I have been out of college now for quite a few years. I graduated with my Bachelors Degree from Rowan University back in 2016. If you don’t know anything about me, I majored in Radio/Television/Film, which to no surprise isn’t necessarily an easy field to get into. However, it is not impossible, it is never impossible.
With hard work, dedication, creativity and perseverance, I landed a job at my dream company right out of college. Don’t get me wrong, I applied to countless jobs before even landing an interview. There were times that I had become so frustrated with rejection that I questioned if what I wanted to do with my life was really possible. However, no matter how frustrated I became, I kept on going.
Now, being at my job for a handful of years, I can honestly say that I have learned so much, in addition to what my years in college have taught me. Since graduating, I have had a handful of students (most of which are majoring in what I majored in) ask me what they need to do to land a job after graduation, or what kind of advice I can give them.
So, I’ve decided to round up a couple of tips that I have for students getting ready to graduate and transition into that post-grad life.
1. Don’t procrastinate. Put yourself ahead of the game.
We’ve all been guilty of it at one point or another, waiting until the last second to cram that important project due the next day into the wee hours of the night. This is something you want to try your absolute best not to do in college. Sure, there will be some things that you will have to put off doing, but if you have the chance to get work done ahead of time, do it. If you know that you’re starting a new section of lectures in class the next day, read ahead the night before so you are prepared with questions during the lecture. If you are given an assignment, get started on it right away. That way you can give your eyes a rest from the project for a while, go back a few days later and look over your work. Chances are you will find edits that need to be made. Believe me, you’ll thank yourself later.
2. Apply for as many internships while you’re in college as you can.
Internships are crucial when it comes to learning what you need to know to work in the field you’re trying to work in. While you will learn a lot from classes in school, the real hands on learning experiences comes from internships. Not only will internships look stellar on your resume, but having internships allows you to work side by side with professionals in the field you are majoring in and allow you to get a feel for what it is you will be doing one day, and if it’s something you really would like to do for the rest of your life.
3. Put together a portfolio of all your work before applying to jobs.
Depending on the job field you are applying in, having visuals of your work is always a plus. Putting together a portfolio of your best work before applying to jobs can help you go a long way. Portfolios are most important for those looking to work in any kind of creative or writing fields. For example, if you’re looking to get a job in film you’ll want to put together a reel of all your directing/editing/producing work, depending on what you’re applying for. If you’re looking for a journalism job, you’ll want a portfolio of writing samples or even live reports if you’re looking into broadcast journalism. If you’re looking for a graphic design job, you’ll want a portfolio of your best graphics and art. If you find that you don’t have solid work to show, go out and pick a business or brand and put together “mock work” to make into a portfolio, film a mock commercial for them or put together a mock graphics kit. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
4. Open the door to all opportunities.
The best opportunities come in disguise. Just because you want a certain job title one day, doesn’t mean you can’t take a different job title today. You never know what life may throw at you. You really can’t knock a job title, until you try it. You may find that there is more opportunity in that job you never thought of taking before. In the end, it can only benefit your resume.
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Classes, work, internships, school clubs and everything else your college years can bring can easily become overwhelming. While I encourage you to stay on top of your work, don’t forget to enjoy your college years. Have fun when you can. The memories you make in college will last you a lifetime, you’ll want to remember these years as some of the best of your life. Give yourself a break every once in a while, go out and do something you enjoy with people you enjoy spending time with.
I hope that this post encourages you to make the most of your college years, and motivate you to plan for your future.
I’d love to hear your success stories! Feel free to leave them in the comments, or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you could have your story featured!