By Rikki Yanez
Blog Content Contributor
Whether you are majoring in accounting, computer science or journalism, furthering your college experience beyond just the schoolwork can get you ahead in your career field. Nobody really talks about how hard it is to find a job without having some sort of experience. Most jobs require you to have a year or two of experience in that specific field of study. Let’s face it: if you don’t start now it could be tough once graduation rolls around. However, some things that will provide you with experience, as well as open up doors for you, include: joining clubs related to the career you want to pursue, getting an internship, and networking or going to career fairs.
Joining clubs in college that relate to the career you would like to pursue can help you gain more knowledge about that subject. Joining a club or an organization can be a learning experience as well, since it can teach you how to properly engage with people or how to work with certain tools depending on the club you join. Clubs and organizations can also get you involved with the community and show you the ropes of how things work if that field. Don’t just limit yourself to clubs that are specifically related to the career you want. Joining a variety of clubs can help you decide if the career path you would like is right for you or not.
Getting an Internship
Getting an internship is a firsthand experience of what that career field has to offer. Internships require you to dedicate your time and show what you can bring to the table, as well as require you to be professional as if you were employed there, since you are representing the company by the work you do. The work you do during your internship will provide you with the experience you need when applying for jobs. It can also help you gather up work you’ve done over the course of the internship to use to build a portfolio to show future employers.
If you start networking now you will open doors to meeting, as well as making yourself known to, future employers. This will also show future employers that you are willing to go above and beyond to reach your goals which is a very admirable quality. Networking can also provide you with more information about what the career entails and what kind of qualifications or knowledge they require, which can guide you when choosing what classes you should take in college. Career fairs are a great way to start networking, since it can show you what kind of companies are in your area and will give you the opportunity to ask questions that you would like to know.
College is the right time to start furthering your career and start going out of your way to work on projects, internships, and connecting with people that can help further your career. It’s better to gain experience now rather than later. Having experience before you graduate will not only look good on your resume, but it will put you ahead of other applicants that don’t have the experience that you have.
Featured illustration by Rikki Yanez.