You’ve taken your college placement tests, submitted your essays and applications, completed high school, and most likely know where you’re starting college in the fall.
Congratulations! This is a new exciting time, full of opportunities. While being an undergrad may be the only thing on your mind, the more you can plan for your career post-college, the more you’ll be able to maximize your college experience for long-term success.
Here are a few to-dos to help you prepare for entering college with a long-term plan.
Compile Key Projects
Remember that great presentation you gave junior year? Or the paper you wrote senior year? Before checking out of high school completely, do an inventory and compile your standout projects. These can come in handy for college internship, work study, and job applications. Plus, they are a great start to your career binder.
Get Hands-on Experience
Until you get into your major classes, most college classes consist of general education lectures. Supplement what you want to learn with hands-on experience outside of the classroom. Curious about working in dentistry? Apply for summer internships at a local dentist office. Want to work in engineering? Scope out businesses in your area and see if they’re accepting summer interns or volunteer or shadowing opportunities. Learning real work skills is an invaluable complement to college courses.
Think About Your Career
It’s never too early for career-talk. Many students go through the first part of college without solid plans. It’s a much better use of time (and money!) to take the first steps toward finding your career path. That doesn’t mean you need to know exactly what you want to do. Instead, explore potential careers that match your personality and interests. By gaining this insight, you can test different options throughout college to see if they truly are the right fit.
Create a LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is a powerful networking site for professionals. Get a jumpstart on your career and create a profile. Unlike other social sites, LinkedIn should show your professional personality and achievements.
Include your education and any internships or work experience you have.
Connect with high school classmates, new college classmates, and people in the field you wish to explore.
Keep your LinkedIn profile updated regularly. Think of it as your digital portfolio for potential employers.
It’s great to be laser-focused on your future, but don’t forget to enjoy the present. Take time to be with family and friends and enjoy the summer before heading to college. Plan summer activities, vacations or getaways. It’s important to create fun memories while you’re working toward your career goals because when times get stressful at college, you’ll want to remember the enjoyable moments.
Meet With a Career Coach
Career coaches have proven tools to help you understand and identify aspects of your personality that would match with potential careers. Consider a career exploration package to become one step closer to the dream career you maybe never considered. Save time and money in college by learning about your best fit career now!
At The Wilbanks Consulting Group, we offer career coaching specifically for students regarding career exploration, resume building, interview skills, and more. It’s never too early to consider your life post-grad.