Broke-Ass Student Stories

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As this end of this campaign draws near, we decided to share our favourite Broke-Ass Student stories with you one last time. Thanks to everyone who submitted, and we hope you get some laughs out of these!

Broke-Ass Student Story #1 – “Once I ate a chilli to get a free drink… and I almost died.”

Broke-Ass Student story #2 – “…I walked around UNSW IGA for almost 30 minutes looking for something substantial that only cost $0.70. After a pretty wild weekend my bankcard decided to disappear midway through Saturday night leaving me card-less and cashless for the next week until my new card arrived. I considered getting something from the fresh produce section, maybe a banana or apple but without a scale to weigh the fruit I was worried I would get to the counter and the $0.70 wouldn’t be enough. I would’ve had to politely tell the cashier I couldn’t afford the $0.87 banana and return it to its shelf…”

Broke Ass Student Story #3: “Once I was so poor that I could only afford a $2.50 sushi roll for my dinner on my work break. I then went outside to eat it, and dropped it into a puddle. Safe to say that I went hungry for the rest of my shift…”

Broke Ass Student story #4 – For me, going to the movies just isn’t the same without popcorn, but it’s so f-ing expensive!! So when my boyfriend & I lived out of home & we couldn’t afford to purchase popcorn at the cinemas, we thought we had a clever idea… One day when we had money we bought a large popcorn (the type in the rectangular cardboard box) & after eating it, folded the box up & took it home. From then on, every time we went to the movies we would make popcorn at home, put it into the recycled box & sneakily walk in to the movies looking like we had paid! Desperate times, calls for desperate measures people!!

Broke Ass Student Story #5: Once I was so broke that I could only afford food and essentials when I went for my weekly grocery shop. Unfortunately for me, halfway through the week I ran out of shampoo and conditioner. I had no idea what to do so I used soap and moisturiser instead… If you’re wondering whether this tactic works – it doesn’t

Broke-Ass Student Story #6: One time I was so broke that I ended up having to choose between getting my pink slip and filling my car up with petrol. I ended up deciding to pay for my pink slip, and tried to see how long I could go for on an empty tank. The same day I was approved for my pink slip my car broke down. Also being seriously broke, I hadn’t paid my phone bill so I couldn’t call anyone for help. I had to wait until a nice South African couple came past and let me use their phone. They brought me petrol and accidentally flooded my tank, so I had to wait two hours for a tow truck to come and ended up being three hours late for work. Having missed half of my only shift that week, the cycle of poverty continued (and I still haven’t filled up my tank).

Broke-Ass Student Story #7 – “I’m so broke right now I am eating tears flavoured 2 minute noodles with a side of disappointment.”

Broke-Ass Student Story #8 – One day I was too poor to afford lunch, so I snuck into my friend’s marketing lecture to try and distract myself from being hungry. The lecturer was trying to demonstrate satisfaction, and how your levels dip after obtaining something. The lecturer asked if anyone wanted to participate in a experiment which involved eating chocolate. Naturally, I put my hand up. The lecturer was trying to prove that after your 10th bite of chocolate, your satisfaction levels dip and you don’t want to eat any more. Sadly for her, I ate the entire family-sized block of chocolate in front of the entire cohort and completely disproved her point. Soz mate, but cravings overrule psychology theory this time.

Broke-Ass Student Story #9 – Once I was so broke my dinner consisted of the scungy end piece of bread with the last drops of tomato sauce from the bottle. I used to ride my bike to work and “borrow” milk from the lunch room fridge, I’d pour it into my bike water bottle so I could have a cup of tea at home with the tea bags I also “borrowed”

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5 Things Every Successful 20-Something Knows About

beauty, broke, broke-ass students, budget, budgeting, cheap, fashion, money saving, thought catalog, tips

Ella Ceron at Thought Catalog posted an incredibly insightful post into what successful 20-year-olds think when they are deciding what to wear in the morning – and we wanted to share it with you. Even though we are Broke-Ass Students, this doesn’t mean that we can’t dress to impress.

