Image Credits: The Daily Soiree

For most, college is the perfect time to find individual interests before getting pushed into a profession. Some avoid post-college life because they are unprepared and scared of the unknown. While college is the ideal time to find your personal niche, it is also the time to act upon your passions and prepare for what’s to come after graduation.

1) Complete as many internships as possible

While classes are useful in advancing your career, nothing can compare to hands-on experience. This is usually what will put you above other applicants. Once you have this real world experience under your belt, you can move on to bigger and better things. While making it to your dream job will be tough, don’t forget that you will get there with baby steps.

2 ) Earn a high GPA – it does matter

A large misconception in college is that GPA will not matter to an employer. While it depends on the employer, remember that it is better to be safe than sorry. A high GPA shows that you can handle an intense work load and the stress that college brings. While GPA certainly isn’t everything, it won’t hurt to show off your hard work.

3)  Make useful connections and relationships

Connections matter tremendously in the job world. Take full advantage of networking events and social hours. Have an elevator speech prepared and introduce yourself to as many people as possible. Make yourself memorable, ask to trade business cards, and you follow up afterwards.

4)  Travel out of state

If the opportunity presents itself, travel. Look for internships that are outside of your home state. By traveling for a job opportunity, this shows that you are dedicated enough in your work to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Traveling will also allow you to personally grow by meeting different people and learning to adapt to a new environment.

5)  Have an idea of what you want to do

Even if you’re unsure of exactly what job position you want, having a broad idea helps. Think about what you enjoy and how you could turn this into a useful skill in the work place. When you have an idea of what you want to pursue, this will put you on the right path and will make job searching much more efficient.

6)  Research future employers

It’s vital to research companies and organizations that you would be proud to work for. Set aside an allotted period of time each day, week, or month to research potential employers to see where you would be a good fit.

7)  Go for jobs that will provide useful skills

It is imperative to find a job that will allow you to grow each day. Whether your job will challenge you in writing, communicating, or researching, it’s ideal to gain new skill sets from your experience. Never back down from a challenge – take on new projects willingly.

8)  Learn to juggle several things at once

When you have 3 meetings, 10 tasks, and a scheduled phone call in one day, you must know how to handle it all. Dealing with work days under pressure is all part of a job and thankfully, you can prepare yourself beforehand. Challenge yourself by joining several organizations and taking rigorous courses.

9)  Create something that will stand out on your resume

Employers love entrepreneurs and self-starters. While in school, create something that will put you aside from the rest. Start something that you enjoy as a hobby whether it’s a blog, podcast, or small business.

10) Join organizations

Employers will undoubtedly look at your involvement while in school. Join organizations that will benefit you in some way after graduation whether this is a leadership organization or debate club. These extra skills will benefit you later in your career.

Don’t make the mistake of procrastinating until graduation to begin building yourself up for employment. Take simple steps while in school to make a name for yourself and prepare for what’s to come. Be futuristic in your thinking when making decisions and take on new opportunity willingly. You will not regret it when you land your dream job years down the road.

Jennifer D.
Jennifer Duplessie is a senior at Texas A&M University pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in political communications incorporating her passion for writing and photography.

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