Whether you’re a mere freshman or a junior staring down the barrel of your senior year, you may feel that graduation looms over you like an immovable deadline of adulthood. While post-graduate life and finding an entry-level job can seem overwhelming, there are a number of tasks that can help prepare you for the real world. Here are some important career steps that every student should take before graduation.
Connect with professors
While you may see them as imposing academic authorities, many professors are open to developing mentoring relationships with students who seek their advice. In addition to helping you through your college career, professors can be valuable resources in your post-grad career search. If you feel a certain connection with a favorite professor or two, attend their office hours and make yourself known to them.
Though you might be tempted to treat your three and a half months of summer vacation like a personal vacation, this is time that should be used developing your professional resume. Even if you only find a job in a local department store, future employers will be happy to see you took the initiative to continue working throughout your college summers.
Get an internship (or two!)
If you haven’t already, you should be thinking about finding an internship to complete in addition to your academic coursework. By securing several internships throughout the course of your college career, you’ll gain a diverse and extensive resume while impressing potential employers with your initiative. Many colleges offer credit through internship programs both domestic and abroad, so you won’t need to worry about sacrificing grades for professional experience.
As you approach your junior and senior years of college, you should begin attending job fairs to help build networking connections and gain a realistic picture of the job market. Most schools hold business networking fairs, career seminars and expert panels at least once a year. You can also contact your college’s career services department for information about outside conventions.