[ACE Ambassador, Spring 2017]
As the year is coming to an end and graduation is just around the corner, I can’t help but feel nostalgic already. It’s a very bittersweet time to say goodbye and walk away from all the experiences, commitments, passions, and friends made over the past four years. However, that doesn’t mean any of it were short lived or merely to go on our resumes. Many of us come into college with a sense of purpose and career goals, but I don’t think we are well informed of any advice or tips for how to do well or “survive.” With that being said, I would like to briefly highlight what I learned and give my personal advice to incoming freshmen of UIUC.
- “Work hard, Play Hard”. While academic performance is top priority, I found it almost as important to make the most of your time (it flies by) by building valuable and diverse relationships and having fun. It can be done with balance and time management.
- Time Management. This skill is an absolute requirement to learn and practice. As busy as one can be, one can minimize stress and anxiety by being organized (write down tasks & deadlines in any planner/calendar and aim to complete or attempt to finish by specific times). I’ve personally found my stress levels to be very low when I plan ahead and follow my agenda.
- Networking. As a business student at core, I cannot emphasize the value of pushing yourself to step out of your comfort zone and exert enough confidence to talk to recruiters, professors, mentors, and peers – especially during networking events e.g. info nights, career fairs, social events, etc. While it may seem too formal or artificial, I promise that the more you do it, the easier it gets. It’s an essential to developing professionalism and chasing your dreams from my experience.
- Leadership. Be involved in any way possible – whether it’s something you’re passionate or curious about, or a stepping stone for your dream job - get out there because recruiters like to see that you are making a difference in a small or big way that matters to you.