How to Put Your Best Foot Forward 

By Riley Mason 

There are so many resources within the University of Georgia that can aid students in preparing for internships, interviews, networking and more. Advisors are there for you and reaching out to them is a great first step when searching for resources for your college career and post-college plans. I interviewed Michelle McFalls, an advertising advisor in Grady, to hear her tips and tricks for putting your best foot forward. 

What are the best steps a student can take to prepare for interviews? 

The most important aspect of the interview process when I worked in corporate America was first impressions. When a student goes to a career fair, interview or networking event they should be professionally dressed. Make sure your socks match your suit, because first impressions mean everything. Additionally, go into the interview with practice talking to people and introducing yourself, including a firm handshake. Don’t wing the interview. If you stay calm, focused, humble and prepared, the interview can go smoothly.

What do you see in students who are accepted to prestigious internships? 

The students who tend to get prestigious internships are confident and fearless. They continually improve their skill set and want to learn more about their field and the world. Additionally, these students have one-page, mistake-free resumes that highlight their experience for the job or internship they are applying to. These students also do not take rejection personally. They keep on striving and applying for more internships and opportunities even in the face of rejection.

What do you think about networking? 

Sallie Long, a UGA student, puts her best foot forward.

Networking in the advertising industry is crucial. Go to as many Grady events as possible and dress professionally to be prepared to talk to the speakers and alumni; however, you can also network with anyone. One tip is to attend other college events to practice and engage your networking skills. It can be common to get overwhelmed at these events, but if you practice and feel confident you will be able to efficiently read the room and come into the space with an open mind.

Are there any tips or tricks that would be valuable for students?

The UGA Career Center is underutilized by our students. They offer practice interviews, etiquette classes and certifications that allow students to learn and practice professional skills. Also, know your technology and be up to date on new software for Zoom or Skype interviews. All in all, don’t compare yourself to others. Be confident in who you are and what skill sets you bring to the table.