I am writing today to share some of my college communication and experience tips. My top tips are:
1. Do not ignore emails you might think are irrelevant to you, as they may lead to pleasantly unexpected opportunities.
For example, I originally never paid attention to unpaid student jobs on campus because I did not think that I would be able to manage a job on top of a full class schedule. However, after reading through the two mass emails I received about The Pearce Center and what all their projects included in relation to my major, Graphic Communications, I wanted to know more information about this internship. The Graphic Communications’ Internship Coordinator described it as “an excellent opportunity to build your portfolio and resume while getting class credit to be applied to your Major Requirement hours.” My advisor had very similar positive things to say about this internship. My thought was “well, even if I don’t get paid, I can still get some good experience and portfolio pieces and I won’t even have to leave campus to go to work.” My next action was just to apply and see what happens. I was then interviewed and hired as co-lead and design lead for the 2019 issue of the UPIC Magazine. I would not have gotten this awesome opportunity had I simply not read my email.
2. Do not be afraid to talk to people and express interest
Never be afraid to talk to people and express your interest. Believe me when I say I used to be one of the most introverted and awkward people to talk to and be around. Admittedly, there is still some of that, as introversion is a part of my personality. However, I am no longer afraid to talk to people about my passions and what I want to do with my life. You never know who you might be talking to one day that could lead you to a great organization to join or an internship to apply for. For example, the students and others at organization tables on Cooper library bridge are always looking for interested people. The other day, I noticed Adobe is holding a jam on campus for a day when a lot of students, especially Graphic Communications students, come together for a fun team-based design competition. I could add to my design portfolio! I was able to give the representative a contact so he could better spread the word around about Adobe’s event here at Clemson. The more people know about it, the larger the number of people who participate.
3. Ask Questions
Always ask questions, especially for a class and a topic you aren’t quite understanding. I’m sure we can agree that there has been at least one exam when you wished you understood a specific topic just a little bit more so that you could have answered at least one more question to give you a few more points and possibly bump you up a letter grade. The best thing I would recommend is to simply ask your professor or T.A. questions, but ask as soon as possible so you know you understand the material instead of just memorizing the material.
The message I want to share with you is this: you will miss every opportunity you do not take, whether it be keeping your eyes and ears open for organizations and internships, or simply asking your professor for help in order to do better on your next test. When life gives you opportunities, create experiences.