It is often said that college is the best four years of your life. In my opinion, the “best” years of anyone’s life are something that is left to self interpretation.
As I enter my senior year, I find myself thinking a lot about what I’ve accomplished so far, and the things I wish I had done so far in college.
I know I can’t do everything, but I’ve never regretted a decision to take on a new opportunity.
The best decision I made in college was to join my campus chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). I have been able to network with the best and brightest students in the field, learn from knowledgeable and distinguished professionals, gain experience through internships, and enhance my leadership skills.
If I could give one piece of advice to any college student, it is to join a professional organization that relates to their major. The commitment of a few hours a week will pay off in so many ways when it is time to enter the real world.
The most important thing to remember when joining is that just going to meetings is not what will set you apart from the pack. Getting involved in projects or committees will provide valuable experience, while putting you in a leadership role in front of your peers and professional mentors.
If there is not a professional group available to you, volunteering is another fantastic way to fine tune skills before venturing in to the workplace. Find a local non-profit that is looking for help planning or promoting an upcoming event, or a student newspaper or magazine that you can contribute articles to.
Virtual writing opportunities such as blogging or submitting articles to a resource are also available, and you don’t even have to leave your couch to work on them. In addition, you can take advantage of the growing social networks online to develop connections with people in your field all over the world.
The most important thing to remember is to fully take advantage of everything around you. Never again will you be in an environment where so many people are there to help you learn and so many opportunities are available.
College is a time of fun and exploration. By becoming involved in organizations and projects, you will enjoy meeting people while learning about different options for your career – things that can’t be taught in a classroom.
Editor’s Note: Lindsay Bacigalupo is a participant in Journalistics’ first guest blogging summer internship program. She was one of several students to capitalize on the opportunity first announced in “Do You Need an Internship to Get a Job.”
About Lindsay Bacigalupo
Lindsay Bacigalupo is a senior at Michigan State University majoring in Communication with a specialization in Public Relations. She is the Vice President of Advocacy for the Michigan State Public Relations Student Society of America. She has been on the award winning MSU PRSSA Bateman team for the past two years, serving as captain in 2010. She is currently looking for a job in public relations, social media or digital strategy. She can be found at www.lindsaybacigalupo.com or @LindsayBreann.