On today’s episode of “College Admissions Real Talk”, Dr. Legatt interviews Amanda Nachman, author and CEO and publisher of College Magazine, a magazine for and by college students. Together they discuss career development during COVID-19 and how students can find their most impressive qualities.
VO: Welcome to College Admissions Real Talk with Dr. Aviva Legatt, a podcast for students seeking to get admitted to top-tier colleges. Each episode will feature an important tip for your college admission success, delivered with candor and love. If you’ve ever wanted to take a peek inside the mind of a college admissions officer, this is your chance. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222-5762. So, what’s your dream school?
AL: That’s really neat. So, I’m curious about if you’ve implemented strategies or helped students implement strategies during this… these crazy COVID times? So how can we become more impressive when our opportunities or we may perceive our opportunities to be more limited or we’re just not sure sort of what to do in this kind of ambiguous space that we’re in now?
AN: My favorite COVID, you know, pandemic career advice is ‘A DM a Day.’ So identifying people who are doing something that you think is cool, right, that you think is interesting. Maybe they are one or 2 steps ahead. They’re not the CEO of a company, they’re not the marketing director, but they’re doing something that you’re like, “Oh, that would be really cool to get to work at that company or to be in that role or getting to do the work they do” and sending them a message. So, you know you can start with your current network at your school, ask your professors, ask your career advisors if they can connect you with someone, or you can hop on LinkedIn, find someone in your city, and you just want to ask for a 15 minute informational interview. So let them know, “Hey, I admire your career. I’d love to learn more about your journey. Are you available for a 15 minute informational interview?” and hit the send button. That is my greatest career advice for you, especially during a pandemic. You can do this virtually, anyone can do this virtually. And it’s so cool because you aren’t limited by the constructs of where you’re currently living. Right? You can meet virtually with anyone, anywhere. So send those messages and without the fear, if you hear back or not, even if only half the people get back to you. If you do this every day for a month, that’s potential 15 people that are rooting for you, that you get to meet with, learn about their career journey, and get that insight on how they got to where they are.
AL: I love that. I love the way you phrase ‘A DM a Day’ because it also makes it just sound so easy or not as daunting a thing like “go network with professionals”, and it’s like, well, how do I do that? Well, what you do is ‘A DM a Day,’ right? It’s just something small, easy. And even without the pandemic, I think this is great advice because we’re looking to connect with people from all over the U.S. and all over the world. Ideally, as we’re figuring out who we are, what we want to do. And so ‘A DM a Day’, I think, is great advice, even not during the pandemic, because you can potentially reach somebody and get some more clarity for yourself about what you want to do. Find out about opportunities available. So I love that, and that makes it just so easy and accessible. Any supports or advice that you have for students to seek out during these times? I love the ‘DM A Day’ piece, but I’m curious about networks that you’re familiar with or resources that you point people to that help with making these kinds of connections.
AN: The purpose of the connection is to learn the blueprint. How did this person get to where they are? Because most of us don’t start out at the Sony’s of this world. We started out interning at a small company, or maybe making our own radio station, or laying down our own tracks or recording for a friend and finding out those steps that they took. So then you can learn how to build your qualified. And that’s what I explain in my book is how to build your qualified. What does that mean? What clubs and organizations can you get involved with that connect to your interests, your strengths, your values, and you can build your own qualified. You don’t have to wait for permission. You don’t have to wait for an acceptance letter or for someone to tell you, “Yes,” you can launch your own podcast today. You can read about your topic and blog about what you’ve learned. You can volunteer. You can look for local organizations that align with what you care about. And I’m a big fan of volunteering, but also hopping on Meetup.com and seeing what groups align with your passions and your goals. And I’ve looked it up myself just to explain to students like, there are groups that are meeting about public speaking, about screenplay writing, about photography. Write down what you care about. There’s a group that’s meeting about it for free, where you don’t need to pass an exam to get to be part of that experience and build your skills and build your qualified.
VO: College Admissions Real Talk is hosted by Aviva Legatt, edited by Stephanie Carlin, and produced by Incontrera Consulting. I’m Caroline Stokes and this has been your daily boost of college admissions insight. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222-5762. For more information on Dr. Legatt and Ivy Insight visit www.ivyinsight.com. And you can pick up Dr. Legatt’s book, “Get Real and Get In”, at major retail outlets across the world. Insight out.