As college students we find ourselves in a difficult position. We demand we be treated as adults in classes and in interactions with businesses, but we also try to put off “real life” as long as we can. While we are in college we should have a good time and enjoy life before we have jobs, bills and, for some, children.
At the same time, we must accept more responsibilities. Going to class and getting work done while balancing class work, social time and a job, if you have one, teaches us how to be professional. Professionalism is the most important lesson learned in college.
I would like to highlight three aspects of professionalism I learned in my time at OCU.
First and most importantly, our actions reflect not only on us, but on those with whom we associate.
As a member of a fraternity my actions reflect on every other member and theirs on me.
Our actions reflect on our employers, even our actions outside of work.
It’s important to be aware of what those around you think of you and your organization. A person’s perception is his or her reality.
Second, to be treated professionally, carry yourself professionally. You don’t have to wear a suit every day, but take some time to dress nice. Invest in a few business casual pieces, like khakis or a sport coat and maybe even a suit. You feel more confident when you opt for a nicer outfit, and you will be able to wear these clothes for years to come.
Last, professionalism is about more than your appearance, it’s your attitude. If you think and act like an adult, you will be treated like one.
Make it a point to show respect to those around you. You can do this by showing up to appointments and events on time.
If you say you will do something, do it in the time frame allotted.
If you want to be treated like an adult, you have to act like one. Be aware of how your actions reflect on those around you, carry yourself with dignity and show respect to everyone you work with.