BY MELISSA BURNS
Many students perceive their time in college as the time that should be dedicated to studying and having a good time (ratio varies from case to case), putting the thoughts about career until after graduation. However, the ever-growing competition makes it more and more necessary to start promoting yourself as early as possible – which means that you will do yourself a world of good if you start building up professional reputation as early as the first year of college. But how does one do it?
1. Have a Plan Beforehand
For a long time it was an integral part of student culture to get into college now and figure out what you are going to do there and after getting a degree as you go along. Today, such an approach is getting less and less advisable due to rising tuition fees – the longer you spend in college, the greater debt you are going to amass and the longer it will take to pay it off. Therefore, the best thing you can do to ensure your future employment is to make a definite decision now and stick to it no matter what.
2. Build an Image through Blogging
Most companies nowadays check the online image of their potential employees, and having a long-standing regularly updated blog may do a good job in creating and supporting a professional image you would like others to see. You can learn blogging and web development for free online. Start a blog dealing with the industry you are going to work in and try to create original, meaningful content for it. This will broaden your horizons and, if you play your cards right, will allow you to meet many interesting and useful people. Web hosting doesn’t cost a fortune like it used to, so you are not going to pay through the nose to afford it.
3. Reduce Your Debt
The less debt you have after graduation, the better, it goes without saying. However, you needn’t wait until after graduation to start reducing it. Chances are, you will not be able to land your dream job immediately after graduating, so it is better to make less debt now than to work extra hard to remove it later. Leave at home instead of paying extra for campus housing. Spend free time working part-time. Get used book instead of new ones. Sign up for summer classes to reduce the overall time you spend in school – these things look small, but they do add up.
4. Get to Know Your Tutors
If you think that the first week after the enrolment is too early to start building up your industry contacts, think again. Your professors are professionals in their chosen fields, which means they can and should be a treasure-trove of information, advice and help in everything that concerns your future job.
Time flies by, and in a little while you may find yourself out of college without having made a single step towards your future career. So start early, promote yourself, prepare, study, get to know new people – the earlier you start, the more you are going to accomplish.
Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented. – See more at: https://collegepuzzle.stanford.edu/?p=5254#sthash.3a0nR5m6.dpuf