I’m sure you hear it all the time… ensuring that you attend EVERY class, completing school work at top quality and being on the Dean’s List is a MUST. It’s what we’re told our whole lives and as long as you stick to it, you will be successful. I’m here to tell you, that’s not the case. Don’t get me wrong, I know that academics and trying your best to achieve good grades is important, but there are other aspects to your University experience that allow you to expand your education further that the classroom and will provide you with some amazing opportunities. Below I have outlined a few things that you can do throughout your degree to go the extra mile!
1. Extra Curricular Activities
Joining a club or group during your time at University is one of the best decisions you can make. I know it can be intimidating at first to join a club where you might not know anyone, but people are way more open and welcoming than you may think. It’s a great chance to meet new people that might not be in the same field of study or someone that you may not have talked to otherwise. Just one step can take you out of your comfort zone, but open up a whole new world of opportunities that enhance your time in school. Also, being involved in your school community is one of the top things employers look for when you are job searching!
2. Internship Experience
I cannot stress enough that getting summer internships or jobs in fields that you’re interested in, is so important! While you’re in class, you’re learning theory, but not really gaining the hands-on experience part to your education. Testing out summer jobs throughout your degree will give you a chance to discover different areas of your specialty and allow you to choose which you want to focus on. Not to mention it gives you a starting point for job searching once you graduate. The connections you make during these jobs open so many doors once you’re looking for a full-time position.
This last point is potentially the most important. Once you get involved in extra curricular activities or get a summer internship, making connections and networking with the people around you is the key to success. Your future self will thank you for going to different events and talking to other students, colleagues and potential employers. Keep this in mind: When you meet someone new, make sure to find something that you have in common that you can talk about, which is how they will remember you. After talking with them, send them a LinkedIn Connection request with a short message bringing up the thing that you talked about. Keep the connection warm by reaching out every so often so that when you’re looking for a job opportunity, you don’t feel awkward reaching out to see if they are interested!
So there you are, 3 things that I recommend you to do while at school to get the full experience! Of course I am biased, but I have to mention that joining DECA U Guelph offers you all of these opportunities. We host multiple events throughout the year that allow you to network with other students, alumni and employers that can lead to internships and post-grad opportunities. Not to mention that it gives you a chance to test out what you learn in the classroom in a real life setting and it's super fun!
Thanks for reading & see you in the Fall!
Vice President of Operations, DECA U Guelph 2018-2019