College is the best period for students to party and meet people. This is the time when you get used to drinking from a red cup, listening to loud music at parties and socializing. However, college is more than all of this, it is the time to grow and enhance your career skills in order to build the pillars of what is going to be your professional field, the future coming. Most students get stuck in their career development by the end of their senior year because they don’t feel they are good enough, or they don’t know if they took the right path.
College is the time to figure things out, and developing your skills will expand your world and enable you to find your unique skill or way of contribution.
But the question is: ...How to begin?
1. Set small goals and achieve them
As a student you should establish small and tangible goals that can be achieved in less than 6 months. It is easy to procrastinate, but with a goal in mind you always perform better and faster. Think about your day- to- day activities. What can you do to elevate your career? Are these skills going to help you in your near future/long term? By making a to do list with due dates, you will visualize the objectives and accomplish them.
2. Curiosity killed the cat… Not in the professional world
Spend time studying your field of interest. Contact people that mght know about your career, department or industry. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because everyone has been in your position at some point. If you develop thoughtful insights about the industry, you will feel more confident to achieve your professional objectives. Also, a mentor can help you get thoughtful feedback. Mentors are a great resource of insights!
Nowadays, social media is a good tool to meet people that might know more about your industry or a contact for a job. Think about LinkedIn; this is the most powerful resource in the professional environment. Write a message to the professionals that you might be interested to know more about . Always write a personalized message and leave a positive impression. Other places to network are events. Meet as many people as you can and don’t be shy to get their email and follow up with questions or to go and get coffee.
4. Work on communication skills
Each medium of communication has its own tone. Learn how to meet or contact the people in each field by figuring out how to approach them. This is a skill that should be developed in order to conquer your career. Do some research on the formality and tone on the different mediums: email, in person, phone, social media, etc. Give the best impression. Take into consideration that we live in a fast paced world so people have less time. Be a strong, confident, clear and direct communicator.
5. Evaluate all your opportunities
You should know how much you are worth. You will be looking for real work experience or internships and you might end up with several offers. Sometimes getting out of your comfort zone is the best way to achieve your better self. So, take into consideration all opportunities, analyze pros and cons and go for it!
Victoria Ormaechea is a Venezuelan that has achieved several experiences in the
communication area; that allowed her to complement her double major in media management and advertising. She has worked in the marketing area in companies such as Colombina S.A and The Spanish Chamber of Commerce. Currently she is an Assistant Account Executive in MARCA Agency.
She has not only been in the corporate area; she likes hands on experiences, so Victoria is the host and producer of her podcast and radio show called “The Marketing Talk.” She has not only developed her ability for public speaking in every episode, but she also writes as a blogger for a Mexican magazine called KENA. Victoria has centered her experiences in order to develop the best way to convey, enhance, and lead the communication tools people have on their hands.