fucking awesome, but the fact that you chose a social media platform that offers absolutely no videos of babies cursing or people eating shit on hover boards, I'm willing to guess there is a lack of personality there. What's up business major? You're all about networking and moving up the professional ladder and know that LinkedIn only helps you with both of those things.

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5 Reasons to Join Your Campus Newspaper

Learning to take edits is half the battle.

In case you forgot, the entire point of college is to get a job. You need experience to get a job and you need a job to get experience and that, my friends, is some fucked up shiz.

The way to get experience without having any is to intern, work for free, and hustle.

Joining your campus newspaper can be a great way to find out what professional writing is all about--and see if it is what you're into. Join the newspaper because:

1.It's an opportunity to exercise your writing abilities. Your newspaper gives you an opportunity to build skills around news writing, feature writing, reporting, and interviewing. The more you write--and the more varied types of writing you do--the stronger your overall abilities become.

2.It lets you build your writing portfolio. If you apply to nearly any job with a writing component, the hiring manager will ask for writing samples. Articles you wrote for your college paper are some of the most credible samples you can provide because they're published. Class essays are OK too, but published pieces carry much more weight.

3.It gives you relevant experience for entering journalism, PR, or communications. If you're looking to break into journalism or a related field, being a writer for your school's newspaper is a natural way to gain relevant experience you can put on your resume and share during interviews. If you work your way up to an editor position? Even better.

4.Interviewing people helps you make valuable connections. Consider the people you'll need to interview to report your stories: professors, guest speakers, fellow students, business owners around campus. That's a chance to network. There's no telling where those relationships will go-and relationships will nearly always be the crux of career success.

5.It lets you strengthen your teaming and organizational skills. Take a look at your newspaper's masthead. Each person plays a role in driving a well-oiled editorial machine. You'll gain a whole new appreciation for what it means to be organized and hit deadlines. If you drop the ball, you're screwing up a lot of other people's work, just like in a real life job.

Bonus: you learn to be critiqued. In the real world, your boss is going to tell you clearly why and how you have fucked up, getting used to it can make that transition just a little less painless.

Word to your flocker.

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Real Talk |  Source: @mppllc

5 Things That Will And Won't Determine Your Success

It's not what you'd think.

By the time we get to college, we've spent 18-plus years being told what to do in order to become successful. We've had the steps laid out for us, and we've been given advice from friends, family members, teachers, just about everyone.

It can feel a little overwhelming to figure out what's actually useful. So I've sorted through all the B.S. to lay out the five things that actually will benefit you, just to help make the future seem a little less scary.

1. Taking the hardest classes you can vs. taking classes that actually interest you.
I'm not sure where people got the idea that taking the hardest classes you possibly can is somehow beneficial, but it's just not true. Employers, for the most part, do not care at all if you took the hardest level available in every course or if you took a full 18 credit hours every semester.

They really just care that you have a course selection that lines up with the position they're hiring for, and that you have a GPA that doesn't make them wonder what you spent the last four years doing. All that filling your schedule up with 300-400 level courses is going to do is ruin your mental health and your ability to enjoy college to its fullest.

Yes classes are important, yes challenging yourself is beneficial, and yes you are here to learn. But you're also here to get the most out of your education. If you're a finance major but love music, take a music theory class. Hell, I'm a fashion major and I've now taken two hip-hop history/theory classes. Do they really do anything directly for my degree?

No. But I absolutely love taking them; and I genuinely think the things I learned could be useful to me someday.

2. Joining as many clubs and activities as you can vs. participating in things that actually benefit you.
I'm sure most of us have either experienced this ourselves or witnessed it firsthand with one of our friends. There is absolutely nothing more stressful than overwhelming yourself with one too many commitments. We've tricked ourselves into thinking that the longer the list, the more impressive the resume. Not always true.

Your future success doesn't rely on how many clubs and teams and committees you joined in college. It matters what the things you joined or did were. If you're a fashion major, being the president of your school's retail club would be really impressive. If you want to go into PR, joining the PR committee for your school's philanthropy event or club would be extremely useful. It's not how much you do, but what you do.

3. Worrying about maintaining a perfect 4.0 vs. interning early.
If maintaining a 4.0 GPA is not too much extra work for you, than you, my friend are a seriously blessed individual. For most of us, a 4.0 is maybe shooting a little too high. I'm not going to tell you that your GPA doesn't matter, because that's a lie and something I absolutely do not want to put into your head.

