Students blog

Explore the latest trends, tips, and experiences in college life in this blog written by fellow students.

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    Calling all women in Communications!

    Zoë Banen

    Towards the end of last semester, I had the opportunity to attend the New York Women in Communications’ Student Career Bootcamp at Twitter Headquarters in New York City. I attended three separate panels filled with influential, game changing women in the communications industry. Each speaker provided helpful insights into their careers and advice for young women entering the industry. I truly felt inspired to utilize my talents as a marketing major to make an impact and join the next generation of game changing women. This was an incredible experience and it was wonderful to be surrounded by passionate, successful women in my industry. Here’s what I learned.

    The first panel I attended focused on a day in the life of women in Public Relations, Marketing, and Corporate Communications. I already knew I was going to find the marketing perspective insightful, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover an interest in PR. The PR speaker was from the public relations firm Sunshine Sachs. She spoke about how each day is different, as she deals with many different clients. I enjoy a challenging and constantly changing atmosphere, so that aspect of PR interested me more than I expected. The marketing speaker explained the growing importance of personalization campaigns in digital marketing. I learned how imperative it is to include some form of personalization in every advertising campaign.  

    The second panel topic was building relationships and understanding how to network successfully. The speakers offered tips on how to grow relationships and build new ones. I learned the importance of how best to sell my narrative to others. The best way to think about networking is focusing on how to market yourself to people you want to connect with. The discussion revolved around the idea of bringing value to those around you. I was able to see networking from a different perspective; ever since attending this panel, I have been able to approach networking in a more thoughtful way. I now focus on how I can provide value to the person I am looking to connect with. 

    The last panel I attended described the best way to be a boss and a leader. The speakers in this panel were women who rose to the top of their fields and helped pave the way for the next generation. These women gave insightful advice on career development and the next best steps for women starting out in the communications industry. At the end of the boot camp, the speakers recommended we reach out and connect with them on LinkedIn. I was able to network with these women and I know these connections will be useful to me in the future.

    Professionals in the work world are eager to help college students. Take advantage of opportunities like this to learn from and network with people who are doing well in your prospective career field. Overall, this wonderful opportunity provided me with a better understanding of what lies ahead for me as a woman in marketing.


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    Building Connections with Your Professors

    Zoë Banen

    As the new semester begins, reach out to your professors and get to know them as best you can. Not only is this important for getting help in class, but it’s also great for networking purposes. A professor’s job is to help you succeed, so never feel uncomfortable reaching out for support in a class you may be struggling in. Attending office hours is a great way to do this. Office hours allow you to have a few minutes of one-on-one time with your professor to ask any specific questions you may have about the course. Building a relationship with your professor also allows you to have a great resource on campus. Networking is an important skill to have as a college student. Once you graduate, those connections you make become useful in finding you a job for the future. 

    Easing anxieties

    I met one of the most significant professors in my life during a writing course that I was not even remotely excited to take. I didn’t particularly love writing or find myself very good at it. I felt instant dread for this class. The course involved spending the semester writing a long research paper. I had never written a research paper before in my college career, so I was worried. I found myself stressing about my grade and wondering if I would even pass. Rather than allowing my anxiety to control me, I reached out to my professor. 

    Professor Reardon instantly calmed my nerves. She was a kind, understanding, and enthusiastic professor. I expressed my reservations about her class and she told me I had nothing to worry about. She gave me tons of tips and tricks for writing a research paper, and even gave me sample papers to read for inspiration. I had never experienced a professor that was so motivated and interested in the subject they taught before. Professor Reardon truly wanted me to succeed in her class and utilized all of her resources to help me do so. It was refreshing to see a professor root so strongly for their student. She was my number one cheerleader in the course and continued to provide advice throughout the whole semester. Her enthusiasm eventually rubbed off on me and I became excited about the class. 

    From professor to mentor

    I started to regularly attend her office hours. I asked her questions about my paper and got advice on my writing. Professor Reardan had given me a newfound confidence in my writing. She encouraged me and helped me believe in myself. Her insight and advice eventually helped me to become a better writer. I also found myself enjoying writing more because of Professor Reardon’s enthusiasm. She was so excited about what we were learning which made me excited about it as well. 

    Professor Reardon is my favorite professor at Rutgers to this day. I still go to her whenever I have questions about a paper I’m writing. I also tend to go to her for life advice as well. Whenever I am stressed out about a large assignment, she gives me suggestions on how to make the workload less intimidating. We have formed a great relationship and she has become my mentor at Rutgers. One of the best pieces of advice I can give is to reach out to your professors, especially the ones who bring enthusiasm to the class. You never know much your professor can truly help you unless you reach out and ask. 


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    Combat procrastination with these effective strategies

    Zoë Banen

    Procrastination is usually a student’s favorite hobby in college. Waiting until the last minute is rarely the best idea and leads to stress and panic. To be successful and remain stress-free, it is important to stay motivated when completing assignments and studying. I too, fall victim to the temptation of procrastination at times. However, I have found that using these two strategies can help.

    Using a Study Timer

    The Pomodoro Technique is my favorite secret weapon to combat procrastination. It was developed by productivity consultant Francesco Cirillo to help improve focus and concentration on the task at hand. The technique helps you commit 25 minutes of your time to working or studying without becoming distracted. The specific amount of time dedicated to working allows for high levels of motivation. Studies have shown that our maximum attention span in work is between 20 to 45 minutes if a brief break was taken before. Using a pomodoro timer takes advantage of this information by allotting 25 minutes to work followed by a 5-10 minute break. The breaks in between are purposely made short in order to maintain a constant rhythm of progress. This flow helps me stay motivated and focused without allowing me to procrastinate beyond the given break time. The Pomodoro Technique changes the user’s mindset about time, so it can now be seen as a way to achieve something. I become more conscious of how much time goes by and am determined to stay concentrated until the 25 minutes have ended.

    Staying Organized

    Another strategy that I use is keeping myself organized because it increases my motivation to get my work done. I make checklists for myself and feel a sense of accomplishment when I am able to check off a completed task. I am a visual person, so writing down all of the assignments I need to complete is a great way to see what I need to get done for the day. When I am organizing my to-do lists,I break up larger assignments, like projects, into smaller and more manageable tasks. I also make good use of the calendar app on my phone in order to stay organized. I insert deadlines into my app for any future assignments or projects that I need to complete and it gives me alerts when due dates are coming up.

    Procrastination can be a difficult thing to avoid, but it is important to find a way to motivate yourself. Each person is different, which is why it’s best to figure out what strategies work for you!