BY SYLVIA KOHL
Students who are eager to explore their boundaries and expand their horizons are always looking for opportunities to apply classroom theory in the real world. With their impressive set of skills, these individuals should consider applying for external competitions to demonstrate their talent and setting a foundation for their career in the future.
This type of contest is also a great way to secure yourself scholarships, internships, jobs and even exposure to real-life employees, institutions, and issues. These contests also include some of the most popular external competitions among students: CoreNet Global Academic Challenge, Toyota Design Competition, Athenaeum of World Architecture, and so on. Prizes for students who win are often expressed in several thousands of dollars.
These external competitions are organized in the automotive, law, engineering, architecture, design, business, creative industry and many others. If you were wondering should you apply to such competitions, we bring you a few reasons why you definitely should.
Connect with top employers
External competitions can be a great way to connect with top employers in your industry as the majority of these companies are either organizing these contests or being present in them. As it’s complicated to connect with these companies, an external contest can provide you with a unique opportunity to approach your potential employer and introduce yourself. It’s hard to stand out among a significant number of candidates who are sending their resume and expecting to be contacted for the following step of the recruitment process. With contests, you increase your chances of making a good impression without trying too hard.
Demonstrate your Talent
The majority of students probably feels it’s difficult to demonstrate their talents while they’re in school. Unfortunately, the structure of education is not that limitless for students to reveal all their potential. Exams and assignments don’t allow them to demonstrate their unique set of skills or completely understand how their professional lives will look like after graduation. With external competitions, students can work on real-life cases and issues while practicing their skills and applying their knowledge. Whether the competition is organized by an organization, company or university, you will be able to showcase your talent there. Not to mention that some of them even provide money as a reward so you can spend that money on books, courses or methods to grow your sales with your own business or research.
Dare to be Different
What will the resume of your colleagues look like after they graduate? If you don’t want to be like everybody else, why not take the different path while you still can? Winning at contests will provide you with an opportunity to present yourself in a different way. While others will be focused on highlighting their academic achievements, you can focus on your contest success and attendance. Companies will more likely hire someone who has experience in real-life scenarios over the ones who hasn’t as that person is self-driven, passionate and ready to learn.
For instance, if you’re considering applying to a contest in a healthcare industry about efficient methods of body sculpting, you could demonstrate your own idea while also learning plenty from other students who want to expand their knowledge about getting rid of the body fat.
Of course, others don’t have to be the reason why you should apply to an external contest. This experience will be beneficial for you in so many ways. You will learn a lot about yourself just by applying to such an event. The more experience you gain, the better you will perform in both your personal and professional life. Regardless of the outcome of the contest, you will meet new people who could also become your friends, colleagues or employees.
As a student, these experiences will provide you with so many things that are not even crossing your mind at the moment. Not only will you see immediate benefits from it, but you will also see in the future once you start building your career.
Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.