College is a great time to pave the way for your future career because of the variety of opportunities for growth and learning. We asked some successful business women to share their tips on how to make the most of your college experience, all while preparing for your future career!

Read the advice of women who have walked in your shoes...here's some advice on how to prepare for your future career while still in college!

Seek Out Mentors & Role Models

“Find a mentor early on. It’s very flattering to be asked to be someone’s mentor, so don’t be shy in asking. Find someone in a position you’d like to be in someday and ask her to coffee or lunch so that you can pick her brain. Ask her about how she got to be where she is today, and how she got started. Take notes and be grateful for her time. If the mentorship feels like a good fit, feel free to check in over the years with advice on how to move forward.” –Deborah Sweeney, CEO, MyCorporation.com

“Find people that you admire (i.e., in your own life, in the media, in literature, etc.) and discover what qualities you most like about them. Meet with them in person or follow them on social media for inspiration. Surround yourself with positive influences and people that believe in your and your dreams. Research shows that we tend to act like the small group of people we surround ourselves with. Choose wisely.” – Dr. Jackie Kibler

Intern Like Crazy

“Find as many internships as you can throughout your college career. Not only will this give you valuable experience job searching, interviewing, and in the workplace, it will also help you narrow down what you actually WANT to do when you graduate. It’s impressive to future hiring managers when you can be clear on the skills you learned from your experience and have a more discerning eye when it comes to your future roles.” – Brette Rowley, Career Coach

Get Your Networkin’ On

“One of the most important things a college student and entry-level professional can do to further themselves in the marketplace is to network, network, network! This is critical so that you get to know people in your geographic area and within your field of expertise. Attend networking events at your local chamber of commerce, volunteer with a non-profit organization, and reach out to others in your community. By doing this, you will set the stage for further career success. When people know that you are driven, responsible, and up-to-date on information in your field, they will think of you when job opportunities arise in the future.” – Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, owner of FeatherCommunications

Diversify Your Skills

“Some of my most useful skills came from unlikely places or courses that I took on a whim. Look into courses that are outside of your major or your main coursework and explore your options. I definitely suggest looking into shorter classes that are offered for one or two credits and happen a few evenings or on a weekend. My alma mater, University of Oregon, offered basic classes in Indesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator that were 1 credit and ended up really helping me later in my career.” – Anna Osgoodby, Founder of Bold and Pop

“Get some experience where you gain at least two or three skills at a deep level. The overall job description might seem mundane on the surface, but you will gain a lot by delving in and learning all of the facets of a work project. You’ll then have more honed skills to offer, and you’ll learn about yourself and what you like to do, or perhaps don’t like to do. Not every job is going to seem incredible at first glance, but it’s the process of getting more invested that creates the rewards.” – Katherine Dayton, Director, VISIONS Service Adventures

Get Involved on Campus

“As busy as you are, make the time to seek out a leadership opportunity. This shows employers that you can take initiative and are confident. It shows that you can balance and time manage your life while putting the agenda of a cause or organization first. It also shows you don’t need to be hand held in your job. During hard times, organizations lean up and don’t want to offer as much training to new hires as they did before. Anyone can be a follower, but if you show you can step up to the plate, get along with people and rally support, you are a winning pick in employer’s eyes.” – Rebecca Bennett, PMP

Take Advantage of Campus Resources

“You will likely not be exposed to so many career resources for free (ok included in your tuition) again. Take advantage of them! Visit your career center and see what services they offer. Attend weekend career workshops, resume workshops and mock interview classes. Also talk to your favorite professors who you admire their professional achievements and pick their brains for their advice on breaking into your desired industry.” – Anna Osgoodby, Founder of Bold and Pop

Develop Your Brand

“The biggest challenge that students have when transitioning to the job force is that they are starting from scratch. Think ahead and begin developing your personal brand while still in school. Get involved. Establish yourself as a thought leader. Start a blog. Make connections. Those who are intentional and strategic about how they want to present themselves make stellar candidates and stand out from the rest of their competition.” – Brette Rowley, Career Coach

“Consider how you want to “show up” in this world. Social media is a big part of students’ lives. With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media outlets, students have a variety of ways to express themselves. It is important to consider the messages you are exposing yourself to; they influence you in powerful ways. If you don’t think they do, take a social media break for a few days and see how your world changes. It is important to note that employers check these sites regularly prior to interviewing and hiring. Make sure that the image you are presenting on social media is the image that you want employers to see. If you want others to take you seriously, take yourself seriously.” – Dr. Jackie Kibler

What are you doing to prepare for your future career? Let us know in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “7 Ways to Prepare For Your Career in College

  1. I’d suggest doing stuff that would look great on your resume. From the year one, prioritize things and activities that you’ll then will be able to put on your CV and by the end of college, you’ll have enough things to apply for jobs. I like using this http://smartresumesolutions.com/
    service to create mine, hope you’ll find it useful. Finding a job straight out of college is not too hard if you start preparing from the beginning.

    Like

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