If you’re anything like me, you can’t even count how many times you have read an article or watched the news where “experts” claim that the job market for recent college graduates is bleak. Well I have news for you, I don’t believe them one bit and you shouldn’t either. While there is not a surplus of jobs as seen in the late 1990’s or mid 2000’s, I have observed that there are many students at Anderson who have had tremendous internships and/or have jobs waiting for them after they graduate.
Now, allow me to let you in on a few little secrets: the students who excel in the classroom AND take full advantage of the Career Service Office and the many networking opportunities they offer are the ones who are having such great success. What the “experts” are failing to tell you is that it is no longer enough to just get good grades and have a degree in order to get a job. There needs to be a conscious shift of understanding that the new standard for landing that big job is not just a competitive GPA but also a refined set of professional skills (e.g. resume, interview and networking strategies) that will complement the GPA. Individually, these skills are important, but they are more powerful together and are exactly what you need to get any job you want.
Here’s another secret: the greatest of talent will be lost if it never becomes visible. From industry networking series, etiquette dinners and informational sessions, there are so many opportunities at Anderson to make oneself visible to a variety of employers across many different industries. If you want the harsh reality, students who are not attending these events and are not positioning themselves to be visible to these employers are doing themselves and their degree a huge disservice. Just like any sport, musical or artistic talent, if you never show it off, no one will ever know you have it.
The last secret: once you have completed the last two steps and are ready for some experience outside of the classroom, get yourself an internship. Internships are the new interviews for employers. In fact, 86% of surveyed companies claim they use internships to recruit college students for full-time employment. In addition, employers state they extended full-time job offers to 70% of their interns. I can personally attest to this statistic as I was not only given a full-time offer after my internship with Intel Corporation during the summer of my Junior year, but was also offered a full-year part time internship during my Senior year as I finish my degree. While my financial acumen and competitive GPA helped me land the internship, it was my professionalism and interpersonal skills that convinced Intel to add me as a part of their company.
We all still have so much more to learn and can always be more refined professionally, myself included. But from one Anderson student to another, we truly are blessed to be a part of such a highly regarded business school which truly strives to set us up for success. All you have to do is: ignore the depressing “experts”, get good grades, make yourself visible and show employers why you deserve a job after you graduate.
Nathaniel Tarantino is a BBA student working on his degree in Finance. He will be graduating in Spring of 2014. If you have any questions, please contact Nathaniel at firstname.lastname@example.org.