Before getting to the incredible article, we wanted to add our thoughts on what is great to wear. Wear what makes you feel comfortable and good – don’t try to overdo what is fashionable if you don’t feel good in it. Confidence is the key to looking fantastic – and we think that if you love what you wear, you will own it.

Our other tip on this subject matter is you should dress like you, not just like the fashion world tells you to. Unless the fashion world is your thing, then go for it!

Remember Broke-Ass Students – don’t spend too much money on clothes you are only going to wear once. A dress that you’re only going to wear once to a 21st doesn’t warrant the $250 price tag! Be smart with your choices and buy dresses you can rock more than once. We believe you can do it!

1. Fit is more important than size. The day the number on the label in the back of your pants matters is the day when every brand decides on one standard sizing pattern…Which is to say, it’s never going to happen. You could be a 4 in a shirt from Old Navy but a 6 in jeans from the Gap and a large in that one coat at Forever 21. Buy what fits instead of what the label says will fit you. A well-fitting size medium is going to look way better than the minor ego boost that society says comes with fitting into a small. (Besides, you’re the only one who’s going to know what the label says, anyway. Nobody goes around championing their size to everyone who will listen (because really, nobody else cares all that much).

2. The more you spend on staple items, the less you spend in the long run. A $60 button-down is going to last you way longer than three $20 button-downs will, and investing in a coat that sees through a few seasons is more practical than buying one that wears out from three months of everyday wear. You don’t have to blow your entire budget on designer labels, but searching for key pieces that have a great fit and solid construction is clutch.

3. When in doubt, create a uniform. Stick to a certain color scheme, or buy things of a similar cut and fit as frequently as you can. (If you know it works, why fix it, right?) Hell, buy 10 of the same shirt if you find one you really love. Cutting those 30 minutes you spend deciding what to wear out of your morning leaves more room to cook your breakfast, buy your coffee, get to work early— or just, y’know, sleep in..)

4. Work is not the place to be taking fashion risks. Well, unless you work in a really creative environment, all those mesh crop tops, plunging necklines and crazy accessories are probably best left for the weekend. Spend less time trying to see how you can bend the office rules, and more time in doing your best work at the office. (It’ll show, and you can go and blow your hard-earned bonus on the weekend in whatever crazy clothes you want.)

5. Dressing for the job you want is not a completely ridiculous adage. There’s an old office trick that says you should mirror what your boss wears; it’s less of being a copycat and more of an emulation. While it might be impossible to match what they wear with your smaller salary (and if you’re an intern, you might not even have that salary at all), take mental notes of a few details here and there, and then polish up your look so that you look capable, presentable, and like someone who is hirable or promotable. We all take cues from appearance, and doing your part to present the picture of someone who has their look together won’t hurt in the eyes of the people who have your future in mind.

How to go on dates as a Broke-Ass Student

broke, budgeting, cheap, dates, love, money, movies, romance, students

Free(ish) fun ideas for dates when you’re a Broke-Ass Student

Fear not, Broke-Ass Students, for we have the help you need for organising that date. Money can sometimes be an issue when you’re a student, but we have some great ideas to help you guys have fun for free! (almost). It doesn’t always have to be an expensive process guys!

  1. Go for a walk to the Royal Botanic Gardens/Do the Bondi to Coogee walk/Any walk in a place near you!

Because one, they’re beautiful and two, they are free! It’s also quiet enough for you both to walk around together and have a good chat, and getting to know each other. This obviously won’t work if it’s raining, so this one is probably better for a sunny day. Get walking!

  1. Go to a trivia night at your local pub

More than likely on a trivia night there will be a special cheap deal on for food and/or drink, so make the most of it. Trivia is also really fun, and you two are sure to have a good laugh at some of the questions.

  1. Sit down by the Harbour Bridge/lake where you live and have a chat

This one is nice because you’ll be able to talk to each other and get to know each other, whilst also enjoying the beauty. Getting outside is great for dates!

  1. Cheap student nights at the movies!

At most movie complexes this will be a Tuesday night, but it really depends on the cinema. Bring snacks from home or your local supermarket and stash them in your bag, because let’s be real – does anyone really want to spend $10 on a packet of Malteasers?

5. Cook/bake something together

This cheap, fun and cute idea means that you two will be able to heat things up in the kitchen. It’s also a nice way to get to know one another!

