The school year is upon you and there is much to be done. You've registered for your classes, ordered your books, moved in, and are ready to get your college groove on. Excellent.
With all the details worked out for this semester, I have to ask, is it too early to start planning how you will spend your winter break? Spring break? Your summer 2015 internship? How about looking for the full time job that launches your career in advertising?
Yes? It may seem early, but hasn't the first three years of college blown right by? Yes? Then I think we can hardly expect your senior year to be the same. Today is a great day to get started, and I've got good news for you, especially for those of you that have nothing planned. What I have in mind for you is easy to do. I promise! Focus a little time on planning and you will most definitely see the payoff.
Here we go, in seven highly effective steps:
1. Get on LinkedIn and connect with everyone you met this summer. Why? This is the foundation of your professional network. These are the folks that may be in a position to help you when you are ready to get in the interview mix. AND you may be in a position one day to help them out. Connect now!
2. Update your resume. Yes. Do it now. This is critical, especially for those of you that worked this summer. Get the details on your resume while it's fresh in your mind. And please for the love of all things, keep your resume to one page. It may be time to lose the high school lifeguard job entry.
3. Get your 2014-15 calendar ironed out. It should be filled with details about all of the college career fairs available at your school; org/club/class outings to the city you see yourself working in post-graduation; and for any visits your target companies are planning to your campus (you do have a list of companies you are interested in pursuing, don't you?). Don't let an event creep up on you with not enough time to properly prepare. And by prepare I'm referring to pre visit networking, researching potential target companies, and getting your shoes shined -- seriously, presentation matters!
4. Register for classes in the discipline you are interested in pursuing post-graduation. Interned as an AE and realized your passion is writing? Take a class! Build your portfolio! Can't get in? Ask the prof if you can audit. You may be surprised by the answer.
5. Get a job. Just wrapped an internship? Liked it? Ask if you can stay aboard through the school year. They can't pay? Ask for special projects! Still no? How about a short internship over the winter break? Spring break? Now is the time to ask ask ask.
6. Brush up your presentation skills. Afraid of talking in front of large groups? Find opportunities to overcome this fear. Never presented using a tool like PowerPoint? Take the lead on this on your next group project where one needs to be created. Learn how to use PowerPoint, then be the person leading the presentation. Work out those presentation butterflies.
And 7: Have some fun. Being enrolled as a student affords many great opportunities to discover new things about yourself and all going on around you. Don't waste time loafing around. Push yourself to get more involved in Greek life, clubs, college radio, the museum, local charities, and and and.
That's it. I wrote this on my iphone and my thumbs have had enough.
One last thing. When checking out companies ask what their values are. If they can't say what they stand for then move on. My company talks about SSCG. Visit http://www.thecdmgroup.com/who_we_are/values to learn more.
About the Author
Ed Frankel is Vice President of Recruitment for The CDM Group, the world's largest, fully integrated, global healthcare communications company. The CDM Group consists of nine operating units, including full service agencies CDM New York, CDMi, AgencyRX, CDM Princeton, CDM Los Angeles, as well as the global multichannel media planning and buying agency SSCG Media Group. Ed manages a team of recruiters to discover and deliver the top industry talent across all disciplines. Ed graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in political science.