10 Things That Made My Transition to the Real World Successful

  • Get as much experience as you can before you graduate.

  • Keep writing at home. In the beginning, you may not write a lot in your job—at least not as much as you did in school—so keep your skills fresh.

  • If you can decide between in-house and agency, go agency. You're young, you have energy, and the experience will be great.

  • Don't be afraid to speak up. The fact that you're young doesn't mean you don't know what you're talking about. Value the education you received, and recognize that not everyone is lucky enough to have a degree in PR—you are, so use it!

  • Make sure you ask about workplace culture during interviews. Pay attention to how employees interact and the culture of the office.

  • If you're overwhelmed, say something! Don't wallow in a pool of work just so everyone will think you're an ambitious rock star.

  • Start looking for jobs at least three months before you graduate.

  • Don't wear clothes on an interview that make you feel like someone else...no matter how professional they look. You want your employers to hire you and like you for who you are, not just who you'd like to be.

  • Take a job that challenges you. Don't just do something you're good at; do something that makes you learn something new every day.

  • Three words: work-life balance. You want a job right out of college that lets you have a social life while you're young. My recommendation: ask to schedule an interview for 7:00 p.m. If they agree and are still in full swing at that time, it's probably the type of environment where you can expect to work long hours with little or no work-life balance.
About the Author

Meghan Attreed is an account executive at Articulate Communications, Inc., a technology and business-to-business public relations firm. For additional information about the firm, please contact her at mattreed@articulatepr.com or at 212-255-0080, ext. 13.
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