If you’re impatient to start your career in business, college can make you feel like you’re stuck in a holding pattern at times. However, there’s a lot you can do to help you prepare for your first job after college and for long-term career success.
Get Your Basics in Order
First things first, and that means attending the best school you can for your major. Keep in mind that the best school doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive or even the top-ranked one. A number of things go into making a school a good one for you, including how well attending it fits into the rest of your life, the campus culture and what’s on offer in the specific discipline that interests you. You also need to consider how you’ll pay for your education.
You are able to search online for college scholarships. Sometimes, these can pay most or all of the entire cost of your degree. For this reason, while you should keep money in mind when you’re looking at schools, you should also remember that you may actually end up paying only a small amount if you are diligent about finding and applying for scholarships and grants.
Surround Yourself with the Right People
There are two reasons that you need to do this. One is that it will give you the right ambitious mindset to ensure that you make the best of your time and stay focused on your goals. When you’re around those who are highly motivated, that rubs off on you. The other is that your classmates and others that you meet during your college years will be among the first people that you network with. If you’re surrounded by talented, hardworking people, you may end up working with them off and on throughout your professional life.
Make the Most of Learning Resources
You can get as much or as little out of your classes as you put in, and you should take this opportunity to minimize everyday stress and maximize what you are able to learn in this time. Do the extra reading, pick up the extra project and take advantage of your professors’ office hours to stop in and chat about the coursework. Take some classes outside of the business school as well. Courses such as communications, philosophy, psychology and economics can all give you valuable insight and skills that you can use in your career. Take the opportunity to attend talks, join student organizations, and participate in other extracurricular activities.
Getting an internship is one of the best ways to gain valuable experience and get more networking opportunities, so you should find out about what is available and apply for as many as are suitable based on your planned career path. However, even if you are unable to obtain an internship, you can get valuable experience from related part-time work. Ideally, you could work in the industry that you eventually hope to have a career in, but any kind of office job can help you start to get acquainted with the norms and conventions of such a position.