As a college student, I tend to forget sometimes that I am just a short time away from entering the professional world. Yes, I study hard, I have a part-time job and I have plenty of responsibility financially and otherwise, but I still hang out with other college kids, dress like a college kid and party like a college kid.
Whether I like it or not, a professional career is only a couple years away for me. For some BU students it’s only a couple months away. At least, that’s what we all hope is in our future. Plenty of university students worry about finding a job after they graduate. Most will take any help they can get to do so.
Professional U is a new campus-wide initiative through the BU Alumni Association that aims to provide that help for students to gain professional experience throughout their college careers. One way is through Professional U workshops, open to all graduate and undergraduate students.
I attended the first workshop held on Oct. 1. I was one of very few attendees that were not freshman business majors, who I assume were required to be there for some class, and many of them left after the session ended. While I don’t blame them (the first session was rather tedious), a lot of useful information and resources were given to us. Professional U offers a job shadowing program for sophomores. Students can also search for former Huskies to find an alumni mentor in their prospective career field through the BU Alumni Association website. This is a cool way to network with professionals, as well as a possible ticket to a great internship or even a job somewhere down the line. We then briefly learned the ins and outs of LinkedIn, which, for those not familiar with the site, is essentially a professional Facebook.
After a short break, we reconvened for session two, which was the best part of the whole night. A panel of three BU alumni gave us advice on networking, interning, what to do while in college, and plenty more. Each had a unique tale of his or her time at BU. One man in particular, an entrepreneur, was particularly inspirational. He has worked for a myriad of companies including M&M/Mars, and has also started plenty of his own. He has traveled to and lived in countries all over the globe, and his social network is gigantic. On top of that, he had been a Philosophy major at BU, and he told us to pursue what we loved while we were here. It was really cool to see such cool, successful people and know that they had once probably sat in the same place I do.
The night finished up with a third session about résumé and e-portfolio building in the 21st century. This was useful, too, because the business world is constantly changing, and I found out that in the past year alone my résumé has become really outdated.
Overall I’d recommend the workshops to students who are looking to get an edge in the professional world. The next set will be held on Nov. 4 & 5 at Kuster Auditorium, Room 108, Hartline Science Center. Sessions on these dates include:
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – “Professional & Dining Etiquette” – Pick up a few tips and tools to keep in mind when interacting with professionals in a variety of settings.
7:30 p.m.– 7:40 p.m.– Break
7:40 p.m.– 8:30 p.m.– “Building a Portfolio” – Learn how to incorporate items from your internship and experiential learning experiences into your professional portfolio.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicholas Cellucci is in the class of 2016 at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He is studying Mass Communications and is a BUnow staff writer in addition to serving as Executive Producer for BUnow’s Radio section. He also works as a communications assistant in BU’s Office of Marketing and Communications.