Don’t forget to be yourself and have a great time. Even if it doesn’t work out, at least now you have a good plan for all of your next dates!

How to keep going when times are tough

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This blog post comes on a more serious note than usual, as many of us are going into that dreaded exam period. It can sometimes be hard to keep your thoughts positive in such a stressful and difficult time period, but we recognise that for some people, feeling depressed is a constant state of mind. We have written this blog post to discuss methods that we have tried, and friends of ours have recommended. As a disclaimer: we are not psychiatrists and this blog post should not replace a trip to the doctors. We encourage anyone who is experiencing dark thoughts to go to their GP, or call one of these free help hotlines.

Depression is more common than we think, with 1 in 4 people having the disease in their lifetimes. It’s more than just a mood, and can manifest itself in many different ways. Those with depression find day-to-day life increasingly difficult. Beyondblue offers a comprehensive list of signs and symptoms here: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression

Below are some of our own tips for short-term help.

  1. If a bad event happens in your life, carry on

This sounds bad. In no way shape or form are we suggesting that you completely forget what has happened, but more don’t let it bring your life to a standstill. My mum’s advice when my friend passed away was ‘don’t stop living, don’t stay at home in your room crying, make sure you keep going to work and seeing your friends.’ This piece of advice changed my life whenever anything bad happened – whether it be a breakup, a really bad mark on a test, or any event that had a negative impact on my mood.

Other wise words from the most inspirational woman in my life were ‘Nothing stays the same forever, even if things are going really badly and you are hating your life, everything is temporary’. This gave me insight that no matter how bad things are, things inevitably change and naturally you will find something that improves your quality of life eventually.

  1. If social media is making you anxious or depressed, get off it

There is quite honestly nothing worse than sitting on Facebook or Instagram and thinking that everyone is having a better time than you. A friend once said ‘Why are you comparing your everyday life to someone else’s highlight reel’. No one will ever show themselves looking bad having a boring day at home watching banal television. Even #nomakeupselfies have a filter on them. Something I personally found therapeutic was deleting the Facebook and Instagram apps (but keeping messenger) so that I was only accessing these programs on a computer. A social media detox is really good every now and again, and you will find that you stop relying on it for entertainment all the time.

  1. Exercise!

Even if it is only a walk around the block, the endorphins that your body releases when you exercise instantly make you feel better. Not only are you making your body feel good (because lets be honest, no one feels great after lying on the couch eating food all day!) but you’re also getting outside and breathing in the fresh air. Looking at the beauty that is around you is sometimes a really great way to take your mind off things.

  1. Call a friend

Sometimes feeling alone can be so overwhelming, and as humans our natural instinct when feeling depressed is to isolate ourselves even more. It’s a natural defence mechanism built into our brains, as we are feeling vulnerable and don’t want to get even more rejected. Call one of your closest friends to chat (you don’t even have to tell them you’re feeling down if you don’t want to), and instantly feel better as you two have a laugh together.

These tips are just a few that we personally believe work for us, however every person is different. If you feel as though nothing will ever get better and are having more dark days than good ones, these are warning signs that you need to get professional help. Never be afraid to reach out ❤

Broke-Ass Student Essential: The Art of Budgeting

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I can already see you yawning but believe me Broke-Ass Student life is SO much easier if you know how to budget what little money you have. You may even be able to SAVE (gasp, save money?!) yes save.  Budgeting sounds like a lot of work right? Wrong. Technology has made it easy for us, there are so many different websites that offer. Mint.com is a website that literally does the entire thing for you: it keeps track of all of your spending, categorizes it for you, analyzes it and alerts you if anything is amiss, like if you’re spending more than you’re earning (Guiltyyyyy). If you use the full functionality of the site, it can keep track of everything from where most of your money is going to on your credit card and rent. And it’s FREE.

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https://www.mint.com/ makes it so easy it so easy to keep of every dime and make money decisions you feel good about! You can set goals, whether it be a new car (you’re obviously not that broke) or get out of debt (that’s better) just enter how much money you need, set a date and link your goal to specific accounts so it’s easy to stick to your plan. It has visuals as well so you can keep up to date and track your progress.

