My Advice For Students

February 5, 2010

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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Keegan Shoutz, a senior at St. Cloud State and one of our Fast Horse Experience Facebook friends, who paid us a visit and shadowed George a couple weeks back. Keegan is at left with George.

As an upcoming college graduate, come May I will be thrown out into the real world with hopes not much unlike any other college graduate. Find a job I like, in an area I want to live in, near people I want to be around. Although our economy is struggling and jobs are hard to find, I have been privileged with the opportunity to get an inside look at the public relations field on many occasions.

My advice to any college student is this: Get involved! Become active in student organizations and events you are interested in. Doing so will open doors you may have never thought possible. Don’t believe me? Feeling like it’s too much work? Well, take me for example. I joined the Public Relations Student Society of America my sophomore year in college. I was an average member; helped out when I could but never really took advantage of the opportunities I was provided.

Fast forward to my junior year, when I became a more active member within the organization and decided to run for the presidency. Turns out I got it and quickly was given a world of opportunities and experiences not only for myself, but for all the members of the organization. I began the year with a plan: work hard, but work together to benefit our group as a whole. In doing so, each member of PRSSA has been given an opportunity to make a number of great connections within the public relations field. We have been focusing on topics such as informational interviews, tours of agencies we are interested in, social networking sites and job shadowing.

Which brings me to where I am today, sitting in the offices of Fast Horse, “a consumer marketing agency,” located in Minneapolis.  If you had asked me at the beginning of the year if I thought I would be confident enough to seek out an agency I am interested in and ask if I could go in to job shadow for a day, you would have received a simple “no.” Getting more involved throughout each year of college has truly created opportunities I never knew existed. The ability to sit in an office such as this, right next to the very people who have the job I want, is an eye opening experience.

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Most of us spend four or more years in college, and although we attend class and go through the motions, many of us cannot imagine where we really want to be after graduation. It takes initiative, hard work and dedication to find a career and let’s be honest, just going through the motions is not going to cut it.

It’s important to network, get your name out there and find the answers to any questions you may have about how to get to that dream job. Use social networking sites and the Internet to your advantage. Times have drastically changed and it’s even more important today to get your voice out there. Do anything you can to distinguish yourself from the others searching for the same position, and create your own opportunities.

The time is now and graduation will come faster than you think. So get out there, find what interests you and strive for achievement. In the end it will take you places you never though possible.