Student WOW: David Andriate
Thursday, February 1, 2018
Student WOW (Words of Wisdom) provides a forum for fourth-year students to talk about their experiences in preparing for life after graduation. If you have advice that would help other students prepare for life after the Arch, drop us a line and you could be featured on our website!
During your last semester of college, life decisions start popping up out of nowhere. All of the sudden people start asking you what your future plans are and you can’t even decide what you’re eating for lunch that day. During your final semester, you have about three months to evolve from a college student to a young adult. For some, this transition is seamless, and for others, it's demanding. As a creative with two roommates guaranteed finance jobs months before graduation, I would say my experience was the latter. Though my experience wasn’t necessarily easy, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Here are the lessons I’ve gathered looking back on my journey to the Arch.
1. Don’t let the stress overwhelm you.
Keeping up with the Jones’s is exhausting. Looking at other people’s success in their job search, academic or personal life and coming down on yourself won’t make anything better. Don’t get wrapped up in what you don’t have. There’s always going to be someone that’s more successful than you, so just appreciate who and what you have in your life. Being positive about your situation will only make it easier to garner success of your own!
2.) Work on projects outside of class.
Though my education at UGA has been stellar, my projects outside of class have yielded the most valuable career experience and helped set me apart during my job search. On my portfolio, my school section has nothing compared to the rest of my work experience and personal projects. Don’t just mess around with your friends. Look for relevant work opportunities in your field and eventually garner clients. You are making a mistake if you don’t use your ample free time as a college student to get experience doing what you love. One professor changed my life when he said, “Create more than you consume.” That’s the day I turned off Netflix and used my free time to get ahead.
3.) Measure your activities.
Every single task you have to accomplish can be measured in hours. For me, I can write a page an hour, shoot an interview in an hour, and make a logo animation in two hours. If you can accurately predict how many hours certain tasks take you, and not be intimidated by focusing on one thing for several hours, you can accomplish anything you want. How good you are at any task solely depends on the number of quality hours you spend doing it. Don’t be intimidated by anything, because if you sit down for long enough, you can be good at it.
4.) Prioritize your activities.
When you have a lot of work on your plate, your head can start spinning and you might want to tackle everything at once. You will be amazed by your productivity when you dedicate your full attention to one activity at a time. Multitasking hurts the quality of your work and increases the amount of time you spend on everything. Figure out what is most important and focus on that first. That’s how you get everything done.
5.) Talk to anyone and everyone.
When I started professionally networking, I thought that I should only reach out to people that could directly benefit me, or get me a job. My roommate changed my life when he told me the phrase: “Ask for a job, get advice. But ask for advice, you get a job.” Any professional that’s willing to give you some of their time to talk will prove to be the most valuable resource you can access. Talking to professionals outside of my field with different expertise, with no potential job opportunities for me, annihilates my anxiety, teaches me so much about life, and motivates me more than any other activity. You never know how much any given person can teach you!
6.) Follow the 30/30/30/10 rule.
When it comes to scheduling professional activities, split your time between three main categories: 30 percent work, 30 percent networking, 30 percent marketing. Work is what brings home the bacon (for me that’s actually creating content). Networking is meeting people (see #5). Marketing time is spent developing tools you use to tell people about yourself (social media, portfolio, website, resume). Classifying your tasks and splitting your time effectively between these three activities will make you an unstoppable, well-rounded professional. You may be wondering why I left out 10 percent in this breakdown. Well you need 10 percent of your time to…
7.) Enjoy yourself.
Especially in your last semester as a student, make sure to take advantage of the
college lifestyle. Do something silly, boneheaded, goofy and immature. Not all of
your time has to be dedicated to working. If you’re following the rest of these steps,
you’ll have plenty of time to act like an idiot with your friends, and do something
that’s a complete waste of time. Your free time will probably decrease when you’re
working fulltime, so capitalize on your time before you walk through the Arch into
the real world.
I hope this guide has been helpful to you and encourages you that your success depends on your day-to-day decision making. You have everything you need right now to accomplish your wildest dreams; All you have to do is make the right choices. Once you decide that you’re going to be great, there is no going back.
David Andriate graduated in December 2017, and is now working for Shootsta Video Productions in San Diego, CA. He spent all of 2017 getting hands-on experience as an Interactive Digital Media Assistant in the Office of the Vice President for Instruction. Visit his website to see some of his work in video production and digital media. Photo credit: Chris Carson