Students associate university with their future career, and often find themselves asking the question “Does going to university get you a good career?” but do not give enough thought and consideration into what they can do during their degree to really enhance their chances of being successful. There is so much you can do whilst study that will look amazing on your CV and really give you that boost once you become a graduate.
There are work experience opportunities everywhere during your three years at university, and they’re not only limited to unpaid and unfulfilling experience miles away in a bit city. Work experience can include becoming involved in a society or club at university that is connected to what you want to do for a career. If you want to be a Features Writer in a top magazine, you can seek out Journalism or writing societies and get stuck in! Even if your university doesn’t have anything specifically journalism based you could do any form of writing for any society, for example on their website, leaflets or newsletters. Work experience is really going to boost your CV because employers are looking for candidates who have actually done some aspects of the job that they’re applying for.
Any job that is somewhat related to what you want to do career-wise will help you in the future. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t the first step on the ladder you want to climb, as long as it is connected it will look positive on your resume. You will learn skills and talents from this job that you can boast and brag about in the interview, and then apply them when you get the job.
Never underestimate the power of being self-employed, or be frightened of the word ‘freelance’. Becoming a freelancer is easier than you think and less scary than you can imagine. You can have a chat with your careers advisor about the best ways to advertise yourself and to know when you are being paid well for your services. There are lots of websites online for photographers, designers and writers to find freelance work and to be paid a decent wage for it too!
If in doubt about a job; volunteer. If you want to be the next leading Psychologist in criminal activity, then you’re going to have to get experience to help you get there. Some experience is just not in paid work form, but that doesn’t mean you have to work 50 hours a week either. You can volunteer as little and as often as you can, and it will look fantastic once you leave university.
You should always allow time for you to work on your own stuff, from that painting to blogging. Your projects will interest you, excite your senses and captivate your imagination. You’re going to care an awful lot about them and you should! By giving yourself time to really focus on your own work will help you feel better about your studies and where you are in relation to the end goal. It will also give you the chance to hone your skills and find that niche area you can explore.
By doing one or all of the above and raving about them on your CV, you’re showing how you are committed to what you care about and can follow through projects and ideas to the very end. It shows dedication and how you’re actually interested in the subject and area you’re studying. Employers love to see passionate and enthusiastic individuals and your application will stand out from the crowd. When everyone leaves university, the world is full of thousands of more graduates and you need to get that head start to get yourself to where you want to be.
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