Communicating Professionally

Competitive UO Senior Planner

What College Teaches You March 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 4:56 am


Not everything you learn in school is completely necessary for real life. Will knowing the year the telephone was invented open any doors for me? No. Does knowing the proper order for classifying living organisms change the course of my life? Not likely. Here is what I have picked up in school that I know will help me afterwards.

1. How to deal with terrible people in group projects

No matter what your major is there will always be some form of a group project to make or break you. Being in the J school I have them every term. For the most part I have survived. But, there is always the project that kills your soul. Whether it be someone not pulling their weight of someone else completely taking charge and bombarding you with emails about assignments that are due weeks away. College has taught me to deal multiple different types of personalities in group settings.

2. How to stay up all hours of the night to accomplish a task

Not that this is necessarily a good thing but it is important nonetheless. Sometimes stuff needs to get done the night before. It may not be the smartest thing in the world but having the practice and discipline to do this is a skill that will surpass college.

3. Memorizing facts to sound intelligent (or to take a test)

Most of the information I have acquired in my classes will never be used in my career. I may casually drop it into a conversation to sound clever or to prove a point but other than that the factoids will just be taking up space in my brain. However, if someone brings up the symbolism in The Odyssey I can hold up my end of the discussion.

4. Holding your liquor for happy hour

I was once told that I should treat happy hour like it is a part of my job. It is the place where you can connect your personality with your coworkers. The people who get ahead in life are the ones who are relatable and happy hour is a great way to show off yours. As long as you are not an intoxicated mess that is.

5. How to meet strangers

This is also called networking, but in college that isn’t what we call it. When you are at a party full of strangers you have to get over the awkward ‘I don’t know you’ point to have a great time. Same with networking professionally: find something you connect on, be sincere and go with it

6. Weekends start on Thursdays

This is obviously true in college. This was proven in the real world to me with my internship this summer. The corporate office was practically empty and the ones who were there weren’t really ‘there’.

7. What you put into something is what you get out

This is a lesson I will take with me for the rest of my life. Whether it be with your school work, sorority, relationships or hobbies; the amount of time, energy and love you invest is how much you will receive back.