Freshman year of college can be quite the confusing time for a lot of people. Its your first taste of independent (well semi independent) living and you have to learn how to balance your social life, academics and other pressures you face in college. Now that I am a rising senior in college I wish I could talk to my freshman self and impart some wisdom about what I should have been doing. Some things I wish I knew when I was a freshman are…
1.Its never to early to start looking for an internship.
Having an internship as a freshman would put you so far ahead of the game. Related to this is also to look for internships in non traditional ways. Do not just apply for internships at big companies or ones your advisor tells you to apply to. Find companies you admire and apply to them. 2.You should be doing a lot of reading about topics your interested in relevant to what you think your future career will be.
I cannot tell you how many business majors as a freshman wanted to get into “investment banking”. If you told a person you wanted to get into that career they would laugh at you as it is such a vague and unclear term. Read about what you want to do and this way you can also find out if this is something you want to do for the rest of your life. 3.You should work on developing a skill set.
Even if that skill set is something like being a wizard with excel you have 4 years to hone that skill set and it will help separate you from the crowd. Pick something and master it. 4.Get involved with clubs and position yourself to eventually become president.
I wish someone told me this one. Being the president of a club is a incredible networking opportunity and a great resume builder. 5.Actually pay attention in class and take classes that are useful.
I used to just go to class to work for a grade rather than actually trying to learn the material. When your in class try and figure out ways how what your learning could be applied in real life. If you can’t think of any ways then you probably shouldn’t be in that class. 6.In every class always identify the “gimme” points and make sure you get a 100% on them or as close to it as possible.
I define “gimme” points as class participation, clicker questions, homework and extra credit. This way if you mess up on an exam it is not the end of the world. You will be thanking me come finals if you listen to this one. 7.Take up a minor in computer science or at least take some classes in the subject.
The world more and more is being run through computers and the internet so it would be advantageous to know how computers work on a deeper level. Sharpen your excel skills, learn how to code on a basic level and try and learn how to use photoshop.
As the old saying goes hindsight is 20/20. Is there anything you wish you knew as a freshman that is not on this list?
It is becoming more and more important these days to have a widespread network and with the social media tools we have at our disposal it has never been easier. An active network is invaluable and can open doors not once seen for you but if you do not contact most of the people in your network it becomes an inactive, cold network. Here are some tips to help create an active network.
1. Prioritize your contacts
Put your contacts into groups so you can figure how frequently to contact people. Family/close friends/hot leads would come first and then figure out the other groups. 2. Contact everyone at least 4 times a year
Also mention something in the email that is unique to that person. This is just enough to show that you care and to keep the connection alive. 3. Don’t sacrifice contacts
On Facebook/Twitter be active with interacting with other people and revitalize lost relationships. 4. Try new things
Every month try and reach out to a company you admire and try to set up a coffee meeting with someone. It may not work all the time but when it does work it sets up a great contact. Great way to increase your chances of success is to pitch a value prop to the person your reaching out to or be seeking advice for something in their line of work. 5. Ask people to introduce you to their friends
When introduced to someone from a trusted source it establishes an immediate connection and makes it very easy to turn that person into a friend of yours. 6. Use all of the tools available to you
This means that if you only have a Facebook it’s time to get a Twitter and a LinkedIn account. These are the three main networks that you need to be on to properly network. If you need some tips on how to use Twitter to the best of its capabilities refer to my post “Why Twitter is Crucial”. 7. Read the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferazzi
Overall these tips will help you out with your networking efforts but these all mean nothing if you are not willing to put in the effort to stay active with your network. As your network grows it will require more and more time which is why it is important to prioritize your network. I currently spend about an hour every single day on networking (beyond facebook chat and mindless readings of the newsfeed). Is there any other tactics that you use to help your networking effort?
