As my four years as a CSOM undergrad come to an end, the inevitable period of gloom at the thought of leaving Boston College has commenced. The idea of departing the college world to become a “real person” is far from comforting to most. Despite my sadness at leaving the Heights, I am confident that my Boston College experience has prepared me for life outside Chestnut Hill – particularly starting out as a young professional. I’d like to offer those students that are lucky enough to have a few more years left at BC some (perhaps cliché, but still useful) parting advice to make the most of their undergraduate experiences.
The following are a few thoughts intended for anyone that plans to pursue a business profession:
• Get to know administration and faculty. These are your most valuable resources, and a unique asset to any college student. If you play your cards right, some of your professors and deans can serve as long-standing mentors and resources throughout your post-BC professional life. Establish solid relationships, and maintain them. • Go to office hours, department events, Dean’s Coffee, etc. This is the best opportunity, and easiest way, to accomplish #1.
• Pursue your own interests outside of class. Everyone knows how important it is to be involved in extracurricular activities. These are great resume builders, and are valued by employers and grad schools alike. Still, not everyone can be the UGBC President or head of the Finance Academy. Rather than pursuing outside activities solely for their “value” to your resume, join clubs that genuinely interest you. Focus on these activities. You will be more motivated to dedicate time to the group, and the impact you have may surprise you. It is in making your own path that you will find the greatest success – and that is what employers are really looking for.
• Apply for leadership programs and internships early. Often, summer programs feed directly into employment post-graduation – sometimes without even another round of interviews.
In other cases, your summer internship may land you some excellent connections or valuable references to use during the senior year job hunt. Make your summers meaningful; it will certainly pay off in the end, and give you an advantage over those scrambling to put together plans during their last months at BC.
• Work hard…but don’t let your four years go by too fast!