To say the transition from college to career is easy would be a lie. This new life chapter is rewarding and also a challenge.
Right after graduating from Syracuse University, I took an internship with a PR firm in New York City merely one month later. Within three months, I was hired full time and moved into an apartment. Luckily, my best friend moved came to New York shortly after me; it was comforting to have a small slice of college during this professional transition.
Now that I’m approaching my one-year anniversary as a NYC resident and Stuntman PR employee (June 18th!) I’m much more settled. After spending 2012 sorting out chaos, I resolved to settle into a healthy and happier routine in 2013.
Tips From College To Work
1. Exercise. The first step I took was joining a gym. It had been months since I had really exercised and I knew it would provide a calm I seriously needed. My gym has great group fitness classes so I started going to yoga. I know yoga isn’t for everyone but it has been such a peaceful and necessary thing for me. After a long, stressful workday, it feels great to get a bit of exercise in and let my mind relax for a short while. It’s really a sanctuary for my mental health.
2. Work Hard. Being the low-man on the totem pole, I have a lot to learn about PR. Thankfully, I work in a very small agency and get to work closely with PR professionals who have been in the industry for 10+ years. It’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to learn from them and I will always be the first to advocate for interning or starting your career at a small agency over a large one. There are few things more satisfying that landing a great placement and impressing or gaining your boss’s praise, but that doesn’t come without dedication and hard work – something I am constantly reminding myself of.
3. Keep Learning. I rededicated myself to continuing my education after college. I had taken a social media class my senior year and didn’t want to forget what I had learned or lag behind the ever-developing industry. A few weeks ago, I attended a seminar during Social Media week. After so many months out of college it was great to be back learning from experts in my field and working toward making myself a better PR professional.
4. Stay Connected. During my refocusing, I realized I had grossly lost touch with social media as a means of learning and connecting. I had used Hootsuite during my social media class at Syracuse, and I’ve made it a point to always keep a tab with Hootsuite open and continually monitor my news feeds throughout the day.
It’s been a long ride (though it feels like time has flown by) but I’m excited about the positive changes and challenges facing me personally and professionally. I don’t think I’ll ever have all my ducks in a row but it’s been a happy struggle trying to.
5 Tips For Young Professionals
1. Breathe and relax. Find something that calms you and let yourself forget about the stressors of your day.
2. You’re most likely in an entry-level position and will have to handle certain tasks that aren’t interesting or don’t seem important, but always take them seriously. Doing your work well and efficiently will impress your bosses and earn you a promotion or more responsibility.
3. Work hard, play hard. It’s a common saying for a reason. It’s great to work hard and impress your boss and achieve career goals but balance is essential so you don’t burn out.
4. Seek opportunities to grow as a PR professional and expand your skills. Attend seminars or workshops to stay up to date on the latest trends and advancements in the industry. Blogging, whether you start your own or guest blog, is a great way to continuously fine tune writing.
5. Network. Stay connected with peers from college; they may be able to help you with your job search when you’re ready to move on to another company or can introduce you to more great connections. And of course, always try to be making new connections with professionals who have been in your industry longer than you. They’re an amazing resource for advice and in my experience have always been willing to help you succeed.
About The Author
Alyssa Dupre is an Account Coordinator at Stuntman PR and a recent graduate of Syracuse University. She happily lives in Brooklyn but still wishes it were London where her heart has resided since she studied abroad in the spring of 2011. Connect with her on Twitter @ASDupre.