I’m learning that senior year is a tough transition time. You are stuck between what feels like your quickly fading college years and a terrifying “real” world approaching quickly. I often wonder what label(s) I should give myself when meeting people for the first time both online and off. I want to be seen as a young professional but at the same time I’m still learning.
Some students try to separate themselves from being labeled a student or undergrad. They want to be viewed as pros so they feel pressured to strictly present themselves as pros. This has advantages if done well. In certain situations you may be taken more seriously. The downside is that it can come off as potentially arrogant. I’ve also been turned off by big talkers without the back-up and true knowledge (or experience).
I’ve found that being labeled a student doesn’t necessarily give you less credibility. If you are humble and willing to learn from others, some will be more willing to help you in return. You don’t have to act less professional or lower yourself to a different level to achieve this. I think it’s important to be transparent about who you are. You don’t have to label yourself a student, but you also don’t have to hide it. We as young pros have knowledge to share too – so don’t sell yourself short or have the attitude “well I’m only a student.”
What labels do you give yourself?