Dear PR Student,

Not long ago, I was in your shoes (maybe even in your seat), progressing toward graduation and thinking about the next step. Where do you go from here? What is this going to take? Soon enough, you’ll be walking across the stage, grabbing the diploma you’ve worked hard for over the last few years. And once you cross that threshold to “adulthood,” you’ll ask yourself, “What am I going to do with the most expensive piece of paper I’ll ever own?”

Panicking? Well, don’t. As the McGrath/Power “college whisperer,” I’m here to help guide the ship and prevent you from sailing into the abyss with monthly blog posts addressing the needs of students like yourself. With this series, I aim to help you avoid those rocky waters that I (and many others before me) fought through post-graduation.

A little about myself: I attended San Jose State University pursuing a degree in public relations with a focus in communications. As the first person in my family to go to college, success was the only thing on my mind. Failing was never an option. I drove myself to be the best I could be, never losing sight of my goals. I had positive and negative experiences while in school, of course, but I can honestly say I never gave up, and the good and bad made me who I am today; I am the sum of my experiences.

As I look back and share these experiences with you, along with some of my colleagues’, I hope my posts will serve as a guide during the last leg of your college journey. Hindsight is 20/20, and there were many moments when I needed guidance. Not to steer me back on track, but to help me establish a plan for success. There is advice that I wish I had received while in college as preparation for entering the real world, and through my monthly series of posts, I’ll share with you what I learned in hopes of helping you dodge the hazards that can be avoided.

Much more advice is to come in the future, but I want to leave you with the top piece of advice that pushed me to go above and beyond to succeed in school:

What you put in is what you’ll get out.

Whether you are in a classroom, participating in an extracurricular activity or at work, be sure to give what you expect in return. If you go into anything with half the enthusiasm, dedication and ambition, you will only get half of what you could have out of it. Take this advice to heart – if you walk away having learned anything from this series, let it be this.

I hope these posts will remind you that you are not alone on this journey. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you in next month’s post, and the many more to come.

If you’re interested in joining the McGrath/Power team, visit our Available Positions page or send a letter of introduction and resume to HR@MCGRATHPOWER.COM.

  • Hillary Conlin, San Jose State University Class of 2012, @HillaConlin