I am a recent graduate of the Boston University College of Communications. I am from Bristol, CT and have lived in Boston, MA and Atlanta, GA. I currently work as a freelance journalist. Writing is my passion and I hope to perfect my craft for the rest of my professional career.
I’ll bet that for most of your academic life, you have been told that the grades you earn are the crucial ingredient for concocting the future of your dreams. Yes for some college students, their grade point average determines some important aspects of their undergraduate studies such as making the Dean’s List, Financial Aid or even which dormitories they are housed in. However, in today’s academic world there is a common misconception that is engrained into the fabric of most young scholars: your college GPA will determine your future.
Now don’t get me wrong, a 4.0 from your University certainly wouldn’t hurt. It would show to future employers that you are a responsible, caring, and stellar student. Your parents would be very proud of you as well. The one thing that a great GPA will not guarantee you is the post-graduate job of your dreams. I personally know many students I attended college with who had a 3.5+ that are still struggling to find an entry level position in their career field!
According to a study done by AfterCollege, only 17 percent of college students have are working in their field as of this April. Many of the 17 percent employed did not receive perfect grades while attending their undergraduate programs. Most of the students in my graduating class who are now employed weren’t even asked for their GPA upon hire!
So what can you do (besides having amazing grades) to help your chances of landing your dream job after college? The first and most important tool you have is a student internship. Even when hiring graduates for entry level positions, most companies like to see some experience in that particular field. Having that experience on your resume through an internship or any form of work in that field during your schooling puts you ahead of the game when it comes to your search.
Another important piece to landing that career is the application process. Starting on the first day of your second semester senior year, you should start applying to everything. Even if it isn’t exactly the position you want, take the time to write a cover letter and fill out the application anyways. With the career market being as tough as it is today, it may take you hundreds of applications and dozens of interviews before you land a single job, let alone the one that you want.
The number of University attendees has grown significantly in recent decades, so has the pool of graduates entering the workforce, many of whom possess phenomenal GPAs. Now we must figure out a way to separate ourselves from the rest, and GPA is a miniscule means in which to do so. Through extracurricular activities, internships, part-time positions, and hundreds of applications you will be able to do just that, even without four years of stellar marks on your transcript. Don’t get discouraged when your first few dozen applications are met without response. It is tough out there but if you stay persistent and keep your attitude up you can earn a spot in your career of choice!