Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Make the Most of Your Internship

By Follett intern, Barron Biros

Figuring out your post-graduation career plans can be a daunting task, but one of the best ways to prepare for the real world is by having internship experience. Last fall, a friend told me about Follett’s Marketing Genius competition. I was immediately hooked when I heard about the grand prize: a paid summer internship with Follett’s integrated marketing department and free housing in Chicago.

I entered the competition with my best friend and we created a detailed marketing plan to promote Follett’s Rent-A-Text program, which allows students to rent textbooks instead of buy them full price, and CafeScribe, Follett’s digital textbook option. After pitching our campaign to company executives, we were awarded first place and named Follett’s first “Marketing Geniuses.”

My internship with Follett allowed me to work for a real-world marketing team and gave me the opportunity to put the skills I learned in college to the test. Whether you’re destined to be a Marketing Genius, or your career aspirations lie elsewhere, it’s important to remember that an internship can be a great stepping stone to full-time employment. Here are three tips for how to stand out during your internship and make a great impression on your employer.

Network: Everyone knows networking can be the key to finding a job, but it can also be helpful after your internship is complete. So take the time to get to know your co-workers whether you plan to continue your career there or move on somewhere else. And remember, networking doesn’t always have to be about business. I’ve made some great professional connections here at Follett, but I’ve also made friends with my colleagues. You never know where your connections may lead when your internship is over.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Feeling Lonely? -- 5 Ways To Cure Those Freshman Blues

Moving away from your parents and friends for college can be kind of a shock, and unless you're some kind of "social butterfly" -- it might take a while for you to find interesting people you can connect with. So, here are a few ways to cure some of those in-between"home-town blues" while still meeting great new people.

Take a walk around campus (even if you don't have class)
I know this sounds a little obvious, but we've all had friends that, if they're not eating or going to class -- they're more than likely sitting in their dorm room alone. If I just described you, Get Out for God Sakes! Sitting around doing nothing is the leading cause of the dreaded Freshman Fifteen! Let me put it this way, I met the girl I've spent the last 5 years of my life with on a bus on the way back from "The Freshman Lot" (a place where Freshman have to park their cars if they live on campus). That moment was as random and coincidental as you can possibly get and it has shaped everything about my life ever since. You're never going to find what your looking for where you've already searched, so why not go out and have a look around somewhere else for once.

Leave your Hometown at Home
It's hard to leave people you care about and go on to something new, and I'm not saying you need to cut ties completely -- but if talking with your family and old friends consumes your life at college, you will never be able to form the new friendships and bonds your college years can create. It's alright to Skype a friend every once and a while, or even keep a long distance relationship working -- but you can't let it run your life. Make time for old friends as well as new ones. Being frank about it, if you loved home so much -- then why did you leave it to go to school in the first place? There is such a thing as online classes you know.

Join a club or organization
Joining a school club or organization is by far the easiest way to meet new people and make new friends (that is if you actually make time for it). You don't even need to sign up! When I was a Freshman living in the dorms, there was a Baptist Student Organization that always met at the bottom of College Hill and played Ultimate Frisbee every Wednesday afternoon. I never signed a paper or went to a single meeting with the group, but every Wednesday for a couple of months I would head down there and play a few games with them.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish" -- Thank You Steve

Not many changed the world as you did -- Thank You.