Welcome to Uni first years! Now that you’re here, you’ve obviously figured out what you want to do with your life. Congratulations! You’ve got your passion, found your purpose, and now all that’s left to do is complete your degree. All set!
Except for a lot of you that’s totally not the case. It’s still not the case for many students who’ve been here for a couple years. The good thing about university is that you don’t have to know yet. No matter what happens, completing a degree will never be a waste of time or money.
Your time at university will be the best time for you to dabble, experiment, intern, and learn new things about yourself – what you do and don’t like, and what’s important to you. Even though you may not know what you want to do, if you do university right, you’ll have a pretty good idea by the end.
Interning has helped me figure things out. I’ve completed three internships so far, and I’ve taken away different lessons and experiences from each of them. One of them introduced me to the industry I was getting myself into, one of them taught me more than I hoped for – professionally and personally – and miraculously, one of them proved to me that I’ve chosen the right career path.
I encourage everyone to complete at least one internship whilst at university. It’s scary, but so is graduating and waiting six months to land a job that you’re not sure is right for you. At a time when 70 per cent of jobs come from networking – versus thirty per cent from formal applications – building a strong profile and managing networks isn’t optional.
Now for some straight up adult advice: LinkedIn Talent Solutions Specialist, Chris Jones, tells students to think about “the most effective ways to strengthen your brand, the most effective ways to leverage your network, and then how you use [those] two factors to find your dream job”.
Companies are tapping into the thirty million students and recent graduates on LinkedIn, so it’s important to have a complete and dynamic profile on the social network. Chris says that your profile should include not just the usual career chronology but also social aspects and volunteering experiences that give potential employers the full picture and set you apart.
A one hundred to three hundred word summary should outline what you’ve done, as well as your passions and goals. Chris says to make sure to showcase your experience – don’t just list your current or previous role. Highlight responsibilities and achievements for each role.
LinkedIn has worked for me. I’ve been able to keep up with what’s going on with my connections and expand my network to future employers. Plus it’s always interesting to read some of the articles that go up there.
While internships and LinkedIn have been my way of figuring things out, I recognise that it may not work for everyone. UTSoC is looking to help communications students to find their way. Let us know what you need help with (maybe it’s LinkedIn, networking or job applications) and we’ll do our best to deliver.
Written by Rachel Zarb