Eliza: Wait, I have to think about next semester already?

It may seem like the semester just started, but it’s already time to start thinking about the spring term.  Schedule planning has been available for a few days, and registration is going to sneak up in a flurry of colorful leaves and Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  For some people, it’s no worries – they know exactly what to do to stay on track for graduation, study abroad plans, or just their major. If you are not one of these people (I am not), then there’s a few ways to make sure that your registration process isn’t the most stressful experience of your semester.

  • Make an appointment with an advisor: This one may seem super obvious, but sometimes people forget that these amazing people are available to help you figure your life out. You can make an appointment by calling the office, or by stopping into Undergraduate Affairs during the week.
  • Check your curriculum guide: On the COM website you can find guides explaining what courses you might need to take for your major, or a guide to help remind you that you need to take another history class.  Either way, they can make keeping track of your progress way easier than just guessing.
  • Talk to your COM Ambassador: Especially if you’re a freshman, you’re COM Ambassador can help you out with figuring out what classes you’ll take in the next semester.

The most important thing about registration is making sure you don’t let it stress you out too much! It should be exciting, not terrifying, deciding what direction you’ll take with classes.

Eliza: #Networking

People talk about networking like it’s either something they are incredible at or as if it is the most daunting task to ever present itself. In COM, it’s at least something people talk about all the time, and for good reason. Sure, you could get hired simply off of a killer resume and your impressive COM degree, but it doesn’t hurt to work to develop connections.

Personal experience has shown me a lot about networking.  One: Because I’m just starting out, most of my connections are people my parents know or have worked with. Two: That is totally fine. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little help from your parents, especially if they have the network.

When I was applying for internships this summer, I had my eyes (and heart) on one in particular: working as an editorial intern at Thrillist. My dad is in marketing and my mom is a special educator, so I figured I wouldn’t have any connections in the editorial world. Plus, at first I resisted help because I decided I had to prove myself, blah blah. Wrong idea.

After some time had gone by, and I had heard nothing, and my dad was offering for the third time to look into connections, I decided to let him help. And from there I learned how insane networking can be (in a good way).

Turns out, a business friend of my dad had sat at the same table at a wedding as an editor at Thrillist. Yep – that was my big connection. None of them really knew each other that well, but it was enough to get my foot in the door. I met the guy for coffee, and within a week had heard back about my application.

That’s really what all this networking is about, getting a foot in the door.  Having the right network won’t get you the dream job, but it will definitely start you on the right path.