With the academic year ending soon, some students are at the threshold of graduating from college. At this stage, they are busy with college placement, collecting No Due certificates and exam hall tickets, and trying hard to furnish some academic requirements of final semester. While many of them are filled with emotions about their time spent in the college, they are also excited about what the future will bring for them.
This phase is considered to be testing as the students are moving from a comfortable environment to a much more dynamic and challenging one. Not to forget, in spite of the challenges, graduating students have to wind-up their degree with a good bang.
Factors to consider
While there is plenty of advice on how students can choose the right degree programme, not much is given as to what they can do when it is ending. Here are a few tips that can help you out in this light:
Leave college with a job in hand: Placement is the most crucial activity for outgoing students. While most of you may participate in the placement drive, some of you may not take part due to many reasons such as the company's profile, its location and salary package. You should remember that the first job you get may not be your dream job. Hence, you need to understand your capabilities and current skill set and make an informed decision. This will make you feel secure in a world that is characterised by competition.
Co-curricular activities: Many students might have participated in various extracurricular and co-curricular activities. However, at times, you may not recollect all the activities that you have participated in. So, take some time out to make a list of all the events that you coordinated, participated and won. Ensure that you have certificates for all the events you have participated in. Once you have compiled the list, think of a way that you can showcase them in your profile.
Build a network of contacts: Another important aspect to be considered is to gather contacts. Having contacts in the industry you intend to work in may help build your career further or may help you generate business if you are looking to be an entrepreneur. These contacts, which are usually gathered inside the campus, are very vital, and these potential contacts can be gathered from the alumni cell, placement cell, faculty members, various forums of the college and classmates.
Get testimonials: There are many ways you can get testimonials. These can enrich your profile. LinkedIn, a professional networking site, is not only a good platform to create a professional profile but it also enables you to get some testimonials from your contacts. These testimonials are considered reliable and authentic. These will certainly help during your placement. Some of the best contacts to get testimonials are professionals with whom you have worked with during internships and faculty members. Make sure that you have at least four testimonials before you complete college.
Spick and span social media presence: Many recruiters have turned to social media to know more about their potential employees. The employers will be keen to know their views and interests. Usually, employers look out for any sort of discrepancies or warning signs that potential employees may show online. So, before stepping into the professional world, ensure that your online presence is harmonic and reflects a better taste.
Contribute content: One of my mentors once mentioned, "How much content that you upload is more important than how much you download from Internet." This is something that I firmly believe in. During the course of the degree programme, you may have made a lot of content for your assignments. The content that you have prepared for your assignments like the PowerPoint slides and documentaries can be uploaded online and be shared. Provided that the content is original, you can share them by uploading them on appropriate online portals like SlideShare and YouTube.
Show gratitude: Students should believe that the institute and faculty members always have good intentions for their students. You can't judge an institute or a faculty member by considering recent issues that may have cropped up. It's important to avoid getting into blame games, as one will not have any time to rectify his or her mistake. This will leave a bad impression about the batch.
Talent spotlight: Many colleges organise a variety of activities for final year students to showcase their talent one last time in college. The send-off party, cultural gatherings and high tea party with director are such occasions.
Make an action plan: Last but the most important, have your action plan ready. This is important to do while one is still in college as one can seek advice from a faculty member. The action plan includes taking-up your first job, gathering information about career advancement and how you can move ahead.
These are some tips that can help you successfully transition from college to career. So, plan accordingly as it doesn't matter how one has started but rather how one wants to end it.
(The author is assistant professor, Bapuji B-Schools, Davanagere)