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What can I do in college to prepare myself for when I get a job?

I feel like I need some tips or some advice on how I can be prepared

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Subject: Career question for you

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Misha’s Answer

- Learn and build the skill set for the employment that you want to achieve
- Gain relevant experience through internships and jobs
- Learn how to communicate to the correct levels both in person and online for an office setting
- Start building a network from a young age

Courtesy of Cloudera New Hires Jessica, Jordan, Jeremiah, and Vineet

Misha recommends the following next steps:

Start applying for internships.
Join LinkedIn or other social platforms.
Go to networking events.
Research job postings and titles. Connect with people in that job.
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John’s Answer

I would be tempted to round out your skills with some industry credentials/badges to differentiate yourself. They are short and concise and very useful. Id suggest looking at IBM Skills Build (its free) and see what badges are useful for you. Link to IBM Skills Build in Next Steps...

John recommends the following next steps:

IBM Skills Build link - https://www.ibm.com/academic/topic/capstone
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Deborah’s Answer

To prepare for a job while in college, focus on developing strong communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills through coursework and extracurricular activities. Gain practical experience through internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer work related to your field of interest. Lastly, build a professional network by attending career fairs, joining relevant clubs or organizations, and connecting with alumni or professionals in your desired industry.
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Jeff’s Answer

First, I'd focus on having a job or internship while you're in school. That'll give you some experience in a professional setting and the experience of balancing competing responsibilities.

Second, wherever you're working, think about how you could make things more efficient or automated. A lot of jobs are about trying to solve a problem then automating that solution somehow.

Third, get good at setting goals and setting milestone markers along the way.

Fourth, practice being able to explain how you're able to do 1-3. For instance, for #2, be able to explain the problem you saw, how you knew it was a problem, what you did to address the problem/your solution, and the positive impact your solution had on customers/the company/whoever.

Lastly, speak in terms of impact not just results. A result, is "I solved this problem. Now it isn't a problem anymore." Impact is, "I solved this problem and now customer happiness increased 10%." Or to put it another way:
Problem: The napkin/milk/sugar/stirrer station at the coffee shop I work at is always messy and dirty.
Solution: Implement a system so an employee cleans the napkin/milk/sugar/stirrer station every 30 minutes.
Result: The napkin/milk/sugar/stirrer station is always clean.
Impact: Yelp reviews for cleanliness at the coffee shop increased 5%. <-- This explains why the result matters.
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Chloe’s Answer

Taking proactive steps to engage directly with individuals in your chosen field is crucial! This could be through internships or volunteering, even if it's not for an extended period. Utilize platforms like this one or LinkedIn to connect and converse with seasoned professionals in your area of interest.

Moreover, establishing a strong network on LinkedIn early on can significantly boost your career prospects. So, start creating those connections today!
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Brittany’s Answer

This a great question! Preparing for your career journey while in college is an exciting opportunity to lay down a solid foundation for your future. There are so many opportunities that can help launch your future career endeavors.

Gain Experience: Seek internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer roles related to your field for practical skills.

Develop Skills: Hone communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and time management skills, valued by employers.

Network: Attend career events, join student organizations, and connect with professionals for industry insights.

Find Mentorship: Seek guidance from professors, advisors, and professionals to navigate your career path.

Stay Informed: Keep up with industry trends and technologies, and consider additional courses or certifications.

Prepare for Job Search: Craft a strong resume, practice interview skills, and maintain a good academic record.
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Samir’s Answer

That is a very relevant question relevant for any field of study. I would summarize what i have learned about preparing for the job market as below

1. **Gain Relevant Experience**: Seek internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer opportunities in your field of interest. Real-world experience is invaluable and can help you build skills, networks, and credibility.

2. **Develop Marketable Skills**: Identify the skills and competencies that are in demand in your desired field. Focus on developing these skills through coursework, projects, workshops, or extracurricular activities.

