After 16 years of going to school, I’ve reached the end. I’m (finally) about to graduate from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Public Relations. Though I’m a PR major, UT’s advertising and PR programs have almost the exact same classes throughout all four years. This was beneficial for me because I feel like I have a broad understanding of communications as a whole, rather than just the aspects of PR. This semester I was lucky enough to join the Marketing Matters team as the Account Services Intern, and have learned so much during my time here. I’ve learned a lot from UT, too, but looking back, I wish I would have done things a little differently. Here’s what I learned:
- Get Involved ASAP. Even if you don’t know if you want to be in that gardening club but have a slight interest in gardening, do it. Joining these clubs will open up doors for you and give you the chance to learn about other opportunities that you otherwise might not have learned about, while also making new friends.
- Get a planner. Time management in college is so, so very crucial. If at first you think you can manage it all by remembering dates in your head, you can’t. Just buy a planner. It will make everything so much easier for you.
- Take chances. College is a time of transition, learning about yourself, learning about different views, opinions, everything. So sign up for that bike ride from Texas to Alaska. Study abroad. Focus on yourself and learning new things.
- Don’t take that class just because the professor gives A’s. Yeah, it might make things a ton easier if you take that professor who has take-home exams, but you probably won’t get the same caliber of education than the one who gives one “A-“ a semester. All of my favorite professors were the ones who kicked my butt and knew what they were talking about. They had experience working at credible advertising agencies and were able to really give students real world advertising experience.
- Get experience sooner than later. Don’t wait until your last year of school to get an internship. Whether it’s paid or unpaid, with an agency or a nonprofit, just get some experience. If you live in Austin and need an advertising internship, there are a plethora of agencies that offer internships (though the best one is Marketing Matters, obviously.) Employers don’t care if you got a B- in International Business, they care about whether or not you went out of your way to get real-world advertising experience.
- B R E A T H E. Everything is going to work out. Talk to your professors about how you can increase your grade in the class if you’re struggling. They are so understanding (most of the time) and only want you to do well. Give yourself some time to relax at least once a day, exercise, pick up knitting, etc.- just take care of yourself.
Looking back at my college career, I’m pretty content with the way everything turned out! But these are all things that I believe are crucial to remember throughout one’s college career. Yeah, it’s important to do well in school, but make sure that you are making memories while also making the grades.