Tips for any incoming college student!

You’re a college student now, lost in an abundance of classes, trying to find out what you want to do right? Whether you know down to a T or not what you want to do, this article is meant to give you some tips on what kinds of things you can continue to focus on, that will help you grow and mature regardless of what field or industry you are in.


Whether you are in Biology or you’re in business, networking is important. There is the popular saying of “it’s who you know, not what you know”. This is TRUE! There are many people who get jobs and a big part of why is because they knew the recruiter, they knew someone on the team that’s hiring, they knew an executive of the company, etc. Networking is a priceless skill, and you do it every day without knowing, but it’s important to remember to do it for career purposes in addition to casual networking to make friends.

See our previously written article on networking here.

Learn how to think

Again, no matter the field, it is important to understand how to think about your field, and ways to think in general. There are obviously fields that this applies to more than others, but it is applicable to all. Mental models are a great way to think through situations. We have written articles in the past about them which we can link here. In addition, take psychology classes, see where it is applicable to your field, read books, etc.  

There are many ways to increase your knowledge base, and the more you understand how others think the more you will understand the world around you, both within your career and outside it.

Learn how to lead

Throughout your time in school, you are being led, by wonderful teachers coaching you through problems, situations, equations, projects, papers, etc. As you get into a job, you are put in the same situation, but anyone who is successful, at some point will have to lead. And sometimes it’s not always about the work that you do, but the work that you inspire others to do. Being able to be a leader and lead others is a privilege, and we encourage you, as proud NDSU students, to strive to become exemplary leaders within your future jobs.

Work hard

Lastly, we want to emphasize working hard. Today, we live in the same world as we did 50 years ago. A world where if you work hard, you can attain anything, whether it’s law school after NDSU, getting a brand-new job or even a promotion, it all comes from hard work. 

Hard work doesn’t have to mean you are sweating and tired either. It means many things which we encourage you to discover on your own. Hard work could mean persistence to you, determination, dedication or “never giving up”. Sometimes you may not know the road ahead, where it goes and where it will take you. But there is a road ahead, and if you keep marching forward, the right path will make itself clear.


With all this said above, don’t forget to have fun! You’re a college student! We’re not this young forever!

By Jon Spahn
Jon Spahn Career Mentor