Attending college is beneficial for a wide variety of reasons. It’s an opportunity for students to discover and pursue their passion. It’s an opportunity to meet friends that often last a lifetime. It’s an opportunity to enrich both mind and body through education, extra-curricular activities, and more. And let’s not kid ourselves, it’s an opportunity to have a great time with fellow students.
But at the end of the day, students attend college for one overriding reason—to prepare for a great career. So today, we’re going to talk a bit about that process. Specifically, we’re going to address a common misconception, and share an under-utilized strategy for landing a great job.
First, the misconception: Moststudents believe that the job search begins upon graduation. But it doesn’t—or at least, it shouldn’t. In fact, the job search process can begin as early as your first or second year of school.
And here’s how: by pursuing internships in fields relevant to your desired career path.
You see, the right internships can be a bigger asset to your career than virtually anything else—including your GPA, your extra-curricular accomplishments, and any honor societies you join. Why? Because an internship is real life experience. Unlike class work, it’s not theoretical. It is real. You learn important skills, such as:
- How to relate to other professionals
- How to earn respect from colleagues and supervisors
- How to deal with the “nuts and bolts” of daily work
- How to multitask
- How to produce results and meet deadlines
These skills are every bit as important to your career trajectory as are your academic skills.
But there’s more. Arguably the best part of an internship is that it is an opportunity to build relationships with professionals and employers in your industry. The supervisor during your internship may have the ability to hire you when you graduate, or at least put in a good word with you to human resources. And if that particular business isn’t hiring, you can bet that your supervisor will be happy to put in a good word for you as you apply for jobs elsewhere
So if you’re a college student right now, or you’re about to enter college, here’s some of the most important advice we can give you regarding your career: make landing an internship a top priority. And don’t settle for just one. Many colleges nowadays require that a student experience an internship in order to graduate—but there is no reason to settle for just one. The more opportunities you get to experience “real life” in your desired industry, the better off you will be for it. If you’re not sure where to begin, speak to the career center at your school—they will have resources and advice for you, and in many cases they will even be able to line up interviews. In the meantime, feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more!