I am writing this blog post just outside the offices of Twitter, having spent the better part of a week meeting with alums who work in Silicon Valley.  We have a lot of College of Business Administration and College of Engineering and Computer Science alums at places like Google, Symantec, VMware and RemedyPoint. We also have a number of people working on start-ups.  It has been a busy few days and I’m about to head to Seattle to begin the processes of linking our alums and building our brand in that fine city.   (Yes, I have a great job.)

But while I’ve been traveling up and down the West Coast with Kelly [Dowling, Senior Director of Development], Tiffany [Hughes] and the rest of my external relations team have been planning for the arrival of new UCF Knights.  About 4500 freshmen will invade campus this week and we will welcome more than a thousand new upper-division students to the College of Business in our “Welcome to the Major” event.

Inspired by all of this social media technology out here, I decided to tweet my followers this week and ask them what advice they would have for all of these new UCF Knights.  You can read all of their responses by searching #Newucfknights on Twitter.  I won’t repeat all of them here, but a number touched on getting engaged, internships and following your passion.  My five favorites:

@GeorgeAnders: “Make a dozen great friendships (and 4,488 good acquaintances) at school. The pay-off is huge.”

@OfficialGinaN: “If you have to change your major, it’s okay! A lot of students change theirs 2-3 times before they stick with something.”

@ucfgirlprobs: “Plan for parking hassles especially for mid-morning and evening classes.  ‘I couldn’t find a spot’  is not a very legit excuse.”

@vucf_arts: “Get Involved! You are a KNIGHT! Being a passive student isn’t an option.  Make it known—YOU have arrived!”

@KbogesRecruits @Colin4ward and @highwayscenery all said about the same thing: “Get involved as early as possible. There is a student organization for everyone & the exposure and experience you gain will help you land a job.”

But perhaps the best advice I got all week for new UCF Knights came from Daniel Seeff, a 2011 Accounting graduate, runner-up in our Joust competition, founder of three businesses and currently search quality analyst for Google:  “If you want to work here, having good grades is just the start.  We want to see passion, something unique and a record of being a self-starter.  Without that, you got no shot.”  In fairness to my tweeps, Daniel got more than 140 characters, but he took full advantage of his time at UCF both inside and outside of class to expand his world.  Now he works for one of the world’s most innovative companies on projects that will replace people with mediocre talent and drive.  Who would you rather be?

Paul Jarley, Ph.D., is the dean of the UCF College of Business Administration. He blogs every week at http://www.bus.ucf.edu/dean. This post appeared on August 19, 2013. Follow him on Twitter @pauljarley