Congratulations to all of my fellow Class of 2011 Sisters! We have exceeded all expectations. Statistically, our likelihood of reaching this point became a reality once we made it to junior year, as most dropouts occur between freshman and sophomore year. So juniors, hold on. While this is congratulatory, I want you to take a moment to look at the picture to the left.
This man basically has his resume on a cardboard box and is at his wit’s end. Yes, this economy is bad. Yes, jobs in any chosen field are hard to come by. What does that mean for YOU, college student/recent college graduate? Take advantage of your network! If you are still in college, you still have time to begin creating one if you have not already. They will prove KEY and essential. You know those office hours that are at the top of EVERY syllabus? That line is not just there to take up space! Visit! Stop by the office and talk to your professors. Make sure they remember you. Immediate benefit? Those visits might become the difference between an A- and an A. Long-term benefits? Recommendation letters, internship opportunities, research opportunities and references who can attest to your initiative, reliability and persistence. It doesn’t stop there, however. While sitting in class, look around you. These are your future colleagues. These are people with whom you will be working or even competing against. I don’t know about you but I would much rather make a positive connection with someone who can potentially help me advance in my chosen field. My point? Your classmates are worth more than you think. They may be what ultimately help you get your foot in the door to your dream job. So make that effort.
Another great way to build your network is involvement. There are many benefits to not only joining organizations such as BFDC, but attaining positions within these organizations. You not only learn much more about how your respective university is run, but you also rub shoulders with some of the most distinguished members of your university. I have countless pictures of my university’s president with regular students like me who chose to get involved and contribute to the university. One of our BSU members had him listening to PLIES! The point is not the choice in music :-), but really to step outside of your box and attend events, become a part of an organization and let your passion shine through. It will not go unnoticed. Administration is not as intimidating as you think. There are no guarantees in life, but your ultimate goal is to leave your university with a network you can always refer back to, a place you can call home. The college experience is handed to no one. It is what you make it, so ladies (and gentlemen) I encourage you: NETWORK! Let the image of a man with such distinguished credentials holding a cardboard box be forever etched into your memory, so that you can be motivated to do more and ensure that your network is secure upon graduation. It’s never too late to start!