At university there are lots of ways to sugarcoat things, but let’s be real, there are some hard truths that students need to face that no one ever talks about. No more! Here are eight truths that all university students need to hear.
1. Getting a job has more to do with your portfolio than your GPA/WAM
When you are in the process of applying for jobs and graduate positions as you near the conclusion of your degree, you’re going to notice something.
Most companies don’t care about your marks.
Unless you’re applying to ultra-competitive businesses like IBM or Deloitte there is no reason to get disheartened.
Google has stated that having a high-grade point average on its own is a poor predictor of career success and highlight that learning agility and other emotional-intelligence traits were just as, if not more, important.
In order to apply for most graduate positions, you will need to acquire a credit average, so when you’re stressing about not getting a HD to improve your GPA, relax. It’s not the end of the world.
2. Take internships, part-time jobs and work study positions seriously
If you take on a job or internship that you don’t particularly enjoy, don’t let your dislike of the role influence the way you behave. When you graduate from university it is likely that these managers or employees will be your only references.
Keep up appearances if you want to gain a reliable person in your corner ready to vouch for you.
3. One personal connection has as much value as 50 resumes sent off into the void
Though your network is not the only route to finding a new job, it is the most effective path because at least 70% of jobs are not published, and for those that are, it is a lot harder to get your foot in the door.
It is important in university to build your network; so get on LinkedIn, take someone out for coffee, and attend networking events. It is good to remember that your peers are also your network, don’t always try and get the attention of professionals, for all you know your friend could be your way in.
If you want to start your networking journey as soon as possible, UTS BSoc are hosting one this week! Click here to find out more.
4. Think hard about whether post grad will benefit your future
I understand that entering the real world can be terrifying but if you pick up a master’s degree for the sole purpose of delaying facing real life you may want to reconsider.
5. Don’t feel obligated to take unpaid internships
With approximately 10 000 students graduating from UTS each year, it is understandable that students want to stand out; and one way of doing that is by beefing up their resumes with internships.
During this process many students feel they have to take on unpaid internships, this is not the case. You have a choice.
Many of these internships usually entice students by insinuating that there will be a job at the end for the “right candidate.” This usually isn’t true, so don’t be persuaded by false promises. Do what makes you feel comfortable.
6. Now is the time to put yourself first
Before life starts to get to hectic with paying rent and working full-time, university is the perfect opportunity to figure out what you want. Take care of yourself.
If you want to backpack across Europe, start saving. If you want to advance your career, take on an internship. If you want to move to a new city, look at volunteering or study abroad options.
The sky’s the limit.
7. Pick one non-work activity to keep up with after you graduate
It’s important to have hobbies that make you feel satisfied with your life that are outside of work and socialising.
It is known that hobbies build confidence because being good at something and learning something new can be very rewarding. Also, getting caught up in something you like doing is a great way to relieve stress as it allows you to refocus your mind on something that you enjoy.
Whether it be playing a sport, writing poetry, photographing nature; finding something that makes you feel happy is a great way to not only keep you sane but allow you to experience many facets of life.
8. You are going to fail at least one big thing in the first couple years after you graduate
If you have the mindset that once you have graduated you know all there is to know about your career path, you need a reality check. Though you might feel confident when you finish your degree, you are still going to make mistakes.
Some mistakes are going to be minor, others major. In the situations where you feel embarrassed, the real test begins; how you deal with failure.
At the beginning of our careers the stakes are nothing, our mistakes most likely only affect us and our immediate circles, but fast forward later on in our careers where the expectations are higher, there is a lot more money involved and many people are affected by your decisions.
Failing now means nothing, it is better to learn how to handle it now than later on when there is a lot more to lose. Basically, just be prepared to fail, because nobody’s perfect.