Head back to school with professionalism supplies
You'll be back on campus before you know it!
Calculator, computer, pens for class work: check! Shorts, sweats, and Garmin band for workouts: check! Phone, charger, and earbuds: check! A couple of hot outfits to wear to parties, and done…right? Wrong! You’ll also need to pack a few things to continue your professional development back on campus.
Professional attire: You’ll be working on leadership and project skills in a student organization, so you’ll need at least one good business casual outfit and one professional outfit. Graduating seniors will probably need corporate attire as well—enough for a first and second interview.
If you still have some clothes shopping to do, think about building up your professional wardrobe. There is no dress code for business classes, but if you're attending a meeting that includes a corporate executive or recruiter, do you really want to wear cut-offs and a t-shirt? By the time you graduate, you’ll need a couple of weeks’ worth of work outfits. On top of relocation and new apartment costs, you’ll really hate having to spend several hundred dollars on new clothes. Start now to build up a supply of khaki's and slacks, professional shirts or blouses, and good quality shoes, jackets, and accessories that will jump-start your professional wardrobe.
Time management tools: Your iPhone has all the apps and productivity tools you could possibly need. Do you know how to use them? You probably made a resolution about better organization of your email, schedule, and projects. Who hasn’t? Now is the time to make sure you have to tools to make that happen.
A solid calendar system tops the list. Make sure your computer and phone are syncing, alarms and notifications are set, and access granted to key colleagues and friends. UNI provides a professional suite of productivity tools, but if you aren’t learning how to use them, you’ll be way behind the curve in that first job. Think about file management and sharing options so you can easily access your class projects from the library or your grandma’s Thanksgiving dinner table as well as your dorm computer. Consider how a habit or goal tracker might keep your financial, exercise, or meditation efforts on schedule. Take the time to download and learn the programs now. In two weeks, there won’t be any time left over to think!
Networking choices: If you’re still stashing employers’ business cards in a desk job, you have a lot of catching up to do. Before classes start, you’ll want to update your Linked-In profile with the summer gig, connect with the UNIBusiness and Professionalism Groups, and make sure your connections are up-to-date. If you’re going to be job-hunting, update your Job Board profile and materials as well.
Then, look at your own information sources. Sure, you’ll put your student organization’s meetings and employer presentations on your calendar. You might even know how to add them directly to your calendar from the email announcements. Good start, but, do you really think that will capture all the interesting job information out there? What about economic news and commentary so that you have a clue in the employment interviews? If you’re starting to develop a professional focus, you’ll also want news on emerging issues, regulatory changes, and upcoming events in the Cedar Valley. Whether you set up the resources as blog subscriptions to review over breakfast or real time notifications to your phone, or even a best business books list for your bedtime reading depends on your field and your personality, but set them up!
Get packing, and see you soon!