We are back at it again ladies and gentlemen, it is time for Cosme’s productivity tip of the day!
Tip of the day: Do your hardest tasks first!
Its pretty straight forward. Do the hardest things first. By doing the hardest thing first, it makes all other tasks feel easy and way more approachable. It can be hard to initiate but trust me, once you do, you will be so glad you did. The rest of the day will feel a lot lighter and you will be thanking yourself!
When I started college, I really wish someone would have told me how busy you can be.. Sure, as a kid growing up, I had always heard crazy stories from my dad and his time in med school. Going into college, I expected to have eight hour long study sessions, and mountains of homework; like my dad would always tell me. While I have had some intense study sessions and my fair share of homework, it hasn’t been all that bad. One thing my dad never mentioned to me though was managing extracurricular activities outside of the classroom. As a communications and media arts student, extracurricular opportunities are everything. They are valuable opportunities for you to learn and enhance your skills in media production, all before you go out into the real world. While those of you reading this may not be communications students, I am sure you can relate to this sentiment within your own major. In today’s college world, having good grades is still crucial, but employers also want to see you be busy and get experience within your field of interest. Today I want to talk with you about finding balance in this crazy, crazy world we call college.
When trying to gain more experience in your field, it can be easy to lose focus on other aspects of your studying. Because of this, I advise that you start with what you can manage at first. If you can do a lot, great, more power to you. If you can only do a little though, there is no shame in that. Again, it is crucial you do what you can manage. Do not push yourself too hard, because when you do, you limit your ability to find stability and balance in all the other aspects of your life. By starting with a little, you get to ease yourself more into the role. This can most notably be seen when joining a new club, society, etc. Being ambitious and wanting to be president of your club is great. But if you are just starting out, maybe taking time to see how the club runs and how the president does his job can be more beneficial to your success in the long run. Stick with the process, and eventually you will end up where you want to go!
Do what YOU can, and do not push yourself past your limit. We don’t want short term burnout ruining long term goals!
My final topic on the matter has to deal with internships. Whether you like it or not, an internship undoubtedly helps people get a foot into their field of interest. Ideally, you want to start looking for your internship in your junior and senior year of college. Freshman and sophomore year serve as great launching pads for you to get experience before you go out for your internship. Once you have secured an internship, it is important to take inventory of what you are doing and what you are involved in. For me this summer, I have been working at my new job. It was initially meant to be just an internship, but they decided to hire me part time. Upon learning this, it was absolutely necessary for me to sit down and reflect on what I am involved in. I had done a lot to get to this point, and it was time to start reflecting on what I need to step away from. While in the first topic, I suggest going out and joining new things, this topic kind of deals with the opposite. I say this because you do so much work to get to this point, to have an internship or experience opportunity with an employer, and it can be hard to keep it all up while then also managing the new opportunity. Sometimes there are things you have to step away from. This all a part of the process of finding balance in your school life, but also life in general. Sometimes to a do job well, you have to step back and let someone else help out or take over. This then allows you to focus on what you need to focus on, and make sure you can do it a high level. You have to prioritize what is important to you, and the future of your career. There comes a time when the best way to help yourself out is to step away from other things, and focus on what’s truly important for you.
Recognize when it’s time to step away or to take on less. Just because you do this does not mean you are going backwards. Sometimes the best way to go forward is to put your focus on what can truly help you out and advance you to where you want to go!
Yes, yes, its time for your favorite part of the week ladies and gentlemen! Its time for Cosme’s productivity tip of the week, lets get into it!
Tip of the day: WRITE IT DOWN!
Having started my new job, and also being a college student, I cannot stress this tip enough. Writing down information IS valuable. I know you might be one of those people who can see or hear something and be good, but trust me, writing it down doesn’t hurt and it will also ensure you really know what you’re talking about. I say this because when it comes time for you to do the task, you don’t need to ask anyone for help because you already wrote down notes and the instructions. You save time in what you can do, and you save other people time because they don’t have to stop and explain to you the steps again.
I know writing it down may seem like a hassle, but it beats having to keep asking the same questions over and over again!
Today I want to go over a specific individual. What he has done so far is nothing short of remarkable. He has built an empire here in the US, as well as across the globe. There is a good chance that you indirectly interact with this man on a near daily basis.
Before I tell you who the mystery man is, let’s look at his humble beginning!
Like all good American origin stories, this one begins in New York. Brooklyn, New York to be exact. Our mystery person was not born into a lavish lifestyle, or born into an already existing business family. They started all the way at the bottom, like you or me. Him and his family were not the richest, and they had to live in a housing estates. Trying to find a way out of this life and to make better for his family and himself, he accepted a football scholarship at Northern Michigan University. College would fly by and it would eventually see him graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in communication. Like any kid straight out of college, our mystery man got to work trying to find a job. One would stick and it would open the door to his future success.
