Lawrence McGaffie graduated from The Art Institute of Houston with a B.F.A. in Digital Film and Video Production. He is currently a writer/producer at a T.V. station located in Houston,Texas. He is also a National Technical Honor Society alumni. In his spare time he enjoys learning motion graphics, reading and writing fiction.
As I was approaching my graduating I realized something. I need a job! After all, what good would it be to finally graduate and not be able to get work. If that is the case, what did all the late nights studying and preparing for test amount to? And when it’s all said and done, what next? I found a few things helpful that prepared me for the professional job world.
It is important to look for work in your field of study. One of the things I didn’t want to do was look for work just to be working. The lack of money is enough to drive any student to accept whatever job they can find. But while that may work out well as a freshman, the further you advance in your studies the more focused you need. Of course, the dark cloud of student loans does not help ease the pressure. So most students just work anywhere hoping that if they can just graduate everything will be better.
Well, I’m here to tell you everything will get better if you start early and if you pursue jobs that pertains to your major. I have found that it builds experience and lends credibility to your resumé. Employers want to know that you have at least some working experience in the professional job market.
Don’t be afraid to ask for internship opportunities or volunteer work available to students. It may not pay much but learning on the job is an invaluable skill. Study and research your area of study and pay close attention to the companies that are friendly to students and entry level employees. Attend campus job fairs regularly just to get a feel for who is out there. Ask your professors to suggest employers who do not mind giving a college student their first chance. My first internship came by one of my professors who knew a hiring manager. And that experience became my first job.
But you don’t have to wait for an internship, be proactive! Apply for work study programs at your school or become a tutor in subjects that support your major. It helps you to teach others while you are still learning. Not only will tutoring help you keep track of how much you know,it will help you discover what areas you are the strongest and where you need to pay more attention. And do not be afraid to get tutored yourself. Every little bit counts toward your future.
Join professional campus organizations where you can also. The Honor Society and Student Ambassadors programs help to develop communication and team work skills. It also shows an employer that you are willing to go the extra mile to help others and yourself to develop.
Finally, build relationships and network. I didn’t understand the power of networking until I received that email from my professor looking for interested candidates. He only sent emails to the people he knew would be interested and those who showed a peculiar interest in building their careers.
Invest in yourself and keep searching. Hey, you’re already in college that was the first step. Now grab your future by the horns and take charge!