Making yourself more employable isn’t something that comes to the mind of every student at university. As a student, you’re focused on getting the best grades, keeping a sensible budget, and managing your schedule. While you might have a resume to get some part-time work while studying, your future career prospects won’t just unfold naturally later when you have a degree in your pocket. The reality is, it pays to work on it.
There’s much that can be done to prepare for a future working career to be more appealing to companies in the future. Let’s explore that now.
Getting Involved with Reducing Waste at University
As a student, if you can embrace a zero waste university policy to recycle, reuse and otherwise dispose of waste in a non-harmful manner, then that’s great to do. The zero waste policy is something that businesses are coming to believe in more and more. While they may not achieve the zero level they’re wanting, managers often feel that they have much to learn from universities that are far advanced with their environmental policies.
There’s a fair number of similarities between a company’s building and grounds, and a college campus. Certainly, they have many employees and a university has many faculty members, administrations staff and students on campus. Many of the challenges are either similar or the same. Because of this, being involved in these zero waste schemes is looked on as a strong positive for graduates.
For instance, some universities promote a zero waste policy or a reusable water bottle or cup policy (see: https://www.bevi.co/blog/zero-waste-universities/ for more information.) This avoids the disposal of cheap paper cups and students buying bottles of water from a convenience store. However, some universities go further by bringing in services like the Bevi flavoured water dispensers, which provide still or carbonated flavoured water to quench the thirst. Refillable water bottles can be used to fill up before class by student and teacher alike. If your university doesn’t use Bevi dispenser yet, talk with the faculty team about it.
Volunteering is an excellent way to give back to the local community. There are always plenty of charitable organizations that need your help.
Many companies are charitable by giving a percentage of their earnings away to charities each year or by having staff provide their time on behalf of the company to help out. These companies see a graduate who has freely volunteered their time to worthy organizations as a great sign that their heart is in the right place. It says a lot about the person that they did this while studying and possibly holding down a part-time job too.
Develop Your Own Projects
If you’re not able to get into volunteering or part-time working positions that allow you to express your ideas, knowledge, creativity or managerial know-how, then it might be time to create your own projects.
What you can do on your own – or with a partner – is up to you. It may depend on what you’re studying and the industry you wish to go into in the future. The choice is easier when you wish to work as a computer programmer or a games programmer or something digital. These kinds of home projects allow a student to code a SaaS in their spare time, build a small game for the iOS or Android platforms, or launch a website. However, for students in areas that aren’t as conducive to mini projects, it might be a good idea to solicit ideas from friends, family, and college staff.
Summer Jobs in the Industry
Another way to give your career a starting boost is to work in a summer job within your chosen industry. While this is different from a regular part-time job flipping burgers, what it does is provide valuable industry experience while also showing initiative. You’ll learn industry and job-specific tools of the trade that you won’t get doing an unrelated job.
One of the other benefits of a summer job is that it’s possible to get a provisional offer of a position with the company if you graduate. Some companies find that younger summer interns show enough promise and enthusiasm and they see a great future for them. For students that can demonstrate their chops and learn fast in a few short weeks, the summer job can end up being far more valuable than the pay alone. Some students offer their time for free to get a chance to work at a prestigious company in their summer break.
Travel When You Can
Travel can make a graduate seem worldlier than one who has barely left home before. The experience of seeing different parts of the country, and possibly other countries too, is a useful one. This can also be combined with volunteering internationally.
There are many creative ways to improve your employability once you graduate. It depends on your unique traits and where you think your time will be best spent. Don’t just sit there because you can actively improve your employability if you’re smart about it.