Out of college and now working for Hammarplast, our mystery man was on his way to success. For those who do not know, Hammarplast was a company that sold European coffee makers to people in the United States. Being the star that he was, he quickly rose through the ranks until he became the director of sales for them at the start of the 80s. In this position, he was able to see more information on who they were selling inventory to. While browsing, he noticed that a small coffee shop in Seattle was buying more and more coffee makers. Amazed by what he saw, he flew over to Seattle to see what was going on for himself. The small coffee shop really resonated with him, and a year later he would meet with their founders and take a job at their company as their new director of retail operations and marketing.
Now it’s at this point in the story where you may start to figure out who the individual is..
Our mystery man’s life would change forever after he went on a trip to Milan, Italy. Seeing the beautiful culture and appreciation for coffee over there, it inspired him. He noticed how many coffee bars were over there and he wanted to try applying that back over in the states. He soon brought the idea back with him, and was able to start applying it into stores. Seeing the success it had, he wanted to expand and grow. The original founders did not see eye to eye though. Naturally, this resulted in him leaving the company. He then set out to start his own coffee business. He collected the funding necessary and opened his doors. From what he had learned in his past, he applied and developed it further with his own stores. Within two years, he was able to go back and purchase the company he had left.
I am sure most of you are aware of who I am talking about by now, but for those who still don’t, I am of course talking about Howard Schultz; former CEO and chairman of Starbucks. Howard Schultz humble beginnings remind all of us that we can truly accomplish anything. Schultz was not born into a super rich family, and he didn’t come from the greatest neighborhood. What his story does tell us though, is that with dedication, time, and a commitment to hard work, we can truly accomplish anything. Furthermore, he shows that we should not be afraid to bet on ourselves if we truly believe in our idea and what we want to do. Howard Schultz did the same, and because of that he ended up with a company that is worth 112.50 billion dollars today. Even though he is not Starbucks CEO anymore, Howard did pretty alright for himself. He is now worth 5.2 billion dollars.
Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams or opportunities! They are waiting for you, not the other way around!
Recently I had the privilege to accept a new job opportunity. It all started out as an internship, but after talking with the manager, it surprisingly turned into employment. I got offered a job in my field of interest (audio and video media), all while in the city I want to work in after I graduate; Chicago. For my job, I will be running the board at the station, and working with the on air talent. This all incredibly exciting but also nerve racking.
In what feels like the wave of a wand, I have entered the workforce all while still as a student, and boy can it be intimidating. In my first week, I worked three days for seven hours each shift. What I learned early on is that everyone is always doing something. If you have downtime or are not doing anything productive, find something productive to do. Additionally, I have also been learning to be more independent and to trust myself. As someone who has never worked in this kind of atmosphere before, I realized early on that people do not have time to always help you out with everything. At first, I was pretty scared to mess up. I am not going to lie. This feeling did not linger long though, as eventually I regained my confidence and trust in myself. The key is to just remind yourself that a lot of the stuff you’re doing, you learned or did in your classes. Remember all the work you did, use it, and apply it to your situation.
One part of the job that I have really enjoyed is the employees. Learning about my fellow co-workers and my bosses, and where they came from has been really fun to hear. These are all people that were in my same position at some point in their lives, and they undoubtedly have a lot of knowledge that I can learn from. I have also enjoyed the experiences and people I have worked with through the job. Whether that be through guests that come on, or through problem solving, it has all been exciting and great new experiences for me.
For people that also want to work in the media, or just find employment in general, I highly advise that you get as much practical experience as you can in college before you go out and apply. If I think about my situation and how I got here, without a doubt doing all the little jobs and tasks in college helped me. They were opportunities for me to expand my knowledge and expertise, and it also provided me something to put on my resume. I know not everyone wants to do it, but find jobs within your major or on campus and do them! You never really know what doors they may open…
For my final thoughts on the matter, I want to say that I am very appreciative. I am appreciative I even have the job in the first place, but I am also appreciative that USF prepared me well for the task. Like I said above, I was nervous at first, but that did not say for long. When looking ahead, I really do not know what the future has in store for me. I am completely ok with this, and in part I enjoy this sense of the unknown. I am at the start of this great adventure and I am eager to see where it will take me! My advice for everyone is to keep working hard and to always believe in yourself. I know that is pretty cliché, but it is true advice. If you know what you want, work for it and go get it. Make the sacrifices and go get yours. It’s your life and you have to decide how you want to spend it. As Red would say in one of my all-time favorite movies, Shawshank Redemption, “Get busy living”. Get busy living and make the future you want for yourself.