With all these social media sites these days its getting impossible to stay completely connected. On a daily basis I am liking, pinning, tweeting, inmailing and blogging but one of these mediums really stands out from the others for networking. Using Twitter properly can really bolster your network and it can help you reach out to people that are normally nearly impossible to reach. More so than that if you use Twitter properly your newsfeed can be a wealth of information designed specifically for your needs/wants. What is better than having a one stop site with all of the news you want that is constantly adding more and more information?
To start you are going to need to look at all of your followers and who you are following. If you are following all of the same people that you are friends with on Facebook that is your first mistake. Staying connected with friends and finding out what they are doing is what Facebook is for. No need to have two sites doing the same thing. What you should be doing on Twitter is following anyone who you think will provide you with useful information (especially for your career). This can include people in professions you are considering getting into, politicians, activists, media outlets or trailblazers. A few people I follow is Boris Revsin (CEO of CampusLIVE), Keith Ferrazzi (Author of “Never Eat Alone” and the best networker ever) and TechCrunch (Media outlet for everything relating to tech). Doing this will make your newsfeed the single most important outlet for all information relating to you.
Next you can attempt to establish a relationship with some of the people you are following. Odds are if you messaged someone like Keith Ferrazzi on Facebook you wouldn’t get a response. However , the magic of Twitter is you can follow anyone you want and reach out to anyone you want. You can retweet, favorite other peoples tweets and even tweet at them. Granted there is no guarantee of a response but doing this will put you on the persons radar and with a bit of persistence you may get a reply to one of your tweets. As of late of I have been able to reach out to some of the leaders in the marketing industry and get responses which has been great as I have been able to get my name out in the community.
My good friend Jay Acunzo also shed some light to me about how you can develop a solid base of followers and establish your niche talent on Twitter. Are you a fitness buff? Search fitness on the Twitter search bar and look at everything that pops up. Find out where you can give your opinion and if you are giving good advice people will follow you and begin to ask you questions.
The beauty of Twitter is you can be a silent spectator and take in all of the information or you can be an outspoken guru in your respective field. You can follow me at @Aghanomics212. Do you have any tips on how to properly use Twitter?
For those of you who do not know I have been in Madrid, Spain for the past month and will be studying here until May 26th. It is a beautiful city with an incredibly unique culture. It was a bit of shock when I first came over with my Bostonian roots but after living here for a month I finally do not look like as much of a tourist and am assimilating a bit. The biggest differences I have noticed between Boston and Madrid is
1.You cannot stretch in public. This is considered very rude for some reason.
2.You cannot yawn in public. Again this is considered rude and these 2 differences have been a struggle for me.
3.PDA (public displays of affections) is considered normal and it is an ordinary thing to be making out with your girlfriend right on the train. Stretching in public forget about it but shoving your tongue down your girlfriends throat in a packed area is just fine.
4.They eat dinner around 10 PM and generally eat a light breakfast, heavy lunch and light dinner. This is a cultural difference I am disregarding and I will continue to eat 3 massive meals a day.
5.Staring at people as you walk by or just in public is not considered rude. It is completely normal to be walking down the street and have numerous people stare at you. When I first got here I thought I perpetually had a stain on my first or face because of this.
6.Siestas. One of my favorite things about Spain. The city pretty much shuts down from 2-5 and everyone eats a bit and takes a nap. I can definitely get used to a mid day nap every day.
7.Fashion. Everyone wears a scarf and tight pants. In my attempt at assimilation I have bought a scarf but am holding out on the tight pants. They also NEVER wear sweats pants.
8.The portion size of food. The portions are NOWHERE close to the portions in Boston. At the same time I do not see many overweight people in Madrid.
9.Prices of goods. Pretty much everything is more expensive in Madrid except for the bread and wine. There is no dollar menu at Burger King and Mcdonalds and for example a single notebook will cost you roughly 3 euros which is about 4 dollars.
10.Nightlife. The clubs do not open until midnight and generally one show’s up to the club around 2 AM. On a typical night your back at your house by about 6. Now you see why Spaniards need their siestas!
