The most talked about thing in college is graduation. It’s like people bypass the college experience and immediately jump to post grad life. The problem with that is, many college students don’t take full advantage of what their institution offers. So yeah, you graduated on time or early just to be struggling to find a job after graduation. How crazy is that?
Every major has an academic track. A vast majority of students go for the easier track meaning they take the bare minimum, and some others end up taking classes irrelevant to their post graduation goals. Why? Sometimes our parents heavily influence what academic route we take. Sometimes we feel pressured to follow in mom and dad’s footsteps and we get all the way to finish line and realize that this isn’t what we want to do. I know it’s uncomfortable, but you have to remember, the only person that can live your life is you.
Class selection and experience is key. Take classes that are beneficial to you. Also, gain as much experience undergrad as you can. For example, I’m an aspiring journalist so to gain journalistic experience, I’m working for my university’s magazine. Prior to landing that job, I wrote for my university’s newspaper.
Because I have a blog and brand that I hope to expand, I’m taking marketing classes as well. Marketing classes aren’t mandatory for my major, but I’m choosing to take advantage of classes that will help me in the future.
I know it’s easy to become obsessed with the idea of graduation. After a challenging semester, it’s almost all you want to think about. These obsessive thoughts cause you to be unrealistic about what you’ll do after graduation, because now you’re driven by frustration instead of progression. The workforce is competitive and one must be able to stand against the toughest competitors!
Another thing we sometimes forget to do as college academics is networking! I’m huge on networking. I always speak when I enter a room. You never know who’s in the room! I also make sure to surround myself with likeminded people. Having a circle like that pushes me to strive to be better. For example, I ended up making friends with my now boss on the magazine, all because I talked to her on the first day of class the semester prior. I didn’t know who she was. I just sparked up conversation.
Since I’m not a traditional student (remember, I’m a wife and mom) I don’t over exert myself on frivolous play. I understand that I don’t have the leisure to do so, but that doesn’t stop me from showing my face and making my presence known when I need it to be. I know that sometimes it’s hard to muster up extra motivation to get involved with things on campus, but remember, networking is key. Many universities have guest speakers. Check out those events! Network! Network! Network!
Internships are another way to gain experience and land jobs post grad! Most universities have specific places their majors intern, but I’d recommend venturing out to other places. Interning places outside your school’s connects makes pitching yourself a little easier. I know a few people that ventured out and are now working their dream jobs! Think about what you really want to do. Put yourself out there and see if the company you’re interesting in has interning opportunities. Also, use your professors as tools! A lot of your professors know people that can connect you to where you want to go, your professor might even be one of those connects. Reach out to your professors!
Sometimes I get caught up on my graduation date, but I have to remind myself that by doing everything I listed above, I’ll be more than prepared for the workforce!
Not taking full advantage of college life happens to a lot of people. Some people don’t take full advantage of the college experience and then they end up having to return back to college for another degree. Those people blame the degree when in actuality, it was the lack of work they put in to be successful before they graduated. It’s sounds harsh, but it’s the truth.
I think we as people have this idea that if we graduate with a degree, jobs should fall at our feet. This is partially society’s fault. We’ve all heard, “you can’t do anything without a degree.” Someone somewhere always rebuttals, “they’re successful people that don’t have degrees all over.” That someone is true! Those successful people are successful, because they took advantage of the space they were in. We college students have to do the same! Take advantage of college just like SallyMae takes advantage of interest applied to our loans! Woosah and laugh.
At the end of the day, you’re paying for college. Some of us are even in debt for it, my philosophy is to take everything college is willing to give you! Then take some more! Make college work for you!