End of Semester Tech Tips & Tasks | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

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End of Semester Tech Tips & Tasks

It’s hard to believe there are only few weeks left in the spring semester. Time flies when you’re having fun and staying busy! We here at Pitt IT wish everyone luck as they hand in their final assignments and tackle upcoming deadlines. Whether you’re graduating at the end of the month, looking to land a good summer job or internship, or merely planning to relax for a few months, here are some tips and tasks we recommend you complete as the spring semester comes to an end.

Download Office Desktop Apps for Free

You may not use Excel and Teams much in your undergraduate classes, but a future internship or full-time job will most likely use it every day. While many students use Google docs, Gmail, and other programs to create and share documents, Microsoft Office is the professional standard for word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, email, and collaboration software. So, if you haven’t done so already, take advantage of your complimentary copy of Microsoft Office 2021 from pitt.onthehub.com.

You’ll get to keep and use this copy for as long you’d like, even after you graduate and lose access to Microsoft 365. However, you MUST download it before you graduate. Even if you aren’t receiving your diploma at the end of the semester, we recommend downloading it as soon as possible. That way, you don’t have to worry about securing the software while studying for finals or finishing a capstone project.

Sharpen Your Professional Skills with LinkedIn Learning

Speaking of learning to use apps, Pitt IT gives current students free access to LinkedIn Learning, an online education and training platform that offers thousands of free classes and certifications on everything from coding to photography.

LinkedIn Learning is a fantastic place to master different software tools—including Microsoft Office and Adobe products. If you are looking for something productive to do in your spare time this summer, we recommend taking a look at some of these courses you can access through your Pitt account:

  • Pitt IT General Collection: This Pitt IT-curated collection provides introductory courses into all of the major Microsoft apps, plus many additional systems utilized by the University. It’s a great place to start learning the finer points of these apps, and provides a foundation for taking more advanced classes.
  • Pitt IT Adobe Creative Cloud Collection: Learn the ins and outs of Adobe Creative Cloud with this comprehensive playlist of training videos on Adobe Acrobat, InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Premiere Pro.

LinkedIn Learning is also a great tool to sharpen the skills taught in your courses and gain insight into how to best go about looking for a job, so take advantage of this resource while you can!

Secure Your Social Media Accounts

Spring is a busy time, especially if you are looking for a job or internship opportunity. The application process can be stressful and time consuming. Don’t let all of your hard work go to waste by having content on your social media profile that dooms your chances for a great job!

Make sure your social media pages are “employer-friendly” before you start submitting applications. Many recruiters/employers will google your name and look through some of your social media pages upon receiving your application. According to Business News Daily, the main three channels employers check are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook — with LinkedIn being considered a ”secondary resume” and Twitter and Facebook being seen as more personal.

Be sure your LinkedIn account is up to date and reflects all of your experience and strengths. Pitt’s Career Center offers sessions and other resources on how to craft a solid LinkedIn profile. For more “personal” platforms, go through your posts and delete or make private anything that could be considered inappropriate or provocative. Or consider changing the privacy settings on those accounts as a whole, so only friends and followers can see your content. Putting your best foot forward when it comes to applying for a job or internship includes your digital footprint as well.

Learn About Your Alumni Account

Once you graduate from Pitt, your student computing account transitions into an Alumni computing account. This means your access to Pitt IT services change and you will no longer have access to all of the perks you once did. While you’ll retain your Pitt email account, your LastPass account (which will revert to the Basic level), and access to academic systems to review grades and academic records, you’ll lose access to most of the software and services Pitt IT provides. To learn about what exactly this transition entails, check out the handy Pitt IT Graduation Checklist.

Get Ready for Summer, Panthers!

We hope these tips and tasks will keep you occupied as we head into the end of the semester and beyond. If you have any questions or need any tech help, Pitt’s Technology Help Desk is always available to assist current students and alumni with the University technical questions. For those of you graduating at the end of the month … Congratulations! Pitt IT wishes you success and happiness in all you do.

-- By Mary Rose O’Donnell, Student IT Blogger