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Goals give you something to look forward to, so you keep saving money, creating new goals and enjoying the rewards.

Mint.com provides you with so much detail!! It will automatically separate a $102 ATM withdrawal into $100 cash and $2 fee. And you can easily separate out purchases from one transaction into different categories, just in case you buy groceries, clothing and gifts all at one store.

And these are just SOME of the tools available, you can track your investments, set alerts for bills, you can also get the app which means you can see where you’re money is going while out and about.

Watch the tutorial video below to get a little more insight:

And remember it is FREE! Happy budgeting y’all.

-KL

How to make the most of your university life as a Broke-Ass Student

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Hey Broke-Ass Students! We’ve compiled a list of our most effective tips and tricks for you to make the most of your student life. We’ve found that there’s nothing worse than being unprepared for an assessment or exam, so from our own personal experiences we have written this comprehensive list for you.

  1. Get a calendar and a diary

In order to be organised for the semester, you’re going to need to write down all your important dates somewhere where you can see them. Not only will this help you to keep the important dates fresh in your mind, but you’ll also be able to schedule your life around them. We recommend putting the calendar above your desk where you study, and keeping your diary in your bag. The best diary’s for uni are the ones that display the week as opposed to those that have entire pages for a day so you can keep track of what’s going on.

  1. DO YOUR READINGS

This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how much they help you organise your ideas and thoughts prior to assignments. If you can’t do an entire week’s worth of readings, write down 10 key points from that week’s work (including lectures). This will help you easily find notes from that week when it comes down to exam time.

  1. Start thinking about your assignments early

Nothing worse than the night before an assignment where you have no idea what to write, as well as no creative ideas. Be prepared and jot down a few ideas two weeks before your assignment is due. This will ensure that you have a clearer flow when it comes to crunch time.

  1. Make the most of your time at uni

Ask questions, go to lectures and join societies. If you find it hard to physically make yourself go to lectures, organise to meet your friends for coffee and lunch. Get a lecture buddy and force each other to go!

  1. Have a good time and enjoy yourself

Uni isn’t forever, and we’re all here for each other during the good times and the bad. Make the most of your free time and relaxed timetable while it lasts. Being social and friendly will ensure you make some great uni friends for life.

-GL

Where to find cheap eats every day of the week:

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This blog post is for the Broke-Ass Students currently residing in or visiting Sydney, Australia.

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Monday: “Muchos Nachos Mondays” at The Norfolk in Surry Hills. For just $10 a plate, nachos-lovers can choose from 4 spectacular flavours including: Tijuana pulled pork; vegetarian redneck; buffalo chicken; or the American classic. Wash it down with $10 mojitos all night long

Tuesday: Flying Fajita Sisters in Glebe serving up $3 tacos and $3 Tequilas but if you took advantage of the nachos at the Norfolk on Monday and you’re not feeling like Mexican 2 days in a row you can head to The Soda Factory in Surry Hills serving $1 gourmet hotdogs, yes you read that right, $1!! Choose from: The Frank Sinatra, The Buffalo Bill, The Texas Redneck, Bobby’s Bogan Dog, The Don Draper or The Yoko Ono for $2 (V).

Wednesday: “Wong Tang Wednesdays” at Jonny Wongs dumpling bar in Darlinghurst you can buy as many $1 dumplings as you can fit into your ever expanding tummy. Choose from: Pork, prawn gow gee, chicken and water chestnut and vegetarian. Or head to The Passage, also in Darlinghurst for $4 sliders.

Thursday: “Steak Night” at the Roxbury Hotel in Glebe gives you a decent sized steak and sides for just $10, plus you get to listen to some quality live music while downing your perfectly cooked red meat.

Friday: 1kg of chicken wings for $10!! Yep, $10. Head to the Abercrombie Hotel in Chippendale for a bucket of juicy chicken wings. Definitely bring some friends with you, the 1kg goes a long way.

Saturday: Before you hit the town head to Pontoon Bar in Darling Harbour for $9.90 beef burgers, steak sandwiches and other meals across the blackboard menu. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy try Pie Tin in Newtown, they have a range of savoury and sweet gourmet pies, served with 2 hot side for just $11!

