Four years sounds like a long time. 8 semesters sounds far more fleeting. 8 semesters give or take one or two additional semesters is the amount of time that the majority of college students have. You want to spend this time creating experiences for yourself that you can add to your resume and discuss during the job interview. There are far too many activities, clubs and programs at most schools for you to spend that time just going to class. It is your responsibility to use that time wisely. In many ways that means you will develop yourself holistically into a candidate that employers will want to hire. Dont’ waste time by thinking that you have alot of time. You will learn soon that those 8 semesters go by very quickly. Spend the time you do have getting most of your college experience. This means getting involved in ways that are meaningful.
It’s summer vacation and many of you are either in an internship or working in various areas (retail, bartending, serving). Summer vacation is a great time to plan and prepare your self marketing strategies for the Fall.
Begin to think strategically about where you wish to be hired during the upcoming recruiting season and create a concrete plan to target those organizations. Build relationships within and outside of your business unit and organization. Research companies and individuals of interests and develop contacts. Seek advice or suggestions from indviduals who are currently in a role that you find interesting. Remember to update your resume.
Do you have an interest in a particular profession or industry and you are unsure of exactly how to gain exposure to this area? I would like to suggest that you create an externship. An externship usually lasts between 1 day and 1 week. It’s an opportunity to shadow a business professional and/ or observe their work environment. It is also a way for employers to get a preview of how you would function within their company while providing you some exposure to a particular field of interest. Some times companies offer structured externship programs and other times they don’t. If you are interested in a particular company or industry I’d like to invite you to create your own externship, don’t wait for an employer to offer one to you. Determine the industry that you would like to work. Research companies in that field. Locate the appropriate HR representative and/ or hiring manager. Explain to them that you would like an opportunity to observe the nature of the profession or the work that is being performed in order to gain some insight as to whether or not the industry or career is an ideal fit for you. Create an outline of the job functions that you would like to see performed. Some companies will agree and others will not, however this is a useful tool for learning directly from professionals in the field. It is also a great way to develop your personal contact network while demonstrating that you are proactive about your professional development.