Student Life Hacks: Build Your Career While Still in College

Posted by iGrad on Apr 14, 2017 7:00:00 PM

Featured-Areas-Blog-Post-4.14.17-(357x194).jpgHave you ever wondered why college graduates have difficulties with the transition into real life? They are not prepared to face the responsibilities that come with that stage of adulthood. If you spend your years at college studying and writing papers, you won’t be ready for a career even if you get the best grades.

Theoretical knowledge is important, but practice is crucial for success.

College students should start building a good foundation for their future career while still in college. You want to leave your university not only with knowledge, but also with skills you need to face the tough competition. Here are some tips that will help you begin building your career:

Apply for an Internship
You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Focusing on an internship is the best way to gain the experience you need. There are many companies that offer internship programs that allow you to become part of their collective for a specific period of time. Internships may be paid or unpaid, but the important thing is that you’ll get a chance to start working for the company if you show superb skills during the internship.

Maggie Williams, who graduated last year, has a nice story to share: “I always wanted to work for a magazine. The Devil Wears Prada is my favorite film. I knew that an internship was my first step to success, so I applied for a position at a local magazine. Everyone noticed how passionate I was for this job. Near the end of the program, my boss put me in charge of an interview with a celebrity. In that moment, I knew they wanted to keep me. And, they did. I got a real job with the magazine right after I graduated, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Start Freelancing
This is a great opportunity for students to make money while studying. However, freelancing also gives them a chance to build careers in writing, editing, programming, online marketing, graphic design, art, makeup, photography, fashion design, and many other professions.

Liam Gilbert, currently working as a freelance writer, shares his story: “I always knew I wanted to be a writer. When I found out that I could start earning good money with freelance writing while in college, I didn’t wait too long before making the first steps. I started with freelancing platforms, and I came to the realization that academic writing was what attracted me the most. As soon as I graduated, I applied for a position at the local company, and the experience I gained during college was really important for the hiring process.”

Find a Mentor
Connections are extremely important for any career journey you have in mind. When you have a mentor who is successful in the profession you aim for, you’ll connect with other important people who can push you forward.

One of your favorite professors or teaching assistants can become your mentor while you’re still at college. They will give you great advice in terms of job-hunting, and they will write a good recommendation for you.

Create Professional Online Profiles
Forget about Twitter for a day, okay? It’s time to create your LinkedIn profile and be really serious about it. This is your virtual resume, which has to look good if you want to start making connections. Spend some time on LinkedIn every single day and connect with people who may help you build the career you want.

Don’t forget to create a blog that will present you as an authority in the relevant niche. A successful blog will be an addition of huge importance to your resume.

Attend College Events and Professional Conferences
College career events are great for making connections. Talk to the representatives of the companies that capture your interest and connect with them through LinkedIn. Market yourself in the best way possible. Tell them about your experience and successful projects at college, and don’t forget to mention your blog.

Professional conferences are also a great way to start building connections that will help you reach your career goals. You never know whom you may meet at these events.

Search for Career Opportunities at College
You know that your college has a career center, but you never bothered to see what that was all about? Believe it or not, the career center may lead to great opportunities. Colleges have agreements with local companies, which are always ready to employ talented students right after graduation. You’ll need to be a very active student and distinguish yourself from the competition, so these companies will want to make an offer to you.

Remember: no one will give you a career opportunity if you don’t search for it. If you don’t want to be stuck without chances for good employment after graduation, you have to start building a career while you’re still at college.

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Topics: iGrad, how to get a job for a college student, college student internships, college student and careers