Dear Uncertain College Student

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I’d bet good money that we’ve all been asked the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” question at some point in our lives. I went through an awkward stage during my early teenage years when I responded to the question with, “I want to be an actuarial scientist.” After I learned that actuaries essentially do statistics problems all-day, every day to determine life expectancy, I decided that the career path wasn’t for me. My other childhood dreams—movie star, professional baseball player, professional Game Boy player—didn’t seem practical. In short, as I “grew up” I knew that I would one day need a job, but I didn’t know what the job would be. For college students there is a lot of pressure to know what you want to do in life and how you are going to make it happen. After all, you are paying thousands of dollars to study your interests full-time. The reality is that many students still don’t know the answer to that question. If that is the case for you... Read More »

Keep Your Old Facebook Profile With A Creative Timeline Design

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Ever since I opened my Facebook profile to the public, I’ve enjoyed connecting with people from all over the world. I've noticed one of the recurring topics of conversation with people is Facebook's latest change, Timeline. Since Facebook decided to change the profile layout (again...) the new profile has been gradually rolled out over the last few months, and many users have been inquiring about my cover photo featured on the first Mashable Timeline gallery. Rather than answer each inquiry individually, I decided to make a template that can be easily used to design anyone’s cover photo to make it look like the “old” profile. If you play a quick game of Spot the Differences you’ll see that several parts of the design (no profile picture, the “Write Something…” box, the “Friends” star) look different than your old profile—this is by design. It is meant to look like what your friends saw when visiting that profile. Here is what the template looks like... Read More »

5 Ways To Manage Social Media Overload

Have you conversed on Facebook, tweeted your favorite articles, and checked into Foursquare yet today? What about pinned an image on Pinterest, bought or sold stock on Empire Avenue, and done whatever it is people are doing on Google+ nowadays? I won’t even ask about the number of blogs you’ve read or mobile apps you’ve used. Just thinking about these tasks can cause some to become overwhelmed—they experience “social media overload.” New social networks and tools are introduced every day, which means new challenges and questions for marketing professionals, social media strategists, and average people looking to brand themselves online. Which platforms should I use? When should I use them? There are only 24 hours in a day, how do I find the time to manage all my networks?! Read More »

Writing A Legendary Press Release: Advice From Barney Stinson

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If you watch or have ever watched How I Met Your Mother, you know two things: Barney Stinson is the ultimate ladies man and a man of supreme knowledge. When he’s not picking up ladies, or teaching his friend Ted how to do so, he spits out pearls of wisdom applicable to living an awesome life and, it turns out, writing a good press release. I’ve been fortunate enough to have written many press releases in my day, most of them for an organization that requires a few per month. Other students and colleagues I know aren’t as fortunate to have had that opportunity. Here are a few tips on putting together a press release, easily remembered by quotes from the one and only Barney Stinson. Read More »

Fluff Is For Marshmallows—Not Blogs

We are twelve days into 2012. In the blogosphere, that means 2,987 posts have already been published on “Launching a New Blog in the New Year”, 3,491 bloggers have suggested steps to increase site visibility on search engines, and 9,523 articles have been written on how to get readers to be awesome and share posts. (All numbers approximate.) Most of us have read or seen similar articles, written by bloggers who promise to propel your blog to thousands of readers in five magical steps. While I enjoy the ones that are useful, far too often the posts are filled with overly generic suggestions on blogging that don’t provide any unique insights. When that happens, the advice comes off as unoriginal and forced. This practice is what I like to call inserting fluff into blog posts—words that take up space, but don’t advance an argument or conversation. It needs to stop! Read More »