Here are three things that every college student should do…
e-mail for networking
Many college students assume networking is for established professionals. They couldn’t be more wrong. Your leisure time in college can be spent effectively to expand your network. You don’t have to go around attending events and conferences, or even have to be an extrovert. All you need to know is how to write professional emails. Here’s a tip: Find an influential person from your field of choice, search for the name online, find the email address and send an email. Tell them what you admire about their work, pass your feedback on their book, or politely suggest a way he or she can improve their business or product. You’ll be surprised by the number of people who write back thanking you for the tip. Keep the connection refreshed once in a while and by the end of your college career, you would have known a considerable number of influential people. You’ll never know when they’ll be of great help!
A neat, professional blog is a way to demonstrate to your recruiters your interest in a particular field of study. You might already have a personal blog, but how about spending an hour every week to write an article on something involving your professional aspirations? Do this for four years, and you’ll have at least a few hundred blog posts.This experience will take you places. Besides just improving your writing skills, you would also have broadened your knowledge among other things. It helps with networking as well; it’s easy to find like-minded people by sharing and commenting on each other’s blogs. Your blog will also serve as a huge differentiator in your resume and you’ll have something to talk about during interviews.Looking for ideas on what to write about? Find a niche magazine. Look at the articles mentioned in the cover. Do you see a “top 10 movies to watch” list? How about you writing about “top 10 futuristic tech ideas” if you’re a CS grad? Read up, and a bunch of ideas will come to you. Be sure to make the blog posts your own instead of copying from a magazine
You’ll run into many occasions during your college life where you’ll be asked to present your ideas on a certain topic to an educated audience. Your slides don’t matter if you’re a great speaker, but not everyone is blessed. A neat slide deck goes a long way in showing people you know the topic inside-out.Filling up your slides with bulky paragraphs isn’t going to help. Instead, three or four bullet points per slide is appropriate. Make sure your text is big enough so that even the person in the last row can clearly see what you’ve mentioned in your presentation. There are dime a dozen fonts that look much more professional than Comic Sans such as Helvetica and Futura.Look at the top presentations on www.slideshare.net. See what you can learn from their pointers. If your presentation looks very bland, try picking licensed stock images from www.compfight.com or www.sxc.hu.
SHANKAR GANESH, III Year, B.Tech. I.T. SASTRA University, Thanjavur
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