When it comes to being productive, I like to consider myself a master, at least that’s what I tell myself.. Jokes aside, I want to briefly share with you a productivity tip that I use that helps me out. I believe it can also help you guys out as well, so let’s get into it!
Tip: DON’T BE AFRIAD TO TAKE BREAKS
Sometimes the best way to get ahead is to stop and recollect yourself. It is easy to get overwhelmed and when it happens, it can hinder your decision making. Take a step back, examine what’s going on and collect your thoughts. When you do this, you can make a better decision for your circumstance. Also, taking a break can simply just help you out mentally. Sometimes you need to take a step back and decompress. Recharge and get back out there, and hit your tasks even harder! Remember, taking a break is not always a bad thing. Plan and get ahead!
Career success is an interesting thing. Everyone for the most part is striving to have as much career success as they can. People are brought up in different areas and conditions, so for some, their definition of career success varies. Today I want to take a look at a Forbes article written by Terina Allen. In the article, Allen goes over what she believes is career success, and why so many people fail to experience it.
We start by looking at the difference between career accomplishments and career success. The two are often mixed up. Career accomplishments are credentials you earn during your career, or it can include a high paying salary. People can have all the titles in the world or can be making a ton of money, and they still feel empty inside. It is a feeling that can’t be filled unless you have true career success. In her article, Terina Allen describes career success as,
“Career success is a combination of achieving a reasonable level of financial stability while doing work you enjoy and then finding that you are also happy and fulfilled with your life and career choices as well. If you love your job but find that it doesn’t lead to financial self-sufficiency, career success is diminished, and if you get paid very well but lack joy or interest in your chosen career field, career success is diminished. True career success requires that there is alignment between the two.” (Allen, 2020)
I have to agree with Terina Allen on this discussion. Making a lot of money is great but if you don’t enjoy the work you do, eventually, you are going to grow more frustrated and upset. In order for people to be on their A-game, it requires people to be fully committed and locked in. How are you going to perform at a high level if your whole heart isn’t even in the job?
People fail to find career success for a multitude of reasons. Part of it involves the individual failing to outline what career success means to them. For a lot of the youth, the decision to figure out what you want to be or do comes at you fast. In the commotion of going to school and figuring that out, people can sometimes fail to look ahead in the future. It is crucial that we all be mindful of the future and the goals we want to achieve. It is important that the goals you make are YOUR own goals, and not someone else’s; like a parent, friend or a teacher. It is also important to remember that your own happiness should be a priority. You won’t find career success in a job you hate doing the work for. Yeah the money may be good, but you will not be passionate in the work you are doing. It is people who do not have that passion for their jobs or career that end up getting stuck or upset with their job.
For my closing thoughts, I want to advise people to do what makes them truly happy. Be brave and courageous in new endeavors you face. Those situations can open doors and possibly take you where you want to go. As long as you are truly happy in what you are doing, you will find a way to make it work and have success. Your passion for the job will take you to new found heights. I know all of you out there are capable of so much, and I believe in you!
Leave me a comment down below if you want to have a discussion about this topic!
Be respectful and cultivate a good sense of morals – These are two of the most important skills anyone, of any age can learn and apply into their lives. Having respect and morals are skills that will not only take you far in your profession, but also in life. You should have respect for everyone you work for or with, and you should apply good morals; to improve any situations you are in.
Time management – Time management is a skill college students will need to learn at one point or another. Good time management should provide the individual with a relatively set schedule of what they’ll be doing for that day, week, or month. Set time aside for classes, doing homework, studying, eating, and of course time to recharge and recover!
Be the person who takes INITIATIVE! – People and organizations love it when people step up without having to be told to do so. This is something that will never change. Be the person in your workplace or class that steps up and does the work. Be the person who suggests new ideas that improve the situation. It’s when you do this that people will give you more responsibility. Do a good job with that extra responsibility and move on up! Who knows, a promotion could be in your future…
Don’t be afraid to ask for help – Once students get to college, they often realize they can’t do everything alone. There is going to come a time where you need help, either from the teacher or a fellow student. Do not be afraid to ask for help in those scenarios. Asking for help is not a shameful thing. People and employers like having problem solvers, but if you truly cannot solve the task don’t be afraid to ask. Some people take asking for help as a sign of weakness, when in reality it is a sign for a person who is honest and upfront. Those are strengths.
Be a team player- There are times where we all have to be team players. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for others or the majority. That’s just how it goes sometimes. This is a very important skill to have in the workplace, but also for when you are among family and friends. You are not always going to get what you want and sometimes you just have to do what’s best for the team, rather than the individual.
Sometimes you have to be assertive – Being assertive is not always a bad thing. Speaking up for yourself and creating proper boundaries at the workplace, or with others, is a skill that is needed as you get older. Being assertive is a great way to make sure people do not silence your ambitions. Using this skill effectively can open doors for you, and it will show others that you have bright ideas. Having said that, it is important to not over do this. Being too assertive can make you appear confrontational and people may stray away from that.
