Organization is key: How a single spreadsheet can put you on the path to success

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One thing I hear classmates complain about over and over again is organization. Whether their inbox is full of 3,576 emails or they never bought binders and can’t find their notes from Tuesday’s class, many students are their own enemies due to their disorderliness. I think some students are doomed for eternity in this aspect, but they’ll survive their classes just fine and respond to the important emails when necessary. But regardless of how disorganized you are with your room, your classes or your inbox, something you’ll want to stay organized for is job hunting.

Whether you’re applying to internships or jobs, and regardless of whether you’re a freshman or a senior, creating one spreadsheet with everything you need to succeed is incredibly helpful. I wish someone told me to do this early on, but even though I didn’t start until I was a junior, it has nonetheless helped me tremendously.

Essentially, I have a spreadsheet (I use Google Sheets, but you can also use Microsoft Excel) that helps me keep track of all the internships and jobs I have applied to, contains all my college experiences and has tabs for everything I need when preparing for both the academic school year and my internship/job search. I am going to share what my “tabs” are and what is included in them in case you want help getting started!

Tab 1: Master Sheet

This tab contains links to any and all resources I may need to help me with finding classes, internships and jobs. Examples of this include Handshake, LinkedIn, AngelList, Indeed, Glassdoor and so many more. This way you can begin compiling a list of helpful websites without losing any links or forgetting the names.

Tab 2: Internships/Jobs

This tab is vital. When you start your job search, it can be extremely stressful to remember when you turned in which application, what the job description was, which day their online infomation session is and more. This one tab helps me keep track of all that information plus any interviews, acceptances or rejections. If you are just getting started, I would recommend having a row for each company with the following columns: company name, job title, infomation session date (if applicable), deadline to apply, status, link to the website, additional notes and location.

Tab 3: Classes

Here is where I compiled a list of all the classes I have taken at UC Berkeley. If you’re a freshman or a sophomore, this is where you can map out your 4-year plan to make sure you graduate on time and have all your requirements checked off.

Tab 4: Resources

Each time I connect with a professor in class or a supervisor at work, I write down their name and contact information in this tab that way, by the time it was my senior year, I already had all my connections written down in one spot, and depending on which job I was applying to, I would ask those on my list who would be most appropriate to write me a letter of recommendation. If you haven’t already realized, making a spreadsheet like this starting your freshman or sophomore year will save you hours of time and loads of stress when you start job hunting.

Depending on your path, you may want to make another tab that keeps track of any graduate schools, law schools or medical schools you are applying to with the application materials, due dates, letter of recommendation statuses and more. You can make an infinite number of tabs on this one spreadsheet to keep track of various things and have everything in one place, but if you begin with the four tabs I listed above, you’re already at a running start.

Here at the Clog, we encourage you to take organization seriously because it’s a great skill to have and tremendously helpful when you are applying to multiple companies with different deadlines, application materials, infomation session dates and more. It’s not an easy feat to balance applications, academics, work and extracurriculars, but hopefully by making one spreadsheet that keeps track of everything, you’re one step closer to reaching your goals.

Contact Natalia Brusco at [email protected].