College is a wonderful time. You are just fresh out of high school with a head brimming full of ideas and ambitions. You have thought about what you want to be and are truly on the path of doing so to become what you have envisioned for yourself. But college is so much more than that. It’s not high school anymore and no expects you to be spoon fed. You have to do much more than being present in classrooms. Also, in college you are expected to start acquiring skills, skills that are going to help you kick start your career. College is going to be much more arduous unlike school. Brace yourselves for what awaits because the years go by fast and you have to take advantage of every second of your undergraduate years. College is as much about trying new things as it about preparing you for your future. So please keep these things in mind when starting college.
In this day and age where people are increasingly becoming constituents of a multi-cultural society and jobs get outsourced to different places where people may not speak the language you know it is always a good idea to learn a new one. Not only does it separate you from the rest of the crowd, it also gives you incentive to try more and be more than you are. Learning a new language will also come in handy during job interviews because employers always prefer people who can contribute something more outside of their regular expected skill-set.
While this may sound like currying favour to you, it is not actually that. You don’t have to try and be friends with your college professors. The relationship should rather be that of a master and a disciple. Get to know your professors because they are the people best suited to guide you on possible future career choices. Soak up all of their sagaciousness like a sponge. Talk to them after class about courses, research projects, interviews and the like. It also helps create a particular image of you in their mind when they see someone being really sincere about their academics and the like; it may also help you gain brownie points during practical exams, viva and recommendations for jobs.
There are plenty things you can do to be head and shoulders above your peers. Grab an internship if and when you can. College students most find an internship in the penultimate year of their undergraduate years when the course structure is more forgiving than the other academic years. Internship experience also serves as a golden ticket allowing you to stand out during job interviews. It is of note that today college graduates who have been interns don’t have trouble finding jobs after college.
Credentials are the next big thing. A credential in layman’s terms; is an additional course pertinent to your major that will help you narrow down your options while looking for a job. They could be anything. Maybe a new coding language for computer science and electrical engineering graduates like VLSI and Python. Or maybe, for those who want to make a career in finance could go for a Bloomberg certification. These are just a couple of examples. The advantage of gaining these credentials is that it goes to show you know how to acclimatize to the company’s data terminals.
Back in the day, college students assisted professors with research projects and theses. For students who can’t find an internship, this is a safer alternative. Conducting a research or creating a mini project goes to show that you are really passionate about your major and t helps during job interviews. More often than not employers are willing to employ people who have a real aptitude towards their subject rather than those who fetch the required marks. There is more to it than the aforementioned benefit, the critical thinking and problem-solving skills you gain from doing research and the ability to think quickly on your feet are traits that any employer would be more than thankful to see in a prospective employee.
Take a personal finance class. Learn to manage your funds better. Squandering money is the easiest thing you can do. Learn how taxes work. Because at some point in your life you are going to start earning for yourself and you will be more than thankful to know how you are to go about these things lest you want to run the risk of being accounted for being a tax fraud. Nobody wants that.
These pointers though not very compressive are important know-hows. Always make sure that you keep yourself first because incidentally college is when you find your own footing. Each college and university offers something different to it’s students. Identify those and capitalize on them. Take some time out to find what your school has to offer to you. That being said, don’t burn out. Have fun every now and then. College life is the phase of your life that you are going to cherish forever. Make it count.