Why you should make your last year in school count
The last year in school is one of the most important years in your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re in college, graduate school, business school or even high school—that last year of traditional education is critical for all students even if many of them don’t realize it.
Aside from graduating and getting that degree, why is the last year in school so important? Why should you make your last year count more than any other? It’s not because you need to cherish your youth or that you need to make as many friends as possible before you graduate (though both are very important when you’re in school).
It’s time to start thinking about your career
It’s simple, really: this is the year that you start planning your career. It’s the year that you take a serious assessment of your skills and education and deicide what will be the first stepping stone into your life as a successful professional. The last year of your schooling is when you get serious about internships, specific vocations, and entry level positions with potential employers.
If you haven’t made any solid plans about how you’ll spend your time after you graduate, now might be the time to start freaking out.
After your last year at school, you’ll be expected to be a full-fledged adult with all the responsibilities and professional pressures that come with it. It doesn’t matter if you’re graduating from college with a degree in Art History or in Small Business Management, either way you’ll be expected to thrive in the workplace as a fully adjusted professional. With the world economy in a constant state of crisis, and dismal unemployment numbers across the board, it will be unwise not to spend the last year of your cloistered school life trying to plan a successful entry into the real world.
You can plan your transition from college student to young professional in a number of ways. For starters, it’s good to have at least a general idea of what you want to do once you graduate, which shouldn’t be too much to ask considering that you’ve been taking different vocational courses for years now. Look for internships and entry level positions that relate to your major months in advance of your actual graduation date. Set up job interviews and familiarize yourself with the application process within your desired industry while you’re still in school.
If you do make an effort to sample the job market, treat those first interviews and job hunting experiences as practice rounds meant to train you for the real deal after graduation. You’ll find the job searching experience to be much less agonizing later on if you take the steps to plan ahead.
Trust in your friends and mentors
Your last year is also the time for you to talk to your closest peers and the professors that had a serious impact on your education about the trajectory of your future career. Your friends and mentors can be a great boon to you during this transitory period: professors might have professional contacts that could land you that first job; your friends could help you figure out just what it is that you want to do with your career. No one gets where they are in their career by their efforts alone. Everyone needs a helping hand, including you, so don’t be shy in asking for some guidance from those your trust.
Amanda Watson is well versed business blogger with a keen interest in how people earn their mba online. She believes that web entrepreneurship is critical to success in business. She can be reached at [email protected].
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