So far these are the biggest differences I have noticed. I have absolutely loved my time in Madrid and as I continue to learn the language I am sure my time will only get better. I came into Madrid barely speaking any Spanish and in one short month I can actually converse with Spaniards which is awesome. If there is any questions you would like me to answer about Spain tweet me @aghanomics212.
In your travels abroad what are the biggest culture differences from America you have noticed?
Making great first impressions are key to building meaningful relationships. It is said that in an interview your interviewer will know within 90 seconds as to whether or not he or she will hire you. So a vital factor to acing your interview then is to master the art of greeting someone and introducing yourself properly. Here are 10 tips you should follow when first walking into your interview.
1.Wear your best, most professional clothes. Make sure they are clean. The day before your interview get a haircut. Shave/shower the morning of your interview. Use the bathroom beforehand because the last thing you want is for nature to call just as you sit down for your interview. Statistics show that 55% of the impact when meeting a new person comes from the way you act, dress and walk in the door.
2.Know the ins and outs of the company. You should be prepared to answer any question about the company tossed your way. Spend the week before the interview reading as much as you possibly can about the company you are interviewing at.
3.As soon as you walk in establish eye contact.
4.Have a firm handshake but do not give a death grip.
5.If they do not ask how you are doing ask them how they are doing. When they ask respond with something very positive such as “great”.
6.Thank them for taking time out of their day to interview you.
7.When you take your seat sit up straight with perfect posture. A slouch portrays laziness.
8.Smile. Don’t be grinning your whole interview but a smile portrays a sense of warmth and care.
9.Be prepared to go over your resume. Be able to explain what you did at all of your previous jobs in depth and be able to portray your worth at those companies.
10.Relax. It is natural to be nervous and I would be lying if I told you if I was not nervous before all of my interviews. However, embrace the moment. You were chosen to be interviewed for a reason. Remember that you never leave an interview with nothing as worst comes to worst you have more experience interviewing and you have just created a new connection.
I have found that the 10 things above have helped me have success with my interviews. The way I see it is if right off the bat your interviewer thinks highly of you it will be hard to reverse their train of thought. Psychologists also agree that people for the most part only remember the beginning and the end of something. I bet if I asked you what happened in the beginning and end of a movie you could tell me with ease but if I ask you what happened right in the middle you would have trouble recalling what happened. I’m not saying the middle of your interview isn’t important but you should really focus on the first/last 5 minutes of your interview. If you can think of anything else that should be added to this list comment below or tweet me @aghanomics212.
Monday through Friday the stock market is alive and millionaires are made. There is no reason why you cannot make money off of the stock market as well. I’m not saying your going to make a million dollars here but there is nothing wrong with making a couple hundred bucks for about an hour to two hours of work a day. You do not have to be Gordon Gekko (get the reference?) to make money off of the stock market. Rather, you just need to have a general understanding of the market, be able to see trends and have an idea of what the future may hold.
So how can you make money off of the stock market?
1. Download the Bloomberg app for your smart phone. This will give you all the information you need about the stock market.
2. Pick a industry that interests you and read, read, read. I personally am interested in the technology/internet/banking industry so I research all companies relating to those industries. I do about an hour of reading every single day on stocks relating to those industries and I do all of my reading right from the Bloomberg app. It gives you articles related to the companies in your portfolio and articles on global matters that will affect the stock market.
3. Find stocks that you think have potential for growth. There is nothing out there that is a 100% a sure thing. Everything is speculation. As time goes on you become a better speculator. Speculation is why doing step number two is so crucial. For instance Facebook is going public in March so odds are companies that are affiliated with Facebook will do well once Facebook goes public.
The biggest thing before taking the plunge in investing in a stock is asking your self “Do I believe in their product/service”. If you don’t then you simply should not invest in the company. If you would not use their product than why would you invest in their company? If you do decide to invest you have to be completely emotionless with the money you put down for the stock. What I mean is that there will be days where the stocks decline and days where the stock increases. You cannot panic and just dump the stock if it has a bad day. The stock market follows trends and look at any graph and you will see that it looks like a heart rate graph. Even stocks that are considered “bullish” (meaning they are increasing) will have bad days. The difference between the average investor and a great investor is they foresee big drops/raises in a stock and know exactly when to sell/buy.
