Your college degree is worthless…that is unless you learn to supplement it accordingly and market it effectively. In Part 1 of this two-part post, we examine ways to supplement your college degree.
Before anything else, let me say this: YOU are in control of your career and your college education – don’t let that control slip away from you by handing over decision-making power to someone else. Of course it’s a good idea to ask for help from your parents, advisors, faculty, career counselors, friends, etc. But, the final decisions have to be yours.
Supplementing your college degree:
- You’ve gone to college to learn, both inside the classroom and outside of it. What you learn and how much you learn is up to you.
- For example, if you’re interested in pursuing a career in child development, and have signed up for a developmental psychology class, don’t assume your professor will bestow all that needs to be known about child development upon you. If there are certain aspects of child development that you know will be useful to you in your career (because you’ve been researching various employers in your field), utlize your prof’s office hours to discuss the topic in more detail. Think about writing a term paper on the subject. If you’re offered the opportunity to give a class presentation, make sure your presentation is about this topic.
- If you know you’ll need at least a working knowledge of specific tools, technologies or techniques, but don’t have time in your course schedule to add another class that will give you this specific knowledge set, explore other avenues on campus to gain the desired knowledge.
- For example, if you’re an English major with an interest in an editing internship but have no experience with QuarkXpress, ask around campus if there are faculty, staff, grad students or other students who would be willing to give you a quick tutorial, or better yet, give you some time using the software.
- Outside the classroom or lab, look for ways to gain experience through student organizations.
- If you know managing a budget is a skill you’ll need in your career, consider becoming the Treasurer of campus group.
- If event planning is your interest, be the one to organize a rally or campus fundraiser.
- On-campus jobs are another excellent, and practical, source of experience.
- Need to demonstrate a background is sales? Get involved with phonathon.
- Want to shore up your multitasking skills? Look for a job in campus catering or food service.
- Future career calls for experience managing crisis situations? Consider opportunities with campus helplines, peer counseling, residence life or security.
There’s a wealth of experience waiting to be gained on campus, you just have to look for it. There’s plenty of experience to be gained off campus, as well.
- Internships and part time jobs are the most obvious sources, but also consider volunteering. (Just keep in mind that service is best performed for service’s sake, not as a resume padder.)