If you’re studying public relations, communications, journalism, or marketing, you’re preparing to enter a professional world that places high value on prior experience, networking, and a portfolio. Try to have the big picture in mind now, and spend your semesters wisely with an internship or entry-level job as the end goal.
A few things you should do this year:
Work part time. Balancing school, social life, and a job will teach you time management. You’ll spend the rest of your life trying to strike a work/life balance, so the time to practice is now. You’ll make some money, gain experience, and still have time to party; you’ll also have to be more focused and disciplined when you focus on homework. If at all possible, make that job an internship related to your field. It’s never too early to gain relevant experience.
Attend (at least) one networking event per month. Join a student organization, attend an event hosted by a professional organization in your industry, attend a conference, arrange a lunch with a professor or mentor, travel to the city you want to live in when you graduate and meet with alumni from your school, attend a career fair—the options are endless. Try to schedule events to get you out of the house and into a situation to meet people with something in common.