3 Tips for the Transition from Full-Time Student to Full-Time Professional

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By Tiffany Li

A couple of years ago as a senior at NYU, I was pretty nervous about the prospect of being a full-time working professional versus an intern/student. Would it be an easy transition? Would I get along with my co-workers? What would my workload be like? I will say that the wonderful thing is that when you start working, even though you may not be in school anymore, you never stop learning, whether it’s learning technical skills like how to build a dashboard in Tableau or learning how to design a beautiful slide deck. 

This post may not answer all the questions running through your mind, but here are 3 tips to help you prepare for this transition: 

Get ready for your work routine
Your hours will vary heavily depending on the job, because you could have a standard 9am-6pm job or one that’s 6am-5pm or even 4pm-12am. Either way, you should ensure that you prepare yourself and are ready for that change. Try to set a routine and establish a pattern of balance before you start working (if you know what your hours are going to be)! In my role, although I usually end by 6pm, sometimes I have calls with marketers from around the world like Japan and Singapore, which results in hopping on calls at 8pm or 10pm. Having a desk in your room or having a go-to cafe to do work will definitely come in handy. 

Prepare yourself for rush hour commutes
This won’t be as easy as walking from your dorm to campus anymore, but thank goodness for public transit! Rush hour can be rough, especially on certain lines like the 4/5/6, and sometimes there are delays. Get ahead of the curve by using MYmta or CityMapper or Transit (three of my favorite transit apps) to see real-time info on when your train is coming. IBM Marketing is actually close to campus though (Astor Place and Union Square), so it almost feels like I’ve never left!

Expect your social schedule to change
Your friends won’t all be on campus anymore, and you’ll likely be spread out in terms of where you live/work, not to mention you’ll have different jobs and therefore work hours, but you can still make time! Plus, think of all the new people you’ll meet at work. When I was a summer intern at IBM, our program had IBM-organized outings like bowling, but we also organized karaoke and game night, and when I started full-time, my new hire class organized a ski trip in the Poconos. Also, don’t forget to pick up hobbies to ground yourself in activities outside of work (ex: learning pottery, training for marathons, teaching yourself how to play a new instrument).

Written by: Tiffany Li, Marketing Analytics Consultant for IBM. She is a digital marketing professional with a history of working in the community development finance/media and entertainment/tech industries. She graduated from NYU in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Computing & Data Science, and a minor in the Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology (BEMT). In her current role at IBM, she sits at corporate headquarters in NYC and supports the Performance Marketing discipline, which uses business analytics, data science, visualization and data management skills to help marketers target the right audience, with the best content and an optimal marketing mix to drive outcomes. Tiffany focuses on using analytics to provide data-driven insights and optimize IBM’s marketing campaigns end-to-end, from the web user experience to sales alignment.

IBM is an American multinational information technology company that has innovated the world for over 100 years. Here at IBM Marketing, we’re outcomes-oriented, client centric, and agile to the core. Want to learn more about IBM Marketing and how you can join through our internship program? Visit ibm.biz/Bdz7ba.