As an undergraduate student, all I ever thought of was to get my BSc. certificate, come out with a first-class degree, go for service, then think through what I want to do. And just like you, my routine was triangular; class-library-hostel. For some of you that had fun, a rectangular routine; class- library- parties- hostel or the religious routine.
Our forceful holiday got me thinking, and I realized there were important things I could have gotten before completing my first degree. Are you in your finals and you think it’s too late to accomplish a lot? Don’t stress out. We are in this together. If you aren’t in your finals yet, lucky you. Just keep reading to see the important things you need to get before you complete your first degree and how you can go about them.
1. Leadership skills: Most students avoid taking up responsibility, because of lack of self-confidence or a carefree attitude, but to excel in the outside world, we cannot neglect this skill.
- Take up class responsibilities: Don’t shy away from being a group leader.
- Join a club: There are lots of clubs to join on campus. My advice, join the one that is creative and play a role no matter how small.
- Go for a post: ok! Not everyone loves politics, but if you feel you’ve got what it takes, go for it and don’t get eaten up by fear.
- Read books on self-confidence and leadership but apply the principles.
Beyond those class notes are a lot of things to learn. Society is vast and for you to thrive in it; you need more than your field of study.
- Read outside your field.
- Attend seminars.
- Read “realistic” motivational books, books relating to finance, entrepreneurship, human relations, etc.
- Learn a foreign language (it’s a combination of fun and development).
Hard and soft skills:
Recent jobs revolve around skills like copywriting, web designing, data analysis, etc. and the requirement for soft skills is on the rise. The reason is not far-fetched. We are in the 4th industrial revolution. Your field of study is relevant, but to thrive in your field these skills are important. There are lots of organizations that help with the acquisition of soft skills e.g. Jobberman. Get to know of the various hard skills, find your interest, and go for it. Sites like Udemy, edX, Coursera, etc. are excellent mediums for you to learn from.
Defined career path
It’s not surprising that most people graduate and ask the question; “what next?”. This is a question I haven’t been able to answer. During my quest for an answer, I found a concept; “ikigai”. A Japanese word which means “the reason for being” (would talk about this in my next post). But before then, explore a lot of things. Get to know the things you love and what you can be paid for before completing your first degree. Choosing a career would be easy, and your reason for being is just a few steps away.
Erratophobia (the fear of making mistakes) and shyness are two of the most common fears students have. I am also a victim. I never asked or answered a question in class. Yeah! It’s that bad. But I realize that confidence is an important factor for success in the outside world. Failure isn’t what we all want, but learning from mistakes makes us better.
- Take part in fun-filled activities (the ones that can improve you positively.
- Apply for scholarships.
- Attend seminars and network with at least one person (your network is your net worth).
- Voice out your opinion where you feel it’s important (try it once and you would be a pro).
Join clubs that involve speaking and outdoor activities.
A well-tailored resume:
It’s funny how people download the CV/resume template with no relevant thing to fill in it. Getting a job needs more than just your first-degree certificate. Your experience and achievements make you stand out. Most students give the excuse of just completing their first degree as a reason for not having a well-tailored CV/resume, but your undergraduate days can earn you a two-page resume.
- Volunteer in doing something relevant.
- Seek for internships.
- Attend seminars, apply for courses or programs, and earn certificates.
- Build your network (you need positive energy around you).
- Have a responsible social media presence (your online presence is a good backup for your resume).
It might seem like a lot to combine, but with effective time management, you would surely excel. Fortunately, the indefinite holiday we are in is the best time to learn a lot. Complete your first degree with not just your certificate but a well-defined career path and come out as an intellectually fit individual for the vast society.