Job advice for recent college graduates

My name is Veasna Kim and I am currently a senior at DePaul University in Chicago majoring in Public Relations & Advertising with a minor in Hospitality. I have lived in Chicago my entire life, and I could not be more blessed to have grown up in one of the country’s best cities! My future career goals would be to become a Copywriter for an advertising agency. I don’t think there’s anything cooler than driving down a highway and seeing your own words strewn across a billboard or sitting down to watch TV and your words appearing on that screen. I enjoy reading, watching movies, spending time with my friends and family, and participating in races. I have completed two half marathons and one full marathon.

Throughout a student’s college career, it is important to gain as much experience outside of the classroom as it is inside the classroom. Internships and jobs are a great way of giving you that “real world” feel before you graduate college. As a senior, the last four months have been filled with friends and family asking me, “What are your plans after college?” Quite honestly, there are so many things I want to do, but I have no idea where to begin. However, after networking with many people in the industry I intend on working in, I’m here to tell you: IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY.

Many colleges nationwide encourage you to hold an internship while taking classes. Some universities, like my own, also give you college credit for internships when taken in conjunction with an internship course. I advise you to check out your university’s career center for ideas on where to look for internships. DePaul University has a great database of internships that are updated frequently. I got my first internship through this database. It is important to find something that you may be interested in. It’ll definitely give you a real sense of what it would be like to work in that industry one day.

Now, I also know internship sounds like a lot of brunt work that students are asked to do because most of the time it’s free. However, there are a lot of paid internships out there. You just have to look. And, if there’s one thing I learned after visiting different companies this winter break, it’s that internships in your post-grad years is not a bad thing. Most internships that are directed towards post-grads are paid and have a higher potential of turning into a job after your internship term is over. I realized this quickly and it has given me a better peace of mind for my plans after college.

I also found that having a part-time job during college was very beneficial. If you’re like me, you pay for most things on your own. This is a great way to have some cash to help you get through college. If you’re lucky enough to have some financial support from your parents, think of this job as a way for some extra spending cash on yourself! It’s a win-win situation! I’ve found that by having a job, I have a great appreciation for the everyday worker. It is important to gain some sort of skill set before you graduate so that you can be prepared. It will allow you to learn how to work with different types of people and in different types of environment. I’ve held a few part-time jobs while in college ranging from retail to babysitting to working in an office. All these jobs have helped me gain more experience and basic skills I need to succeed in real world.

Internships and jobs are a great way to gain real world experience, and I highly recommend everyone have a couple of them under their belt by the time they graduate or when they begin applying for serious jobs!

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