3. **Build a Professional Network**: Attend career fairs, networking events, and industry conferences to connect with professionals in your field. Networking can lead to mentorship opportunities, job referrals, and valuable insights into your industry.

4. **Seek Mentorship**: Find mentors—whether professors, professionals, or alumni—who can provide guidance, advice, and support as you navigate your career path. Learn from their experiences and seek their input on your goals and plans.

5. **Stay Informed**: Stay updated on industry trends, developments, and technologies relevant to your field. Follow industry publications, blogs, podcasts, and social media channels to stay informed and knowledgeable.

6. **Develop Soft Skills**: In addition to technical skills, employers value soft skills like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptability. Look for opportunities to hone these skills through group projects, leadership roles, or campus organizations.

7. **Create a Professional Online Presence**: Build a professional online presence through platforms like LinkedIn. Showcase your skills, experiences, and achievements, and connect with professionals in your field.

8. **Seek Feedback and Learn from Mistakes**: Be open to feedback from professors, peers, and supervisors. Use constructive criticism to identify areas for improvement and strive to continuously grow and develop.

9. **Explore Career Paths**: Take advantage of career counseling services, workshops, and assessments offered by your college. Explore different career paths, industries, and job roles to gain clarity on your career goals and aspirations.
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Azilee’s Answer

Practice great job habits while attending classes. Always be on time, a few minutes early is always best. Do more than the minimum required. Strengthen your integrity, practice being aware of your surrounding environment, and establish a great repore with instructors and other students. Learn cultural diversity. Learn interviewing skills. Don't be afraid to be the first to respond. Prepare, prepare, and prepare for the next day.
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Dee’s Answer

Start while you are in the college to connect, network, informational interviews, stay in touch with your connections, volunteer...

Degree alone is never enough, you will need to show being active and involved in anything related in your profession.

Use Linkedin, post related info to be visible,

Internships always a great door opener, invest in building your resume and get it done professionally.

Remember you will need every little baby step to reach your goals!!!!!
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Ana’s Answer

Absolutely! There are several steps you can take in college to prepare yourself for the job market.

Ana recommends the following next steps:

First, focus on your academics by maintaining a strong GPA and gaining relevant knowledge and skills in your field of interest.
Additionally, seek out internships, co-op programs, or part-time jobs related to your desired career path to gain practical experience and build your network.
ake advantage of opportunities to develop soft skills like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving through extracurricular activities, leadership roles, or volunteer work.
Moreover, utilize resources like career services centers, workshops, and networking events to refine your resume, cover letter, and interview skills.
Lastly, consider building a professional online presence through platforms like LinkedIn to showcase your achievements and connect with potential employers.
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Ruztique’s Answer

Hi there!

This is a great question! I think there are a few things you can do to prepare for a career while in college:
1. Join clubs/organizations that can yield experience in your relative field (hard/soft skills are both extremely important)
2. Networking with people on your campus as well as social platforms like Linkedin. They help build connections and set yourself in greater positions
3. Getting internship experience always looks GREAT on a resume! It shows that you really have interest in your field, you have experience, and leadership skills

I hope this helps and good luck!
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Rebecca’s Answer

On top of looking for volunteer work and internships in the field you're interested in, I would recommend reaching out to people you know who are early in their careers (maybe family friends, or alumni of your school) to learn more about what their day-to-day work is like, and what they'd recommend doing to better prepare. Ask them things like: "what would you have done differently to be more prepared for your job?"
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Mike’s Answer

This is a really great question and something I didn't think about as much as I should have while I was in college.

The first thing would be selecting a major in an area in which you both have passion for that area and it is in an industry with strong demand growth. I had a lot of friends that selected majors because they were easy or they didn't understand the industry trends after college. They ended up either having to go back to school to re-educate themselves for another job or taking a job that didn't require a college degree at all.

I would seek real-life experience via an internship to make sure you enjoy the work and could see yourself going into this career. During this internship, network and talk with older peers and get an understanding of their journeys. This will give you insight into whether this career is a good fit for you. Good to find this out while you're still in school.

