Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Best way to network and get top-notch work experience in college

Disclosure: I consult with Pearson Students; it is one of my favorite parts of my job. However, Pearson Students is not paying me to write this blog post. I am writing it of my own volition because I feel very passionate about what their student program offers, and after seeing it up close this past week, I knew I just had to share the opportunity with you. 

This past week I spent some time at a conference with the Pearson Student Advisory Board. You've probably heard me talk about Pearson before, as I consult with them, contribute to their student blog, and serve as the ambassador for the One Professor campaign. 

I first met the Pearson Student Advisory Board in New York where they were introduced to each other and all the things they would be contributing as part of their job this year. In short, the Board is made up of about 12 college students from across the country who do projects to inform a variety of Pearson company projects. 

At the Pearson conference, I was blown away by how much the executives at Pearson really listen to the Student Advisory Board. They take their opinions very seriously, and this week I got to witness these incredible college students making major decisions for a corporation!

It is so amazing for these students to have exposure to top executives and be able to contribute to major business decisions at such a young age; all students should have the opportunity to contribute to an organization before graduation in order to get pumped for their future job.

And that is exactly what happened to these students this past week; they started to get incredibly excited for their future careers. While some of them want to work at Pearson, and others as lawyers, engineers, or teachers, they all started to see that life after college could be pretty cool. 

Their confidence seemed to grow with every handshake from a CEO or VP, and by the end of the conference you couldn't tell the students apart from the actual employees of the company. They were professionals. 

This can be you. Whether it's with Pearson or another leadership or internship program at a company you're interested in, I highly encourage you to start researching and applying for programs that can give you this kind of exposure and experience. 

The PSAB members will tell you how much they've benefitted from the professional development, networking, and friendships, not to mention getting paid a stipend and getting to travel to places like New York and Florida for free! (If you want to connect with one of them for more information or advice just let me know and I can put you in touch.) 

Applications to serve on the 2013-2014 Pearson Student Advisory Board are currently open until February 11, 2013. The application process is very competitive, so you'll definitely want to start prepping as soon as possible. 

It's a great opportunity for any student who wants to grow professionally, and it's especially ideal if you're interested in business, education, publishing, marketing, editing, communications, public relations, or higher education. 

Pearson also has a Pearson Campus Ambassador program, which is a paid hourly job you can do from your campus, with the potential to move up to become a Regional Coordinator, which offers incredible management experience. 

I highly encourage you to start searching for advisory board or internship programs at companies that fascinate and excite you. There is nothing more catalytic than mixing your college education with real-world experience.
Jumping on the stage with the PSAB's after they met the CEO

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