To start you should research the stocks you put in your portfolio for at least three months. Pay attention to them every day, watch how they react to certain events and study their graphs. Eventually you will start to notice trends and will be able to set a good buying point.
Expect losses. You have to know that even though the stock market follows some sort of pattern some stocks do plummet and never recover. This is why you have to do your reading and find out if the company is going bankrupt or is reporting losses quarter after quarter. Speculation is not perfect but if you get good enough at it you will make a lot more money than you lose.
Your now on your way to starting your very own portfolio. Remember when you choose to invest to have your selling points and stick to them. Do not get greedy. It will be tempting to just let it ride but stay disciplined and make the right decision.
Whether its the little rainbow sphere spinning or the hour glass flipping over and over having a slow computer is one of the most excruciatingly annoying things on this planet. For the past year I have dealt with a snail for a computer and simply loading Facebook would take about 20-30 seconds. I finally said enough once it started to interfere with my job and I sought out a solution to my problem. I gave my computer to my good friend Jared Stenquist (he is a boss) and he told me all I needed to do was increase the amount of RAM (random access memory) in my computer as I only had 1 GB (gigabyte) of RAM. We bought 4 GB’s of RAM for $54 including shipping and it has made an INCREDIBLE difference with my computer. Everything loads fast now. I can run multiple programs at a time with ease. Its like I have a brand new computer.
If you want to check how much RAM you have and you have a MacBook do the following.
1.Click the black Apple in the top left
2.Click “About This Mac”
3.Where it says “Memory” the first number following it will be the amount of RAM. For example mine says “4 GB” which means I have 4 GB’s of RAM
If you have Windows 7
1.Open System by clicking the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties.
2.In the System section, next to Installed memory (RAM), you can see the amount of RAM your computer has.
You can buy RAM on www.crucial.com. Just follow the steps once you get to the site about what make/operating system your computer has.
This should make a world of a difference for the speed of your computer. It sure did for mine. Happy (fast) internet surfing fellows.
I have worked a lot of jobs in my time. I cleaned machines at a gym, pumped gas, bagged groceries, worked at your local fro yo shop, was a fitness consultant, did personal training, was a research assistant and even managed a tire shop. For a lack of better words all of those jobs sucked. Even though some were high paying either the people I worked with were jerks or the work itself was simply miserable. However, I finally have found my home at a start up in Boston taking the marketing world by storm; CampusLIVE. The people are awesome, the work is rewarding and the pay is not too shabby. We have a foosball table, a big screen TV perpetually playing SportsCenter and we live by the motto “work hard, play hard”. A lot of start ups around Boston are similar to this and they are the perfect place for a college student or recent college grad to work at. Here are ten reasons why.
Everyone you work with is pretty close to your age.
Even if your an intern you get treated just like the CEO would by your peers.
You get to see your CEO and exec team on a daily basis. Even better in my situation I get to workwith the CEO and COO on a daily basis.
You will learn more about running a business in 6 months working at a startup than you will in 6 years working at a big company.
Odds are your office will have a foosball table or ping pong table. Who doesn’t love foosball?
You do not have to wear shirt and tie to work unless it is for a special occasion.
Your esteemed colleagues turn into drinking buddies once 5 o clock rolls around.
Knowing that your contributions are making a meaningful difference to the company and actually seeing your contributions in play is one of the most rewarding things in the world. This also applies to interns.
Your allowed to be on Facebook/Twitter while your at work.
If you decide to go corporate after your internship you will be getting letters of recommendation from the exec board. That is of course if you did a good job.
If these reasons here are not enough for you and you would like me to list off another hundred reasons why you should work at a start up feel free to contact me. If you have any other reasons why working at a start up I encourage you to email me or comment on the boards below!
