As the fall is quickly approaching, I’ve been working on a variety of tasks; interning, managing a student organization, preparing for Week of Welcome (WOW for incoming freshmen), and applying to graduate school. Call me crazy, but this is what happens when you’re a senior in college with a major in Communications; the competition is fierce. I’ve been asked how I get my internships, what courses am I taking, and what else I do to keep myself up to date. Regardless how often I change my routine or resume, my answer is always the same: My grades are only a portion of me; you have to get involved and sometimes take risks to make the best first impression. Life only gives you once chance, and where I live, that first impression is all you have.
Living in New York City is absolutely amazing, but for college graduates, it’s much like the Olympics: Who gets one of the three opportunities? There are thousands of students graduating each year so there’s a lot to do before entering corporate America. One of those just so happens to be exactly what I’m doing right now: building my brand.
When I began applying to colleges, I wanted opportunity. Not many colleges allow freshmen to intern their first year, but Pace University is one that does. I began to work with my career counselor, revamp my resume, and prepare for interviews, all of which lead me to my first interview at Seventeen. Though I did not get the internship, I wasn’t going to quit. I began interning for a local business near my school, where I worked in events, public relations, marketing, and sales. How did I land this? By telling the owner my name and putting myself out there. This is fairly similar to branding yourself, which is a way for employers to identify and separate you from others (keeping your social media clean and relevant, as well as being known for your skills).
Since then, I have had other internships, such as the Social Media & Public Relations Intern at Latino U College Access, an organization I was introduced to at Pace’s semi-annual Career Fair. Being a Latino interested in education, I made my way to their booth, spoke with the founder, applied on the spot (with resume in hand), and was offered a position less than a month later. I also became interested in online job searches, including E-Recruiting, a program Pace University utilizes. After Latino U, I became an active user of LinkedIn and Internships.com, where I have become aware of many other opportunities. Just this summer I have three internships:
1) Trend/Event Blogger at Pure Dymonds Events
2) Communications Intern at SHARE-Self-Help for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer
3) PR Assistant at The Curvy Health Coach
Think I’m kidding? I wish I was. If it wasn’t because I took risks such as “creeping” through LinkedIn or attending internship events, I wouldn’t have been able to expand my network. And I’ll tell you this: the annual Intern Queen Party in NYC is always a pleasure. But why am I doing all of this? I want to be the one to pave the way for others by doing what those before me may not have done. It takes dedication to multitask on such a large scale, but it takes heart and patience to make your actions stand out.
Please welcome guest blogger Tamara ‘Lola’ Bonet. Tamara is a senior at Pace University, where she is majoring in Communications, with a double minor in Public Relations and History. She is thrilled to be a part of the CareerFuel team and is eager to work in the fashion/beauty industry; She also enjoys event planning. Connect with her here.