It is almost the time of graduation for Universities and by now, a proportion of students should have already gotten a job offer while the rest are still on the look out for one. My graduation will be next year as I have one more semester to go before I graduate.
My friend graduated last year and she has been working for a year so far. Her friend who graduated the same time as her last year studying business has told her that it is not easy finding a job. She graduated from a private university similar as me and first took up an internship position instead of a full-time job as she wanted to do marketing. However during her internship, there were office politics involving her and it was really draining for her.
After that internship, she was offered a full-time job by another company however at a pay that was lower than her expectations. She decided to decline the offer and instead get another internship position. So right now, she is still an intern learning the ropes of marketing. The job market isn't really looking rosy right now and I have seen people struggle to get a job after graduation particularly from private uni. So if you are still an undergraduate like me or have just started university or not yet started, I do have a few regrets or hoped that I had done better/earlier during my past 2 years in university.
1. Do more internships
I realized this a little too late into my studies as I only took up an internship during my final year. Even though I have one more semester to go and can afford to take on one more internship, it will be difficult due to me going overseas for two weeks making it a short internship that I can take up approximately 2 months. Most companies usually have a minimum requirement of 3 months and some up to 6 months. So I might not be able to get an internship due to my commitment period being too short.
Employers nowadays really look for experience and skills. Even though education is still a critical criteria, a good portfolio of working experience can boost your value. Start-ups are popular nowadays and to work at a start-up would usually require someone to be able to do a large work scope hence not just paper knowledge is sufficient, having the right mindset and skills are also needed.
2. Brush up on your public speaking or interview skills
This is one that I have actually been struggling with since young. When I was young, I used to think that being hardworking would allow me to be recognized and acknowledged, however as I grew up, I realized that being able to present your views or even to rebut people is seen as being more capable. I have seen and can attest to this so many times during my presentations.
In the real world, what really matters is how you present yourself, extroverts tend to be associated with being more confident and hence more capable compared to introverts. Hence, the way you express yourself can determine impressions people have of you.
3. Have a financial plan or goal
Something that I really hoped I started early was about investing. As I had a gap year from 2015 after poly and was interested in investing but it was not till 2017 that I really started reading up and created a CDP account. But I am really glad that I started in 2017 because I am aware of my financial status and have goals set for my future in which the magic of compound interest.
This is because my friend whom I mentioned above started working full-time since September last year has started getting sick of working and she cannot imagine herself working till maybe 50s or 60s. She hates her work as it drains too much energy out from her due to her OT-ing till late at night. She hopes to be able to spend more time with her parents as she is an only child however, as she is an only child, she need to earn money in order for both her parents to be able to retire in the coming years.
She currently has no plan on what to do with her money except to place them in a bank and wait from every month's pay to get in to accumulate. If she maybe had plan on what she like to achieve over the next 10 or 20 years in terms of her finances then maybe she would be as worried as she is now.
Overall, I feel that your time spent in University can be very enriching as you start to discover more about your interest and how you can prep yourself to face the world when you start working. Don't be shy to start because YOLO! HAHA, A university education is just the beginning and a long journey is ahead for you even after you graduate.