Gabriella Bower

5 Life Hacks to Find the Career of Your Dreams Before You Graduate

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1) Own It

Before I left for school, the best college advice I received was, ‘wherever you go, is what you make of it.’  I knew the second I stepped foot in New York City to attend New York University I was starting the rest of my life, and I wanted it to as soon as possible.  I went to class, upgraded my blog to a new platform, wrote for the NYU paper’s fashion section, and began looking for an internship in the fashion industry.

2) Run With It

One of the reasons I chose to go to NYU was because of the accessibility of internships for students year round.  Every major publication, company or newsroom has offices in Manhattan and they are all just a subway ride away from the Washington Square campus.  Starting this past fall of my freshman year, I interned at a boutique fashion PR firm.  I would go in twice a week and attend to various tasks.  The tasks started out as your basic running errands and keeping track of inventory.  I began paying my dues which is definitely necessary when you are just starting out, but I knew I was capable of so much more.  I have always been passionate about fashion and I soon became passionate about the PR firm I was interning for.  I wanted to contribute more.

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3) Share It

One day I brought in some pieces of my writing to show my bosses because I was really proud of my work.  They loved my articles so much they asked me to start writing for them.  Before I knew it, I had become head intern with bigger responsibilities such as training new interns, writing press releases, and editors were beginning to remember my name.  Just as college is what you make of it, so is interning.  If I had not brought in my writing samples that day to the office, my bosses may never have recognized my skill.  I turned my internship into a mutually beneficial experience.  My bosses trusted me to handle more PR assignments, I was able to learn from their examples, and they have now become more than my bosses but my mentors.

Take control of your dreams as early as possible. 

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4) Stretch It

Academics and classroom skills are essential.  However, I feel strongly that everyone should intern.  It allows you to start taking control of your dreams and gain real life skills in the industry you will later pursue.  The skills you will acquire outside of the classroom at an internship will become invaluable.  The earlier you start interning, the more skills you will gain.  You'll also have more experience in a particular field before you even graduate.  However, I feel the true benefit of interning is that you are finally participating in something —whether it be a company, studio, museum,  or a startup—that is solely dedicated to your passion.

5) Expand It

If you have absolutely no idea what career you may want to pursue, you should still intern.  Make a list of things you enjoy and cross reference that with your strongest skills.  Then start applying for internships that meet those requirements.  I promise you will figure it out eventually.  The sooner you discover your passions and skills, the better off your career will be and the happier you will be.

For me, my PR internship confirmed that I was in exactly the right industry for a lifelong career. 

Moreover, this internship made me realize there were other careers I could pursue because I had previously been adamant about only becoming a Fashion Editor.  But after gaining PR experience, I’m not so sure.  And that’s ok.  Interning, in its simplest definition is an outlet that allows you to learn what you do and do not like.

Taking control of your dreams as early as possible will not only make you more successful, but the fulfillment you'll feel from these dreams starting to become a reality is unlike anything else.  So bSmart, find your passion, intern, and begin the next chapter of your life.  

Find out how you can:

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