Coming into my freshmen year at the University of Alabama was a little bit terrifying. There were upwards of thirty-three thousand other students trying to do well in class, get their degree, and compete with me for jobs on campus and in the real world. We’ve all heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” and though it pains me to admit it, it’s pretty true.
BUT—there’s good news. Every university has a staff of people whose only job is to help you succeed. All you have to do is ask. So, I’m selflessly offering up the list of people you should get to know as soon as possible who can help you out and hook you up with whatever it is you need to succeed.
1. Your academic advisor. It is very important to be nice to this person. They can guide you on the most efficient route to your degree and, most importantly, can help you get into the classes you need. They can pull strings you didn’t know existed to help you out—just make sure they like you.
2. Your professors. I know you’ve heard this, but go to your professors’ office hours. Introduce yourself and ask questions about they lectured on to show you’re listening. Not only will they remember you when grading time comes, but they can write you recommendations and share connections for you when it comes time to look for a job or research position.
3. The president of the student organization that’s related to your field. These are the students that networked and worked hard to get where they are. If you demonstrate the drive and ambition to be an active part of the organization, they can help you get prestigious leadership positions to beef up your resume.
4. Your career advisor. This person’s sole job is to help you get a good internship and eventually job. They’ll critique your resume, help you practice interviews, and put you in touch with the people who will get you a job—people you may not have otherwise ever spoken to. They know exactly what employers are looking for and will work hard to help you become the perfect candidate.
What people would you suggest?