During the summer, students are left with all kinds of time to pursue any activities that they wish. College students try to make the most out of their summer experiences because most know it is only a matter of time before they are forced into the real world, where there are no summer breaks. With a sense of excitement running high, it is also important to take care of any business regarding the future. Today I will go over ways students can stay busy, while also getting ahead on their future!
Tip 1: Get organized!
College students are living in hectic times, and in hectic times things get messy and lost. Do not be one of those college students where all your documents are scattered across multiple PCs and storage devices. It is good to start organizing your portfolio of what you have done so far, so that way there is less stress when it comes time for you to go back to it. When you are a senior and you are busy trying to find a job, graduate, and build your resume, the last thing you want to worry about is organizing all the work you have done.
This doesn’t have to be limited to just portfolio or resume stuff either. You can do this for notes, supplies and tools you used, and books. Being organized is likely to make you more prepared, and being prepared is half the battle when trying to advance in your career.
Tip 2: Check out job boards
Checking out job boards is something that is really easy to do, and does not require much effort to do so. You wouldn’t technically be doing this to find a job, but rather to see what businesses want in an applicant. If you can find what people want in an applicant, and start implementing it in college, you will make yourself an optimal candidate for whatever jobs you apply for. This is also good because it gives you valuable information on the current status of your future job field. You will be able to see the qualifications, but also what the average salary is like in your field. This is extremely valuable, as for some the financial gain is what draws them to some fields over others. Regardless, it gives you an idea of how much money you could potentially make.
Tip 3: Enhance skills you already have or are learning
This tip relates to skills you have learned in your major(s). In your time at college, you will learn a lot. Learning all this information won’t matter though if you do not apply it into the real world and practice. Whatever your major is, find opportunities to practice what you have learned. Best ways to do this are through internships within your field. This will give you hands on training of stuff you are more than likely to do once you get there. For underclassmen, it might be harder but there are still some ways to enhance your knowledge. Do more research on your field, and watch videos. You can also try shadowing people who work in your profession; to get an idea of what a day in the life of that profession is like. Whatever it may be, just keep on trying to find ways to develop and grow your skills. Your competition is out there and they are practicing, so what are you doing?
Tip 4: Broaden your horizons
The best part of summer break is all the free time you get to do whatever you want. Use this time wisely, and learn something new that might be beneficial to you down the line. This could be something like a graphic design student learning the Adobe design apps, to get more proficient in their field. Or it could be a business student learning a new language, like Spanish or Mandarin. These are both skills that would be extremely valuable to the individual in growing in their field of interest. It doesn’t have to strictly be related to your field either. You could do something like volunteer work as well. Volunteer work is always great because it has a direct Impact on who you are working with/helping. Volunteer work is also nice because it stands out when you apply for jobs and or apply for master’s schools. It is good to be an applicant that is active, and gives back to their community. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is interesting, relevant, and exciting for you. Never stop experiencing new things!
Summer break is a great time for all students. For college students, it is smart to use the excess time to get ahead and make serious advancements in your development. I know how tempting it can be to want to hang out with friends all day, or play video games, but just make sure to not forget about business. You deserve to have fun and let loose, but there is a time and place for that. Make the sacrifice and put the work in now, so that way it is easier for you later on!
It’s a Thursday afternoon and it’s finally starting to warm up. You sit there thinking about all the things you can do, such as hanging out with your friends, playing videogames, or going on a weekend long Netflix binge. The possibilities are endless. What if I completely shook up your world, and gave you some secret information? Something that not a lot of people know. Are you sure you want to know?
Ok, ok, fine. I’ll tell ya…
THE USF CAREER SUCCESS CENTER IS OPEN ALL SUMMER LONG!
YES THAT IS CORRECT, ALL-SUMMER-LONG!
We offer a variety of services such as:
Resume and cover letter assistance and development
Career assessments & interest inventories
Job search updates and assistance
Internship information and assistance
On campus recruiting events (when in season)
The 2020-21 school year was a great year for us at the center. We want to keep the same momentum while continuing to help out all USF students and alumni throughout the summer months. Parts of the university may be closed, but we aren’t!
General office hours Monday-Friday: 8 AM – 4 PM
If you would like to set up an appointment, please get in contact with Career Success Center Director, Maribeth Hearn. You can reach her at her email: MHearn@stfrancis.edu OR you can leave a message at (815) 740-3384.
If Maribeth is unavailable, you can contact our Employment & Internship Support Specialist, Betty Kohl. You can reach her at her email: firstname.lastname@example.org OR you can leave a message at (815) 740-4295
The USF Career Success Center: Your one stop shop for all career related things!