College is a time and place where you're supposed to have fun and make friends, but also set yourself up for a career after graduation. Here are the top 5 things I would recommend to someone that's graduating soon and wants to prepare!
One of the best things you can do to set yourself up for success after graduation is to practice being interviewed. For a lot of people, your first job after college will be your first “adult” job in your life. These interviews can be a little intimidating and scary, so mock interviews are a great way to build confidence and prepare. You might be thinking “How will a mock interview help me interview in the real world for a real job?” and that’s a good question! Sure, the content of these “fake” interviews might be different than what you’ll actually be interviewing for, but the basic principles are the same – you have to be able to think quickly, relate your experiences to the questions, and figure out how to connect with the interviewers each time. At the end of the day, you will feel more comfortable in a real interview if you have practiced, and if you’re more comfortable you’ll do better. All this will give you a better chance to land your dream job!
Redo your Resume
You probably already have a resume (and if you don’t, you need one!) but beyond that, it needs to stand out. When a recruiter is going through a stack of resumes, anything you can do to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pile will go a long way! There are plenty of resources out there to help you add a bit of color and style to your resume without sacrificing your professionalism. Canva is a great website to start with! Also, it’s good to remember that different industries have different standards for what they’re looking at when considering a resume. They need to focus on specific things like projects and competitions you’ve taken part in, clinical rotations you’ve been through, or articles and papers you’ve written - all of these need to be showcased differently. Take another look at your resume and see how you can change it up and make it stand out.
Use your Professors
Professors are there to help you, so let them! Go to their office hours or stay after class and ask questions. Not only can they help you understand the class material, but they also have a lot of career advice. Also, professors are excellent to have as referrals on your resume. Most of the time, professors know people that work at the places you’re trying to apply to, and they can help you get internships or other unique opportunities. Never underestimate the power of a personal contact!
Take a class because you’re interested in it, not because you have to
If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend taking a class that has nothing to do with your major. Not all learning should be boring, and this is a great way to keep you engaged throughout the years as a student. Plus, you’ll get to see different parts of campus, meet new teachers and classmates, and learn about a new subject!
Internships can be incredibly helpful, but even if you don’t have time for a full-length internship, you can usually shadow someone in your field of study for a day. Both are great opportunities! Internships are usually the first time you get to see what the industry really looks like and how it actually operates. This can help you start to figure out what you want to do after graduation and what specific role in your field you want to get into. The more people you can talk to, shadow, or intern with, the more prepared you will be for life after college.
At the end of the day, college is a really great time in your life, but it can also be very stressful. Hopefully this list can give you a place to start so that everything doesn’t seem so overwhelming!
Posted by Brinkley