Sunday: Who can go past a Sunday Roast, especially when it is only $10! P.J. O’Briens in the CBD is offering your traditional roast and sides with out the prep, cooking and clean up. Sounds pretty good to us. If you’re looking for something a little less traditional head to The Workers in Balmain for you Sunday sesh, they have $4 sliders and ciders to help you forget you have to go to work/university the next day.

Everyday: There are plenty of places offering cheap eats everyday around Sydney head to Happy Chef or Ichi-ban Boshi (various locations around Sydney), Ryo’s in Crows Nest or The Snag Stand. For more cheap eats head to The Urban List: http://www.theurbanlist.com/sydney/a-list/50-cheap-eats-sydney-under-10

You can keep your tummy happy for minimal dosh everyday of the week.

Comment below any you think we should add to the list.

-KL

Why IKEA is the go-to destination for Broke-Ass Students moving out of home

cheap, furniture, money, savings, students

Okay so their big ticket items, lounges, cupboards, dining tables etc. are still not the cheapest and if you’re a truly Broke Ass Student we’d still recommend jumping on eBay or Gumtree to grab some things second hand, however IKEA’s smaller items; crockery, cutlery, storage are awesome quality and fit perfectly into the BAS budget.

There’s a good chance if your moving out of home you are moving into something significantly smaller. This is where IKEA’s storage options will have you screaming ‘Hallelujah’! Not only are they stylish but they’re awesomely priced also!

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All these options allow you to hide your shits and pieces for less than $20!

TUPPERWARE! If you haven’t seen the infamous green-lidded food containers well it’s time to head to IKEA. You get 17 items for just $4.79. There you go, all your food storage issues are solved.

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If you’re still struggling to find some second hand big-ticket items online IKEA is definitely your second port of call, I mean, the cheapest bed frame is just $39!! HOW DO THEY MAKE A PROFIT ON THAT?! Your entire bedroom needs in one place; you can get cute bedside table lamps for just $9.99 and the NATTLJUS bed linen for $14.99.

You can get the FÖRNUFT 24-piece cutlery set for just $9.99! “I don’t need enough cutlery for 6 people” I hear you say, well if you’re going to be like that then head somewhere that sells separates (K-Mart maybe) and have fun doing lots of washing up ;). You can also get a 6 pack of glasses for $1.99 and the DINERA plates for just $1.99 each!! Okay, I’m beginning to sound like a LOWES ad (If you’re not Australian: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdwK_4nef_s).

Anyway, if you’re a BAS about to move out of home we strongly suggest heading to IKEA for your basics – you will not be disappointed. (Unless you don’t have a car, in that case you’ll be severely disappointed at the amount of things you want to take home but can’t carry/fit on the bus).

-KL

Easy Ways to Earn Money Online

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Classic Stock photos of people earning money online. That could be you, don’t you want that to be you? 

  1. Online Surveys

An increasingly popular way for students to make money is to fill out online surveys in their spare time. Research companies are always recruiting new members to answer surveys and test new products.

For a few minutes of form filling, you can make a couple of dollars which is paid as cash or in rewards. You can make up to $5 for some surveys!

A few good ones to try are: Toluna, PineconeVivatic, The OpinionPanel, MySurvey, Valued Opinions, SurveyBods, Your Word,Global Test Market, Hiving, PanelBase, Harris Poll, Opinion Outpost,iPoll, YouGov, New Vista.

Also sign up for Swagbucks.com which rewards you for surveys as well as simply surfing the web, watching videos and playing games.

  1. Start a blog

Starting a blog can give you a chance to make some extra cash just by writing about something you love. Make your blog specialise in something you love and are interested in. You can review products that relate to your subject and if the blog gets popular these companies will begin paying you for reviewing these products. These are called sponsored posts. Who knows, you could eventually get to multimillionaire status like these bloggers: http://addicted2success.com/news/the-top-10-famous-multi-million-dollar-bloggers/

  1. Ads on your blog

When starting out you can choose to put Google Ads on your blog, earning you around $3 to $4 a week. Doesn’t sound like much but that’s with lame content and no followers, if you put some effort into your content and promotion you could earn up to $5 a day ($35) a week after a few months. And like mentioned it #2 this might snow ball and you could be losing that Broke-Ass Student status and become Multi-Millionaire Student.

