3 Tips College Students Should Know for Career Success

Written by: Cosme Lozano

When we enter college, we enter it wide eyed and optimistic about the future. The world is seemingly at our fingertips, waiting for us to reach out at it. All this enthusiasm and energy can quickly dissipate for a multitude of reasons, such as an increasing social life, work duties, stressful classes, etc. Before you know it, you’re on your last first day of school as a college senior. College goes by fast and it is easy to get lost in the shuffle of the day to day motion. To avoid unneeded stress, in an already stressful time, we offer the following tips to best position yourself for success in life post college!

  1. Do the hard things

When I say this, I don’t mean to go take 7 classes, and be the club president for three clubs. While all of that is great, I mean this on a simpler scale. By just staying on top of your homework and classes, you win half the battle. If you can do this and do it consistently, you will start to build a good foundation for yourself going forward. Part of it is having a sense of accomplishment for doing well in those classes, while also building discipline within yourself. From here, you can start to add more responsibility and duties. Maybe venturing out and becoming the club president for a club related to your intended career in the future. Or maybe working on the student government board. It can even be something as simple as working an on campus job at your university. By continually challenging yourself to do the little things right, you start to create a better version of yourself. You start tearing down walls and eventually you start looking forward to greater challenges.

2. Make yourself available to learn new things

One of the worst things a student can do during their time in college is not take advantage of opportunities to enhance and expand their knowledge. Great opportunities present themselves in a multitude of ways while on campus. These experiences can help cultivate students real world experience through teaching you skills that may relate to your intended career, or new social skills. It’s possible you will do things you are unfamiliar with, such as working with a budget, organizing meetings for members or employees, or conducting interviews. Average college students are not really doing these things, at least not frequently. Get ahead of the game, and learn them now! Shelcy Joseph, a career development writer for Forbes said this on the matter, “Many reported feeling like their college experience did not provide the critical skills they need to transition into the workforce, such as solving complex problems (43%), resume writing (37%), interviewing (34%) and job searching (31%)” (Joseph, 2018)

When you eventually enter the workforce, you can hit the ground running and stand out against your fellow colleagues. You can even take this a step further by seeking professional opportunities. While in college you are in a continual state of learning. Just because you are always learning does not mean you can’t apply what you already know. The goal is to keep looking for ways to implement preexisting knowledge, while still having a stream of new experiences follow.

3. Just start

Failure to start is undoubtedly one of the leading causes as to why college students get overwhelmed as they approach graduation. This can happen because you keep avoiding things you know you need to do. You push off that career fair to next year. You push off writing your resume for next week instead. You push off applying for that internship because you want to go hang out with your friends tonight. Life happens and we all can get really busy, that’s ok. What matters is that you follow through with what you want to do. You don’t want to find yourself pushing everything off because eventually it will all catch up to you at an inopportune time. Starting anything for the first time can be extremely daunting. From personal experience, I was a brand new freshman who was wowed by the complexity and vastness of USFs radio station. Never in a million years did I think that in my third year of college, I would be running the programming and business side of the station. I have met so many new and great people, and doors have been opened for me because I wanted to challenge myself with something new. I do not regret my decision, and I am glad I accepted the offer for the job, even though I was scared of failing. It has all gone really well, and I am looking forward to doing even bigger things for my senior year at the radio station. Moral of the story, don’t underestimate yourself. You are talented, you are skilled, and you are worthy of the task. Just start.