Another college year has started. You are excited about the opportunities college can offer you both academically and socially. At the same time, you are thinking about your increasing student debt and whether you will be able to find a job when you graduate.
Here are 7 tips to help you increase your employability while you study:
- Develop a network. Talk to all your classmates. These are the friends who will be the cornerstone of your network later on in life. Make sure you stay connected after you graduate.
- Go to office hours. Meet your professors. They are there to support you and guide you. Build a good rapport with them. They are a great source of advice and information.
- Choose your major early. Identify which career path you want to follow and become an expert in it. It is not just getting good grades. It is about being up to date with all the latest developments in that field.
- Lead a club in the sector you are interested in. You will learn a lot about organizing events and you will make relevant contacts along the way.
- Develop your communication skills (both spoken and written). Take every opportunity to present irrespective of whether you like it or not. Practice makes you better.
- Attend industry events. Go to the events organized by your school. Talk to employers in your chosen field. Ask them questions about their jobs. Take their contact details and follow-up with them.
- Take every opportunity to work in the field you want to pursue. The benefits are many; you will get some experience under your belt, you will find out whether you really want to pursue a career path in this area, and you will build important connections.
By following these 7 simple tips, you will have a competitive advantage versus your peers by the time you graduate.
- have clarity about the career path you want to follow,
- be able to demonstrate specific experience and knowledge to potential employers,
- have a good network in the field of your choice who can support and advise you.
Needless to say: have some fun too.
If you have any more tips on how to get the best out of college, please let us know.
Korina Karampela is the founder of b4iapply, author of 2 books, consultant and speaker. She worked in senior positions in the pharmaceutical industry for 12 years and has an MBA from MIT Sloan. Her blog b4iapply is recommended by The Guardian for professional development.