To become a stronger professional, you must remember one thing. GO THE EXTRA MILE!
Go the extra mile at school.
Venture outside of your comfort zone and take courses that are of interest to you, regardless of if they are required. You never know what you may learn from a class, or how those lessons may relate to your future career. By taking classes that are not required of you, you can broaden your knowledge and offer a unique perspective in the professional world.
In your courses, don’t just do the bare minimum. Give 100 percent to every assignment. The more knowledge you can gain, the more useful you will be to potential employers. Plus, if you continue to practice hard work and diligence, you will then incorporate those characteristics into everything you do.
Go the extra mile at your internship.
When at an internship, go above and beyond expectations. If it is a slow day on the job, be innovative and productive with your time. Propose new ideas to your supervisor, or complete research that will benefit your employer.
In your internship, yes, you will have a specific set of duties and responsibilities, but be sure to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Complete any task that is asked of you, even if it is simply making copies. This willingness to help in any way possible will show a potential employer that you are a team player, which is extremely attractive in the world of public relations.
Go the extra mile when networking.
You never know who you may meet, or where you may meet them. So, introduce yourself to everyone and have an elevator pitch ready at all times. You must always be ready to show your professionalism and personality, as well as to sell yourself to an employer.
Don’t let an initial meeting be your only correspondence with an individual. After meeting someone new, send them an email, LinkedIn message or hand-written note that is personal and genuine. Be sure to periodically follow up with your new connection, as you must continually nurture a relationship in order for it to blossom.
Go the extra mile in life!
Do something to benefit your career, or your potential career, every day! When you have free time, spend it reading about your field or researching new technology, rather than binge-watching Netflix. Stay up to date on industry trends and be able to articulate your knowledge of your field with confidence.
Attend conferences, seminars and networking events whenever possible. Events like these are great places to meet new people, network with potential employers and learn about current industry trends. Even if you “don’t feel like it” that night or don’t want to spend the money, make yourself go to these events. Trust me, giving up one evening of relaxation or money for one night out on the town will be well worth it.
All of the advice mentioned in this post is simple, but when put into action, I guarantee it will make you a stronger professional and, ultimately, a more successful individual. So, as you finish reading this, make me one promise…go the extra mile in all you do!
Megan Bayles is a current senior at Waynesburg University where she majors in Public Relations and minors in Marketing. Megan serves as our PRSSA Chapter president and is involved in many other campus activities.