It is unofficially the end of beach days and warm nights and if you’re one of the 250,000 college students that reside in this city, you’re most likely unpacking your hand-me-down appliances and claiming your room/bed while you attempt to take a breather and read this post. As you mentally prepare yourself to make 2013-2014 your “best year yet,” take some advice from a NU alum and now NU career counselor (yes, I’m talking about me), and kick the year off right by following these very simple, somewhat obvious, success pointers. We can ease into the new year together.
1. First impressions count– so be on time. Freshman year of college I had a class in Hurtig Hall. I was overly confident and gave myself 10 minutes to walk there from 319 Huntington Ave. Turns out, what I thought was Hurtig, was actually Hayden Hall– meaning I had to basically sprint from one side of campus to the other. I arrived 10 minutes late, sweaty and out of breath. As you can imagine, I did not make the best first impression and my professor made a point to say something to me at the end of class. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior and whether you’ve had this professor before or not, be respectful of other people’s time and be on time, even if that means dragging yourself out of bed 10 minutes sooner than you wanted to.
2. Don’t dress like a slob, even if you’re “just going to class.” There have been multiple studies done linking feeling good about how you’re dressed to success at work and in the classroom (Psychology Today even has a resident “Psychologist of Dress” on their site). Not to mention that approximately 90% off all communication is non-verbal, appearance being just one aspect of that. Joyce Kinsey Gorman writes in this Forbes article, “Clothes make a strong visual statement about how you see yourself. Comfort may aid productivity but, in this era of “Me, Inc.” and “the Brand Called You,” are flip-flops, sweats, jeans, and flashy or revealing clothing part of how you want to be judged?” To answer that question, “no, not really.” Although I’m happy to rock yoga pants and flip flops while running to CVS on a Sunday, I notice how much better I feel and how much more work I get done when I like my outfit. Keep this in mind when going to class.
3. Ask if you need help and help if you are asked. Everyone needs help with something at one time or another, whether it be moving that piece of IKEA furniture you found on the side of the road into your bedroom (Merry Allston Christmas), or
your organic chemistry homework; as a community it is important to help one another. Northeastern has plenty of resources to help you with anything you may need and as a part of this community and as an active citizen you should be giving back and sharing your knowledge with others through student organizations, volunteering, etc. Not only will extracurriculars make you feel good about yourself, they look great on a resume and help you develop skills and qualifications outside of co-op. Also, as a true believer in karma– you get what you give, so give back!
Kelly Scott is a Career Advisor at Northeastern University and social media enthusiast. A proud Gen Y, she enjoys writing about workplace culture and personal online branding. For more career insight, follow/tweet her at @kellydscott4.