I came across a brand the other day on twitter and immediately became intrigued. The Life Tie is a clothing company that donates 25% of all revenue towards cancer research. What struck most at home for me is that the founders of this company all have had loved ones affected by cancer in their lives and actually set out to do something about it. I commend their drive and ambition to try and find a research for cancer and they just locked in a loyal customer of theirs for life. Whenever you wear clothes you look to make some sort of statement and the Life Tie is truly fashion with a positive statement. You can purchase their products here.
I personally plan on purchasing the Albert Necktie-Sky to support this wonderful brand. Other than just having a good cause their clothing line, though limited, is rather sharp and unique. I own a slew of ties myself and this brand is a nice break from the traditional patterns/stripes. These ties will also be a great conversation piece as they really stick out and catch your eye.
I hope more brands will donate such a massive part of their company towards philanthropy rather than just dropping a specific line that donates a small percentage towards a certain cause. Next time you plan on purchasing something think about the statement your making with those clothes and if that is truly the statement you want to make. “Look good, be good”.
Getting an internship is one of the hardest things I have ever done. It taught me a lot of things about myself that I did not realize before this process. The biggest thing I learned is that I do not really fear rejection. I was rejected to over 25 places! The first couple stung a bit and then I just got used to the emails saying “Sorry but your skills do not match what we are looking for right now”. I didn’t get why I was getting rejected to so many places. I have a pretty good GPA (above 3.5), had a shred of relevant experience (research assistant) and am bilingual. Looking back it is obvious why I was getting rejected everywhere. I put in zero effort into all the places I applied to except for 1 place (which is CampusLIVE where I ultimately winded up getting hired). Lets face it, unless you have a 4.0 GPA and are attending Harvard you cannot get an internship without putting some effort in. Learn from my mistakes and instead of applying to every single place with a internship opening apply to a few places that spur your interest and put 100% of your effort in. Write an awesome cover letter, get it reviewed by peers whom opinions you respect, tailor your resume for the specific internship and most importantly, reach out to the person who you think is responsible for hiring and in a few concise sentences explain why you want this internship.
You might be wondering how to reach out to that person if you have never met them or do not even have their email address. Real easy. Go to the companies website. Find a tab that says “Company”, “Team” or “People”. From there choose the person you feel is most relevant. Applying for a sales internship? Reach out to the VP of sales. Just shooting for any position you can get in the company? Email the CEO. People will respect your initiative and you are not going to bother them (unless once you email them they specifically tell you to never email them again. In that case you did not want to work there anyways). If their email address is not listed on that page most times their email address will be firstname.lastname@example.org. For example my email address is email@example.com. If they do not respond within a week send them a follow up email. You have to remember these people are dealing with hundreds of emails a day and sometimes emails get overlooked.
So at this point you have written a awesome cover letter and have reached out to the CEO who likes your stuff and he wants to set up an interview. Sit down and study the hell out of the company. Figure out exactly what they do. Read every single article you can find on the company. Find articles on the CEO. Find out who the investors of the company are. Come up with thought provoking questions to ask your interviewer. Think of things that the company can be improve on. Also, note things that the company does very well. You should know the company so well that you should be able to answer any question tossed your way. If you get tossed a question that you do not know or need some time to think about DO NOT PANIC. Rather, just ask for a second to think about the question, calm yourself, and come out with a articulate answer. Your interviewee will not view it as a sign of weakness if you ask for a second (don’t ask for this more than once or twice though) but he will view it negatively if you toss out a completely wrong answer or stupid answer.
You just completed your interview and you are feeling good about your chances. As soon as you get home send an email thanking your interviewee and thanking the person you originally reached out to (if they are not the same person). Now just play the waiting game which in my opinion is the hardest part of this whole process. If you do not get the internship than ask why you did not (politely) and ask how you can improve on those things. Never EVER burn bridges. Then ask if you can just help out for free or if there is anything else you can do. If you got the internship congratulations! Your one step closer towards getting a full time job in this tough job climate.