Most importantly, you are going to have to learn to advocate for yourself. My school didn't have a large career center to hook students up with large employers. Instead I got on the phone and contacted many prospective companies and asked about internship programs. This could likely be done online as well today but the point is that you own your career and your opportunities and you are not constrained by the options presented to you by your school.

There is also a lot of good advice on this thread but these are the some of the nuggets of advice based on my experience. Best of luck!
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Sarah’s Answer

I love this question! It's important in college to expand outside your bubble and look for opportunities to volunteer in areas of work that interest you. A lot of times colleges have job fairs and I would encourage you to go to them not necessarily to look for a job, but to look for what other opportunities do they have. Do they offer internships, mentorship, job shadowing for a day? Branching out can be scary, but the more you put yourself out there the more ready you will be when you graduate.
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Layne’s Answer

The most important thing is that you should not feel LIMITED by having to choose the career that you will do for the rest of your life. The most important thing is that you learn thinking, collaboration and other skills that you could apply to any career you choose. You should also feel comfortable knowing that you may change your career later in life. Whatever you do, apply yourself, study hard, and learn everything you can.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Nabeel,

Guidelines on Gearing Up in College for Your Future Career

During your time in college, there are a multitude of actions you can undertake to optimally prepare for your future career. Here are some practical strategies and recommendations that will enable you to fully leverage your college years and position yourself for success in the employment arena:

1. Opt for a Pertinent Major: It's vital to choose a major that resonates with your career aspirations. Look into sectors that are thriving and offer promising job opportunities. Explore industries that pique your interest and select a major that equips you with the essential skills and knowledge for the respective roles.

2. Acquire Hands-On Experience: Internships, co-op schemes, part-time employment, and volunteering can all yield invaluable practical experience in your chosen field. These avenues enable you to put theoretical knowledge into practice, expand your professional network, and enrich your resume.

3. Cultivate Transferable Skills: Beyond the technical skills pertinent to your major, concentrate on honing transferable skills such as interpersonal communication, collaboration, problem-solving, time management, and leadership. These competencies are highly sought after by employers across a variety of sectors.

4. Establish a Professional Network: Networking is a key component of career progression. Participate in career expos, industry gatherings, workshops, and seminars to engage with professionals in your field. Developing connections with mentors, alumni, professors, and industry specialists can pave the way to job opportunities and valuable insights.

5. Pursue Mentorship: Seek out mentors who can provide guidance, encouragement, and counsel as you traverse your academic and professional path. Mentors can offer valuable industry insights, assist you in goal setting, and aid you in making educated decisions about your career trajectory.

6. Refine Your Resume and Interview Skills: Strive to create a compelling resume that showcases your accomplishments, experiences, and skills pertinent to the job you're targeting. Enhance your interview skills by practicing through mock interviews or utilizing career services provided by your college, to bolster your confidence and performance in job interviews.

7. Keep Abreast of Industry Trends: Stay informed about the latest trends, technologies, and advancements in your chosen field. Subscribe to industry-specific publications, follow industry leaders on social media platforms like LinkedIn, and attend webinars or conferences to stay in tune with industry best practices.

By adhering to these steps throughout your college journey, you'll be well-prepared to make a smooth transition from academia to the professional world.

Top 3 Credible Sources Used:

Harvard Business Review
Forbes
The Balance Careers

These resources were referred to for their expert advice on career readiness strategies for college students making a successful transition into the workforce.

GOD BLESS YOU!
JC.
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Laura’s Answer

That's a fantastic question! Here's a simple answer for you - consider finding a part-time job while you're still in school. It doesn't matter what kind of job it is, which field it's in, or how many hours you work. The key is to step into the working world as soon as you can. By doing this, you'll start learning valuable work skills that you can use in any job. These include being on time, working well with others, communicating clearly, solving problems, and being professional. So, don't wait! Start gaining these skills now.