What are your plans for after university? Will you immediately start out in the working world or move back to your parents? Many students don’t like to return to their parents’ house after graduation. Well, whatever you decide to do, you’ll need to do more than sitting in lectures and socialising with friends after class.
Heading off to university is a smart choice to make as it’ll prepare you for a rewarding career. It’s good to focus on your exams, assignments and making new friends, but you also need to consider creating a plan for after university. What will you do? Where will you go? It might feel like it’s still a long time to go but realistically it’s around the corner.
As a student, you’ll be motivated to find your bliss and happiness. You’ll also be encouraged to experience life. And with that, you should identify your different skills and see whether they’ll help you get started with your career.
Here are a few things you should do that will help you when starting out in the working world.
Pay a visit to your career centre
You shouldn’t assume that the career centre on campus only caters for accounting or engineering majors. They are open to everyone. So no matter what you major in, pay a visit to your career centre and enquire about employment opportunities. There you’re also likely to learn how to write a CV and cover letter. These centres usually have computers with internet, so you can research potential companies and employers. This is also the perfect opportunity to learn a few interview skills. And make sure to network with other students to find out their interests and career options.
Do an internship or two
Prospective employers are only looking for the best employees. And in today’s competitive job market, you have to do everything in your power to stand out from the crowd. You should have a glowing CV, a list of extramural activities and, on top of that, previous professional experience. But where do you get experience as a university student? Well, doing an internship is your answer. You could either do a local or international internship, depending on your preferences.
Should you consider volunteering?
University life is all about experiences. If you want to do something that will pay off big later in life, you’ll have to explore and be adventurous. And what better way to do that than by volunteering for an NGO? Like an internship, you could either do it locally or internationally. If you’re following the international route, you should check out Médecins Sans Frontières. They have many opportunities for local and international students.
You already have a busy life as a student and still have to make time for socialising, but volunteering can really add value to your overall university experience. It’s also a bonus to have volunteering work on your CV. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re applying to, employers always want to see that you’ve done something valuable with your time. And having this kind of experience in your pocket can be an avenue for getting internships which could turn into a full-time job.
Learn a second language
Graduates who are fluent in two or more languages usually stand out from the rest. If you haven’t mastered a second or third language yet, your university years are the perfect time to do so. And if you perhaps study abroad, make friends with someone speaking that language and practise with them. With the current unemployment rate, bilingual individuals will have a competitive edge over others. Learning another language will tell potential employers that you’re open to a diverse group of people. Which will act as a bonus in the long run.
Get a part-time job
Many times, your part-time job can introduce you to your preferred career after university. Your student job will allow you to gain important introductory experience in the working world. You’ll also have the opportunity to network with those in the field. It’s still beneficial if you work in a place not connected to your study field. It’ll look impressive to potential employers. You’ll at least have work experience to show on your CV. And the fact that you’re able to keep a job while studying attests to your level of maturity and responsibility.
All these things will not only be beneficial later in life but will also teach you some valuable life lessons. And when you expose yourself to these different things, you’ll develop various skills and understandings.