  1. Sell stuff on Gumtree/Ebay

Everyone’s best friends when it comes to getting rid of junk are eBay and Gumtree. Online auctions on eBay are a sure-fire way to turn that sleeveless jacket (which came in and out of fashion in a week) into hard cash.

Some eBay sellers look at trends and try to predict what will be big ahead of the market. If you are good and don’t mind taking a risk then you can buy early in bulk and sell on when the craze hits. Gumtree allows you to set the price and generally people are happy to pick it up in person saving you a trip to the post office.

  1. Review music for money

If you love music, make it your business by reviewing unsigned bands and artists for cash. I know… we couldn’t believe it either. It can take a while to build up your reputation but some users of the site have said that they have earned $70 a month. This may not sound like much but if it’s something you enjoy then it shouldn’t be hard work and is another thing for your CV. Money you earn will be in $US but anyone can sign up and review.

To get started, head over to Slicethepie now .

-KL

How to land that coveted job

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1. Before you even begin the search, clean up your social media accounts

Yes, that is right fellow Broke-Ass Students. We strongly suggest you trawl through all your old tweets, Facebook photos and even Google your name a few times to see what comes up. We suggest using the rule ‘What would Grandma think’. Unless Granny is a party animal herself, you can probably untag yourself from those sweaty club photos from last week at 3AM.  The company will look you up, so make sure your pages and accounts are all squeaky clean and professional.

2. Do some thorough research on your company

Not only will this help you write your cover letter and the first interview, but it will help you gain a better understanding of what the company values are – and whether you would be a good fit. It will also help you to answer questions such as ‘why do you want to work for us’. Additionally, you will be able to use your research into how to present yourself. You should look up the company pages, as well as the executives and employees in your desired team. LinkedIn and Twitter are great places to start for this.

3. Make sure your resume and cover letter are error-free

Nothing screams ‘Do not hire me’ more than a resume full of spelling mistakes! Although this seems painfully obvious, recruiters say that nothing will make them throw a resume in the bin faster than one with errors. If you need help, get a friend that is highly attentive to detail and spelling to look over it for you.

4. Reply to all communication promptly

If the recruiter e-mails you saying you have an interview (hooray – congratulations to you!) reply as quickly and efficiently as you can to set up a date. Make sure that you confirm the place and time of the interview a few days prior to the date, just so you don’t get caught out at the wrong place.

5. Be immaculately (and appropriately) presented for the interview!

Make sure that for whichever industry you are applying for, that you are dressed appropriately. Don’t wear a suit to a barista interview (unless it is a specifically tuxedo-only exclusive coffee shop – but we doubt it) and don’t wear a t-shirt and jeans to a paralegal interview. Make sure that your hair is well groomed, that your clothes are ironed and you are wearing your best smile.

6. Ask lots of questions!

Asking questions demonstrates that you are interested in the company. Questions we suggest asking are:

  • What is the company culture like?
  • What is a challenge I may face in this situation, and what is the best way to overcome it?
  • What do you enjoy about working for this company?
  • What are you looking for in the ideal candidate?
  • What does an average day in this position look like?
  • What are the opportunities for growth in the company?
  • Where is the company headed?
  • Are there any weaknesses in my application? How could I overcome these?
  • When should I expect to hear from you?

Don’t forget to ask some industry-specific questions. Remember to thank the interviewer for their time.

6. Follow up

Ensure that you follow up directly after your interview. Remind the interviewer (or HR recruiter) of your main points, and state that you look forward to hearing from them shortly.

7. What’s next?

If you do get the job (Or have a second interview)- CONGRATULATIONS! You have moved past Broke-Ass Student status and are now into the real world!

If you don’t – Don’t feel disappointed, you tried your best. There will be other opportunities. Make sure to e-mail the company, thank them for their time and notify them that you would definitely be open to any future career opportunities with them. You are awesome and an opportunity is sure to arise soon!

-GL