Best Foot Forward: A College Student’s Guide to Starting Right: Step One: Realization

 

Every college student knows in this economy you have to have an extra edge to get hired. With the unemployment rate rising, and the large number of graduates with their degrees in hand ending up back at home with their parents or working at the local fast food joint, this fact is all too apparent. The question of exactly how to distinguish yourself in a market as dead as our current one sometimes stumps the best of us.

 When shuffling through the list of ways to pump up a resume, we stumble upon the need for leadership roles, volunteer positions, awards, high GPA’s, membership in Greek life, and a whole host of other activities besides our academic work. Yet when looking for a job, the most common question an employer will ask is, “What set of skills do you bring to the table or do you have any other professional job experience?” As a college student myself, I, too, find myself asking, with what time do employers expect students, with all their studies, to find part-time jobs and other extracurricular activities to learn a set of skills and to actually have time or the opportunity to acquire some professional experience? These questions become frustrating, overwhelming, and often get overlooked as students simply push towards their graduation date, thinking a degree in hand will be enough.

Yet as many of us have discovered, possessing a degree is no longer a guarantee to get into the professional world. As a matter of fact, if that is your only selling point, you may only get as far as being a barista at your corner coffee shop. Not to minimize such jobs, but those individuals who are looking to succeed in their field of choice will attest that this extra edge can be gained in only one place and setting. The answer: to be an intern at a company that will let you get hands-on and up close and personal experience in the field you seek a professional career in. Once students come to this realization, they have taken the first step towards acquiring an internship that will offer them the experience they need. In an economy where most graduates are unemployed, this extra edge will give you much better odds at getting that job that so many will be vying for.

Blogger: Amanda Martin

Comtech Media Relations and Advertising Intern

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