Many many MANY years ago (ok more like 3ish) I was one of the many college students who had their hopes up of getting their dream job straight out of college. Like I just KNEW that all of these fabulous public relations agencies would be falling at my feet begging me to work for them. Sadly that didn't happen. I had no clue what the working world was like because all through college the only thing we were taught was get good grades, graduate then you'll get a job. Let me tell you kiddos..ITS NOT THAT EASY! And although some people are lucky enough to land their dream job fresh out of college, it doesn't happen for everyone. Here are five things I wish I would have done while in college
1. Intern. No one likes working for free but interning does give you a lot of great hands on experience that you won't get sitting in a class room. If you go into college with a pretty good idea of what you wan't to do, don't be afraid to start interning early! I waited until my second semester of Junior year to start interning and I wish I would have a lot sooner. The first thing people wanted to know when I started looking for jobs was what experience did I have.
2. Blog. When I was in school I honestly thought the only thing blogs were good for was keeping up with the latest celebrity gossip and what new songs were out. I had no clue that people were actually using their blogs to market themselves. I definitely suggest starting a blog. Not only can you put it on your resume as proof that you can form a complete sentence, it also gives you easy access to meet others in your field. I've even seen people have a link on their blog so potential employers can view their resume.
3. Network. IF YOU DON'T DO ANYTHING ELSE GO OUT AND NETWORK! Join clubs, get involved, ask questions, you can even send a friendly email to a potential employer just introducing yourself. I promise at the end of the day it really is about who you know. I emailed the director over my colleges public relations office just to ask her for advice and it ended up being my very first internship. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there.
4. Freelance. So you've gotten a little bit of experience under your belt and you think you can handle a few projects on your own? Go out and freelance! You'll be amazed at what type of opportunities you may come across and it will even put a little bit of change in your pocket. You may even realize that you'd be better off working on your own. heellooo new entrepreneur :)
5. Be Self Taught. You will NOT learn everything you need to know about your field in the class room. And I'm saying this from experience. If you feel like you need to know a little more about your particular field don't be afraid to sit on Google for a few hours a week and figure it out yourself. I actually encourage it! No matter what your career path is never stop learning!
One other thing I wanted to add is DON'T QUIT YOUR "REGULAR" JOB. I had one professor tell me that and I thought she was crazy when she said it (because I just knew I'd have my dream job). Looking for your dream career can be a long process so in the mean time stick it out with the job you have now and don't be afraid to keep freelancing or finding a position that may not be in your desired field. or start a business ;)
What advice would you give college students?