The best thing you can do in 2020? Get experience
The idea of balancing study with attaining real-world industry experience can seem a little overwhelming, particularly if you’re also working throughout. However it’s one of the few things that can really help establish you in the eyes of future employers, and is pretty essential if you’re hoping to dive straight into your career post-graduation.
Need more convincing? Here are a few ways you can leverage the experience you gain during your time at university to help advance your career.
Shows your passion
One of the quickest and most sure-fire ways to establish your enthusiasm for an industry is by diving straight in.
Taking on opportunities to build you skills – be it through an internship, attending conferences, or taking part in work-ready programs – proves to future employers that you are driven, passionate, and committed both to your industry and building your skills.
It will also prove exceedingly helpful in building your resume, and can provide great fodder for answering those more probing interview questions.
Enhances your learning
While sinking time into gaining industry experiences can cost a lot of… well, time, it won’t necessarily mean you’re neglecting your studies.
When done correctly, undertaking an industry opportunity or program can help hammer home the lessons you’re learning in class, expand your perspective on the modules you’re studying, and help make the sometimes dry textbook content a lot more relevant to your daily life. It can also help lessen that initial learning curve you’ll have when transitioning from uni to the workforce.
So really, taking on these challenges may take time away from your studies every now and then but it also helps strengthen your time management skills, enhances what you’re learning in class, and helps you apply theories in a practical setting – winning!
Supports your decision
Being able to know for sure that you’re in an industry that’s the right fit for you is pretty invaluable, especially while you’re still studying.
Having a solid belief that you’re in the right place can help propel you through the challenges that come your way, and if you’ve never had industry experience before you graduate then it’s hard to be steadfast in that belief.
Plus, if you start undertaking this experience and find it’s not for you then you still have time to change things – whether that’s changing degrees or the area you’re majoring in.
Perhaps most importantly, gaining experience also means you’re expanding your professional network and reputation at the same time.
As we talked about last week, networking is perhaps one of the most important and most beneficial outcomes of working in your industry or partaking in a work-ready program while studying. It gives you a group of people who can help steer you in the right career direction, lets you explore more of your industry, introduces you to people who may want to work with you in the future, and expands the number of opportunities that could come your way.
If you’re starting to come around to the idea of building your skills while studying, then I’d suggest checking out 2020’s Accomplish Award program. It’s designed to help you develop the exact skills and expertise that employers are looking for, invites you to gain hands-on experience in your field, AND gives you a unique insight into the career landscape and recruitment process.
Basically, it helps you do everything we talked about in this post, and more. Applications are open – get yours in before the end of the year for your chance to WIN one of 4 $50 Visa gift cards.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
By Mia Casey