More than likely, you’re in college to increase your chance of getting into a great career–to get a job after you graduate. So how do you make sure your plan works?
Internships & part-time jobs
When I was a student (and still had hair), these things counted for a great deal. But now, they are indispensable. These opportunities are a great way to show you’ve gone beyond the classroom and have experience. It’s less about paying your dues and really more about life experience. It counts for a lot and can really help you to stand out.
Maybe you’re interested in office-related careers. Try for some part-time office jobs on campus. When we’re trying to help recent grads find work, these experiences are hugely helpful. Even something as simple as working in a retail position helps. While it does not necessarily groom you for office work, it does help with customer service/people skills and a variety of soft skills. Being able to tout soft skills is a huge help.
All that business about internships and part-time work ties into the idea of references. Besides the obvious benefit of getting experience, these opportunities also give you references. Every professional, regardless of tenure, depends upon their network of cheerleaders. People who know and believe in them. It’s essential, especially at the beginning of your career, to have people who will vouch for you. People who can say that maybe you’re a little green but are worthy of being given a chance.
There’s nothing more fantastic than talking to a reference who is super excited to give a shining review for a candidate. It truly goes a very long way.
Should I get a master’s degree right away?
Good question. The answer depends a bit on your major. For some fields (psychology and medical come to mind), you really can’t do much without additional degrees.
With that said, we’re focusing on our areas of business (accounting & finance, administrative, legal, professional, etc.). Most often, our clients greatly respect (and sometimes require) a bachelor’s degree. But often even more important is one’s ability to hit the ground running. Our clients would typically find a master’s degree to be impressive. They would not, however, see it as a substitute for experience.
Written by Adam Lafield, Recruiter & Marketing Specialist