I’ll be the first to admit it: I’ve been out of work for an inexcusable amount of time. My graduation from the University of Oregon came and went in December and my naivety led me to believe that there would be a salaried job waiting for me once I had a college degree.
After hundreds (feels like thousands) of sent resumes, informational interviews, and connections made through family and friends, I’m still jobless.
While I remain excited about the career path that I have chosen – working in communications in Oregon — there are three things I would have done differently in college given the chance:
1. Intern. Most importantly, I would have interned between junior and senior year. That means looking for potential internships during my sophomore year. I was not so focused during those college years. Many employers today look for graduates to have multiple internships under their belt before giving them an opportunity, so it’s good to get a leg up sooner rather than later.
2. Join clubs and groups. As an advertising major, I worked on many class projects that added lots of pieces to my portfolio. But there is only so much you can do in class and with friends. There were groups like the Ad Team, Allen Hall Advertising, and the National Student Advertising Competition that met frequently and worked on other material that I should have participated in. By not joining, I missed out on opportunities to create new content outside the classroom.
3. Network. Although I am shy and the idea of talking with strangers terrifies me, I should have forced myself to attend events, lectures, and networking opportunities. Not only would I have made connections that would have helped with my job search, but I would become more comfortable dealing with those situations in the future.
I regret not taking advantage of the resources that I had available at the time but with my new internship here at “Mac’s List” and the wealth of knowledge that I’ve gained since graduation, I feel that I am well on my way to finding a permanent, full-time job in communications.
What would you go back and change to make you a more marketable recent graduate?
Image used under Creative Commons from Flickr user Alex E. Proimos