For undergraduates who are still studying and those in their penultimate year, to be prepared for your career life or continue on to grad school is important. As a student, the work and activities that you do in university can pay off in your future and lead you to success with the skills that you have acquired. There are a few tips that can help your preparation to succeed in your future, whether it be for your career or future studies.
1. Acquire and Grow Skills
The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to success would be to get enough experience that could land you a job. Being able to find the experiences you need, you are also acquiring and developing your skills. This includes the skills that you may have already had, or find yourself having new skills you didn’t have. Acquire the skills that you may need and develop them to be better. These skills that you acquire are key to your future job prospects and without the skills needed, you may not be able to get the job you wanted.
2. Internships and Volunteering
Use your break time wisely and apply yourself into internships or volunteer work. There are skills that you’re not able to gain on campus, and so internships and volunteer work are able to fill in the skills that you may lack in. This is also a great opportunity to work with others and an inside of what your future work environment could be in your chosen position. It also gives you work experience and tests your knowledge that you’ve learnt and be put into practice.
Internships and volunteer work also help you decide what you’re interested in. You have the opportunity to work in different fields and you may be able to learn more about yourself and discover that you’re really interested in. They also help you build your network of professionals that could guide you and help you in the future.
3. Build Your Network
Building a network and having relationships with various people is a key importance for when you graduate. Your network can help you in your future endeavours and help you transition into your career, whether it be looking for a job, looking for reference, or even just to help and mentor you.
Being able to nurture your network and creating relationships can also help you connect with more people; you never know when you’re in need of something that someone else may be able to help you with. Your network may include various people and groups that you may have met such as:
- Classmates, colleagues and even roommates;
- Peers and co-workers;
- Professors and supervisors;
- Campus staff;
- Organisational partners;
- Club members;
- And even family and friends
4. Document Your Achievements
It is a good idea to keep note and document all your achievements and accomplishments when you get involved. It allows you to keep track of what you’ve done, including the experience and skills that you may have gained for you to look back at.
The documents could help recruiters and prospective employers evaluate your work and performance. This way, you’re also able to be more specific in interviews and give examples that could highlight your skills and experience. Your document may include achievements such as:
- The clubs and campus jobs you’ve done, including your duties and dates;
- Internships and summer jobs;
- Events that you may have held and managed;
- Public speaking engagements;
- Awards you have won and what they were for;
- The courses you’ve taken and what you’ve learn;
- And any published work, etc.
5. Challenge Yourself
Be able to involve yourself and challenge yourself in experiences, responsibilities and activities that you may not be good or familiar with. Tackle your obstacles and the outcome could be surprising. You may discover things about yourself while achieving new skills and even a new interest, while also being able to gain the experience.
You may even discover your likes and dislikes to set you on a path for your future career that you wouldn’t have explored if you didn’t challenge yourself. Don’t be afraid to explore your field to get the maximum experience and knowledge for yourself.
6. Set Professional Goals
Setting a goal for yourself may help you stay clear on where you want to focus on and your future career. Your professional goals may help you shape your direction in classes, projects, and even the experience you may undertake.
Make sure to look at your resume and your achievements and find if you lack in anything that may be important for your field and future profession. Involve yourself in activities and work that are able to fill those caps and help you move in the right direction to your goal.
7. Do Your Best
The simplest way to put it is to do your best. You might have heard this plenty of times, however, working hard and doing your best allows you to be able to succeed and have an easier transition into your career life or further studies. Doing your best as an undergraduate wouldn’t hurt anyone, and instead be the push that you might need.
Doing your best doesn’t just mean to get good grades, but it also means to be active and participate on and off campus that could branch out into building your network and acquiring skills and experience that you may have missed out on. Benefits that you are able to find in working hard and being active may include:
- Possible hires from places that you’ve interned or volunteered in off campus
- Be able to get good reference from your professors, peers and club leaders. If you do your best, they would be more than happy to give reference.
- Gaining experience from the various activities that you’ve done. Your achievements and accomplishments are reflected in your resume and is useful for career opportunities and job interviews.
- Gaining skills and confidence in yourself from your experience that could put you above others in school and jobs
These are the few tips that may be able to help you prepare for your future career. Remember to set your goal and find your way towards your goal while gaining experience, acquiring skills and building your network. Take the opportunity to explore your field and your interests to learn more about yourself and find the professional path that suits you the most.
Idealists.org, Setting yourself up for success: Things you can do while you’re an undergrad, 2016, http://www.idealist.org/info/GradEducation/Resources/Preparing/Success