Since starting my internship at Obsidian PR, I have realized that although college has taught me a lot of things, it has not prepared me for everything afterward. College has given me the essential tools needed, but now, I just need to figure out how to fully apply them. With my first few weeks coming to an end, I can already tell transition is an ongoing process for everyone. Every day, someone is learning something new. Knowing this, I am more at ease about leaving college for the corporate world.
My final semester at Texas State University will come to an end in December, so I wanted to share a few tips I am going to keep in mind when making the transition from college student to corporate executive.
Schedule: In college, you keep track of the year with semesters and each semester includes several breaks. In the corporate world, there are no breaks other than your one-week vacation. Although it may take a while to get used to, you will realize making a schedule is the best way to prioritize work and free time.
Make a good first impression: Like it or not, judgments are made about you as soon as you walk in the door. If you are going on an interview or a client meeting, dress appropriately and wear a smile. Make eye contact when introducing yourself to clients. Confidence is key. You are not only reflecting yourself, but the company, as well.
Be on time: In the PR profession, time is money. Arriving late to a prospective client meeting could cost your company the sale. This also applies with deadlines. When a client is relying on you to have something done at a certain time, make sure that you prioritize your schedule to do so.
Manage finances: Time and time again, my parents have told me that once I start paying my own bills, little things like eating out every day will soon come to an end. Just after my first week at Obsidian, I have already learned this lesson. Eating out for lunch every day would cost me at least $35 per week. Once you’re paying your own bills and realize how precious $35 is, you will soon learn to cut that luxury out.
Ask questions: Simple as that. I have been told several times in my internship to ask as many questions as I want about each assignment given to me. Believe me when I say that your boss would rather you have that assignment right the first time than having to ask you to rewrite it all.
Regardless of which guide you follow, the transition is going to be tough. Just remember that you are not the only one learning something new.