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I just got home from a 2-day vacation at Harbin. I nearly immediately swung into looking at job ads and trying to network again. I have a job interview tomorrow and honestly I'm a bit nervous about it.

So I was looking around LinkedIn trying to beef up my network. I asked my most recent co-workers if they'd be willing to "endorse" me and received a reply from one that HR will slap 'em down if they do that. I was astounded. She assures me this is actually pretty common at big corporations these days. Anyway, that made me start looking further afield. I haven't really kept up with more than one person from my CNET days. Like the job I just had at my most recent employer, I was in a department that was isolated from others. Both by caste and by location. It just made it harder than it already is for me to make lasting friends. I'm glad [livejournal.com profile] napa is my friend, though. So, anyway, I was looking through old emails trying to identify people who might be willing to bear witness to my work at CNET. And I found this old email exchange from CNET's employee chat list.

-----Original Message-----
From: Brent Hecht
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2001 10:45 AM
Subject: College Tips

Hi everybody,

Brent Hecht, Intern here. Seeing as I will be leaving for college soon and haven't yet done my spam-generating duty, I figured I would combine my two issues. I am a little afraid to ask, but does anybody have any tips for a first year college student?

Innocent High School Graduate,

-----Original Message-----
From: (me)
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2001 11:00 AM
Subject: RE: College Tips

Well, you're already taking advantage of my major regret: take advantage of those internships (even if they're unpaid)!

If you're going to a big university, immerse yourself in all the free/cheap social life they provide. You'll never have access to as many good free concerts, movies, etc. again in your life. Sign up for every student discount card you can get. Always ask for the student discount. Even the airport shuttles have them. That student discount comes in real handy for travel, as well.

If you're shy, get over it. Don't rely on just meeting people at the dorms. It's very limiting.

Take advantage of student health services and go not only when you're really, really sick, but go for preventative health care. You'll never have access to as cheap healthcare again (in the U.S. at least).

Get to know your professors and keep in touch. You'll need recommendations from them later on. Even if you don't think you're going to grad school.

Sign up for your alumni society if you're part of a big university. I'm soooo not a rah-rah, but I became a lifetime member of the alumni association because it gives me lifetime circulation privileges at all UC libraries. Worth the price of admission. And the price goes up each year...

-----Original Message-----
From: (me)
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2001 2:48 PM
Subject: RE: College Tips

Oh yeah...

If you're at all interested in theater, do some in college. It'll probably be the last chance you have to get into that sort of thing as you won't have the time once you pursue another career and the opportunities get more limited for amateurs.

This goes for other hobbies you might have. College is a great place to pursue other interests that may not necessarily be your major or your career.

Take advantage of any Education Abroad program your college might have. Cross-cultural experiences are broadening and it's easier to get this kind of immersion experience through college than nearly any other way. For instance, if I wanted to move to Sweden, I'd have to prove that I have an adequate independent income source, a Swedish job, or that I'm a student enrolled in a Swedish school. It's easier to arrange that last one than the former two. And you can gain valuable language skills depending on what country you stay in (not that Swedish is in big demand, but you know what I mean...)

If you don't already exercise, start doing so. You are probably going to put yourself through some rigorous living (possibly of the malted variety), and keeping fit will help you survive it and add years to your life besides. Play intramural sports, use the cheap student gym facilities. Build those habits now so that you don't end up a crumbling wreck in your 30s (not that I'd know anything about that).

-----Original Message-----
From: Toni Burton
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2001 11:56 AM
To: (me)
Subject: RE: College Tips

i think CNET is a great place, but honestly, your intelligence is wasted here... =)

So, Toni, wherever you are, know that your kind words brought a smile to my face and joy to my heart even 5 years later.


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