All I'm saying is that if your GPA is a little lower than you'd like (*cough* mine *cough*), there are a lot of other things that can balance that out.

Interning is probably the No. 1 thing that can balance out a less-than-perfect GPA. The earlier you can start, the better off you are. I'm talking as early as freshman year. A lot of people wait until junior or even senior year to start thinking about it and that can really screw you over.

Plenty of people intern the summer after their junior year, that's routine. What really sets you apart is being able to graduate and go into the real world with three or more internships on your resume. If you live somewhere that allows you to intern during the school year that number could be as high as six.

Sure, you can learn a lot in a classroom, but nothing will ever top how much you can learn by working and gaining experience directly in your field.

4. Collecting as many connections as you can vs. building a few really solid connections.
Congrats, you have 300 connections on LinkedIn. Very impressive, but how many of those people would you actually feel comfortable reaching out to?

Throughout our professional careers we meet a lot of people and get a lot of business cards. "Let me know if you ever need anything'" starts to go in one ear and out the other; and I hate to break it to you, most of the people who say it are assuming you'll never even reach out.

So rather than seeing how many people you can meet in your industry, try to make a few super solid connections that you can actually rely on. I'd say I can count on one hand the amount of really reliable and helpful connections I have and they've done more for me than I could ever imagine. You don't need to know a million people to find success. You just need to know the right ones.

5. Only taking classes focused on your field vs. exploring classes outside your area of study.
Your degree already has the classes you need built into it. Taking a few extra classes absolutely never hurt anyone, but focusing solely on one topic can be boring, no matter how interested you are in the topic.

Take classes that spark your interest. I've said it 1,000 times, but having a wide range of knowledge on interesting topics is an extremely beneficial and attractive trait. Also try to take classes that have real world applications, like a personal finance class or a fitness class.

Try to better yourself through your education and make the most of the time you've got in school.

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Real Talk |  Source: starternoise.com

What Your LinkedIn Profile Should Look Like as a College Student

Your profile pic should be profesh, not a kissy face shot.

LinkedIn is not just for established professionals. It's the de facto place to create your digital profile as a college student about to start a career. Many recruiters use LinkedIn to find job candidates and learn more about them after reading their resumes.

Creating a LinkedIn profile can be the difference between a job hunt that's quick, and a job hunt that's slow and frustrating. It can also be a major tool if you're still trying to figure out how to get a college internship.

Here's how to go about creating a solid profile.

Write a headline for humans AND search engines.

The headline is the subtext under your name. It has two purposes - one, it is prime real estate to describe yourself, and two, it influences how often your profile comes up in LinkedIn search results.

So write something that not only catches recruiters' eyes, but also contains keywords. Try something like: "2017 UMass Computer Science Graduate Seeking Entry-Level Developer Position" or "Aspiring Marketing Communications Specialist from Penn State."

Add a professional photo.

Keep your kissy face on the DL. Put on a professional-looking outfit, go to a well-lit place with a plain background, and ask a friend to take some head shots. Better yet, get your pics professionally done. Your LinkedIn profile will be viewed many times more with a professional photo than without one.

Describe your work experience.

Include your internships, relevant summer jobs, and college side gigs. Feel free to write a few sentences describing your responsibilities and accomplishments for each position. You don't have to stick to bullets like you might do in a resume. If possible, describe results in terms of numbers, i.e., "grew the company's Twitter followers from 100 to 1,500 in six months."

Detail your education.

The no-brainer. Add your education, degree, major, minor, any academic achievements, and honor societies. Don't be shy.

Fill in as many other sections as you can.

Volunteering? Awards? Organizations? Projects? Fill in as many sections as you can as long as each item is additive. That is, it should substantiate you as a young professional. Don't add anything if it's not strong enough, because you will weaken your profile overall. It might make sense to link to the best article you wrote for your school newspaper, not the short essay you got a B on.

Ask for recommendations.

Now that you've got the basic information down, let others vouch for you. Ask a professor, manager from your internship or job, or mentor for a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. It'll add credibility and show that you have already made an impact in the academic and professional worlds.

Once your LinkedIn profile is done, include a link to it in your resume. Also consider adding it to your email signature and cover letter.

Word to your Flocker.