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What to Do Now to Help You Get a Job Later

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Murray State chapter.

The biggest fear for every college senior (besides failing and not being able to graduate) is not being able to find a job after graduation. After interning this summer in Washington DC, I learned several things that would have helped me earlier in my college career. Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, it is never too early to start thinking about internships and jobs. Seniors, it’s also not too late. 

Look into Pathways

The Pathways program is an opportunity for students to work for federal agencies (such as NASA) through internship and job opportunities. Upon completion of the program and graduation from college, the student has the opportunity to become a full-time civil servant. Though this program is highly competitive, it is a great opportunity that I did not know about until it was too late.  

Apply for internships, even as a freshman

I’d always heard that companies prefer to hire seniors for internship positions. While this is true for a lot of places, some organizations hire younger interns. If you have specific companies that you are interested in but you’re only a freshman, double check the company/organization’s website. The earlier you can obtain an internship, the more experience you can obtain, and experience is a huge advantage when looking for jobs.

Gain leadership experience

Leading an organization or running an event shows that you have management skills and are capable of handling a lot of responsibilities. Having leadership experience also proves that you are innovative, that you have more to offer than the ability to follow directions.

Connect and network

Networking can be intimidating. A lot of people aren’t good at talking to people that they don’t know. Instead of scaring yourself, take your networking opportunity and use it as a chance to ask for guidance, find out how that person got where they are. Remember that we’re all just people and that this is more than just a chance to get your name out there; it’s a chance to learn a lot of interesting things about people. Show genuine interest and believe in yourself/your accomplishments, and you will find it easier to connect with others. 

Make opportunities

The best way to stand out is to show that you’re passionate and wiling to go out of your way to improve yourself. Anyone can go through the motions of going to class, doing homework, working a minimum wage job, and attending a club or two. Find something you care about and start a project. Build your portfolio with writing, projects, art, and experience. Create opportunities for yourself.

While college can be hectic, take the time to invest in your career and your future. Grades are good, but they’re not everything. Dedicating time to projects and internships now can help ease your anxiety during the job search later.           

Sydney Wedbush

Murray State

Sydney Wedbush is a junior English/Creative Writing major at Murray State. When she's not reading or writing for class, she's reading and writing for fun. Want to find her in her natural habitat? Check the book store or library, and make Harry Potter references.