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Still in College? 3 Steps to Launch Your Career
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There are three things that have been important for me during my academic career. If you’re a student, or know a student, maybe you’ll find them useful.
Blend your serious and creative sides.
In my experience, outside of Bentley, students typically either have a “serious” degree — business, science or law, for example — or a “creative” degree such as art, history, English or film.
It seems unusual to do both. But there are now many voices that advocate the integration of both creative and serious interests, especially with my millennial generation.
PreparedU is one of those voices.
I’ve always wanted to be in the film industry. It started when I was very young. I loved to read and I would picture the scenes as they would appear in a movie. As I grew older, I started putting camera angles and effects into my imagination. I never wanted to be in front of the camera, always behind it.
This might seem odd, especially considering that both of my parents are accountants. They always encouraged me to follow my dreams, but they wanted me to be realistic.
When the time came to apply for college, I wasn’t sure what path I wanted to take. With 20-plus years in the business world under their belt, my parents gave me advice that helped my decision for the future.
“Everything needs business,” they said. With that in mind, I shifted my focus to business, more specifically to marketing.
I felt that marketing would enable me to be creative and also have a business foundation. In addition, it would help prepare me for possibly going to film school upon completion of my undergraduate education.
When I applied to Bentley, I researched its academics and realized that it offered, in a sense, a double major. I would be able to study and learn marketing and media arts — in my case, that meant filming — at the same time.
Thus far, I’ve been able to exercise my creative side while in college.
One PreparedU research finding states that about four in five business executives agree that millennials’ advanced technological skills will allow them to get ahead in the workforce.
Though I have no qualms with embracing technology, working with anything new is a bit nerve-wracking.
I work for the video production department on campus and have learned the ins-and-outs of a professional camera and editing software, which are both complex. Recently, I created short videos, one for an on-campus organization and another for my summer internship.
Now, after learning the different aspects of business, I find myself drawn toward the production side of the film industry, or the business side. Even with this shift, knowing the hands-on technology is still essential.
Make good use of mentors.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s advocacy of mentors reflects what PreparedU research revealed: Mentors are important.
During my college career, I’ve had a number of mentors. Two, as I mentioned earlier, have been my parents. A number of friends have also filled this role, often informally, offering guidance about everything from courses to internships.
One of the mentors who prepared me well for my professional journey is Rachel Barberio. She was my first-year resident assistant and is my closest friend. She has helped me start thinking about my future career, among other things. To me, Rachel has demonstrated “Do what I say” and “Do what I do.” I feel very lucky to have her as an example as I move into the professional world.
Looking ahead, I don’t have a set plan about where I want to go. Perhaps I will venture into movies, or maybe I will go into television. Recently, I mulled the idea about making trailers for movies. I have also thought about working for a company and overseeing its TV commercials.
Whatever I do, I know that I will continue to balance my creative and serious sides, put technology to good use, and rely on mentors to help inform and inspire my career.
Marinella Yule '16 is a Marketing major with a concentration in Media Arts and Society.
Learn more about Bentley’s PreparedU Project, which examines challenges facing millennial workers, the companies that employ them and the colleges and universities that prepare them.
How can we better prepare millennials for work? We explored the key skills college grads are lacking, and potential solutions for filling those gaps.