If there is one thing that I have learned after being three semesters in at the University of Miami, it is that experience is the biggest key you can have into landing a job after college. College so far has been almost great to me but there are things that I wish I had known before arriving on that first day and experiencing my new life.
When arriving on the first day, you should locate where your school’s career center is and become acquainted with all of the programs and events that they have. The programs and events are full of helpful advice to help you land an internship and gain experience in the real world for what profession you may want to work in. As a freshman, you may think that this is not as important and that you should wait for next year. That is a lie. My best friend at the University of Texas got a paid internship in Seattle over the summer. The company flew him out to Seattle, paid for his apartment, and also took him and other interns out into the city to explore. Now I know most internships that are available to freshmen and sophomores will be unpaid, but the experience you gain is worth it and also helps you land a job in the future.
If you are in college now and have not yet created a resume, you need to make one as soon as possible. Your career center will help you build your resume if you are unsure of how to make one. It is important that you have a resume for any job you apply for from now on. With every year that goes by, your resume should be constantly changing and up to date with all of the experiences you have had, new skills you have learned, and awards you have received. Your resume from freshman year should not look the same as your resume from sophomore year. It is very important that you keep up your resume not only through college, but throughout the rest of your life.
As a student at the University of Miami, I major in industrial engineering with a minor in music business. As far as internships go I have not gotten any “industrial engineering” internship offers yet. I say this only because what you study in school does not matter as much as you think (unless you are trying to go into medical or law school). Most people do not work in a profession that is related to what they studied in school. For example, my mother went to the University of Miami and studied international finance and marketing, and now she makes a living working in healthcare reimbursement and government regulation in healthcare. This does not mean that school is not important, but in my mind, it is most important to secure internships and experience while you are in college. Most employers look into your experience and what you have done rather than your grades. I am not saying that grades are not important, but you should not put all of your focus into maintaining the best grades.
Some ways to increase experience is to become more involved with your school. If you join a club at school, be passionate about it and look for leadership opportunities on its executive board. Employers love when they see students that are involved in school, since it helps them get to know you better as a person and see if you are a good fit for their company. If I could go back a year ago into my freshman year, I would have been more involved with school and had gotten to know my career center better. Overall, getting internships and experience is very important in college and can help you be more successful in the future.