Coffee With a Pro

This post originally appeared on account associate, Cassidy Selep's personal blog 

Recently, I completed the final steps of applying for internships over the summer. I double checked my cover letter, added the final details to my resume and clicked submit. Throughout the process, I had advice buzzing in my head.

I received a lot of advice during my first semester at Ohio University. My professors gave me advice. Upperclassmen gave me advice. Guest speakers gave me advice. I even got advice from my textbooks. A lot of the advice was similar and was repeated to me several times. It wasn’t until I talked to Nicole Bersani, Ohio University alumna, that I decided to write it all down.

Over winter break, I met with Nicole at (what I believe to be the biggest) Starbucks, and I picked her brain about her profession and internships. I received a lot advice similar to what I have heard at Ohio and some new advice, and I wanted to share it. I have compiled a list of the top five pieces of advice that I have gotten from OU and Nicole.


5. Get coffee with someone in your profession.

The first time I heard this I thought, “Yeah, okay. I will never do that.” But that is exactly what I did; I went to get coffee with Nicole. I thought I wasn’t going to find a professional I felt comfortable getting coffee with. However, the opportunity just fell into my lap, and I had to take it. I am grateful every day that I know someone like Nicole: someone that I can connect with professionally and seek advice from.


4. Don’t feel intimidated by the job description.

I asked Nicole about this because I had been looking into internships and felt intimidated by the job description. I felt as if I was not qualified for anything. Nicole assured me that applicants can’t cover every requirement – it’s just not possible. She suggested that I should highlight those skills that I excel at. Maybe I am not a master at Photoshop, but I have a strong understanding of AP style and word processor – I should speak to those skills and not underestimate myself. This goes for you too.


3. Learn new skills.

A lot of those daunting skills on the job description can be learned. Maybe you won’t master every skill, but basic knowledge is the first step. Whatever college you attend, I promise that one way or another, you can learn the skill. Find a one-day crash course on Photoshop or boot camp on Illustrator or In-design. Even just one hour will pay off and get you ahead of the game.


2. Go on networking trips.

You will hear this piece of advice until the day you graduate and maybe even beyond. However, it might be the most important piece of advice. Here at Ohio University, you are never without a networking trip. PRSSA does a fantastic job putting together these trips. Just this semester, they are offering networking trips to Cleveland and Nashville. In fact, this is how Nicole met her current boss, and now she is the Digital Media Coordinator for the Chicago Cubs. She must have done something right (Networking. She did networking right).


1. Write.

Write! The more you write, the better writer you become. Whatever career you have in communications, writing will be the foundation. A building without its foundation will crumble. You can write about whatever you want. Write about the weather. Write about your love for tacos. One day, I will probably write about my dog, and I will become a better writer because of it. Write!