Last year, I was president of PRSSA at Seton Hall. Therefore, when the current president emailed me to invite me to the annual Alumni Panel Discussion for PRSSA, I knew I'd be attending.
It is so weird to sit in front of a classroom of young, oblivious, naive students and talk about what you do. Not only what you do - but how you got there, who you knew, and how they can be like you. Not to mention that I WAS one of those young, oblivious, naive students at this time last year. I remember running this very same event last year. I remember that when I left I thought, "wow...so and so was really negative. I'm sure the working world isn't that bad. I'm sure its not that hard to get a job."
Tonight, someone asked the panel, "How important do you think networking is in finding a job/internship?" I bluntly replied, "You need to know people - if not, you're screwed." (Maybe I should reevaluate my bluntness, but that's for another post entirely...)
I didn't mean to scare the people but it's the truth. After telling everyone that they're screwed, I tried to reword it by explaining how important it is to get out there and meet people. You really just need to take every opportunity you have to show people how smart you are.
Another topic that came up had to do with the economy and how hard it is to find a job, etc. Rennie (the best teacher alive) stepped in and said that "Every single person on this panel is here because they worked their asses off while they were in school, and I'm sure they still are." And not to pat myself on the back, but she's right. I tried to chime in and explain that they need to start working their asses off now to get ahead.
It's funny because towards the end of the night we all realized how scary we made "the real world" sound to these kids. So we made sure to tell them how much fun we have too. We work our asses off, but we have fun. Isn't that how it's supposed to be?
After the event was over, a bunch of people just stood around and some people came up to talk to me. They asked me how I like my job and I simply said, "I couldn't be happier." And that's the truth.
It's crazy how much things change in a year.
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