This sounds like the beginning of a race, doesn’t it? Don’t be confused with the type of race that involves a gun that announces the beginning, and a ribbon that someone cuts through with their last victory lap as the end. This is the kind of race that college students are competing for. Well, at least, they should be competing for. It is the “race for success” as I like to call it. Take the information that I am providing with a grain of salt if you’d like to, but I don’t want to hear any complaints in the long run (no pun intended). With the present state of economy we are facing the worst job market since the Great Depression, so I don’t understand why you wouldn’t take this advice and enter in the “race for success.” I’ve attended too many alumni panel discussions to hear the same two regrets. A common question which is asked at these events is:
- What advice would you give an undergraduate student that you wish someone gave you during your college experience?
The two most common responses that I’ve heard are:
- Become more involved in student organizations and other affiliations on campus
- Forge closer relationships with faculty members
My question for any college student is the following. In a few years do you want to have the same regrets that these students had? Would you like to change this and be able to explain to students that through your involvements you were able to develop your leadership skills and apply these to your current job? Would you like to inform students that you were able to expand your personal network and land your job out of college because you reached out to your professors and still have relationships with them to this day?
I cannot yet answer either of these questions as a college graduate since I won’t walk across the stage and receive my diploma until the end of this semester (only 39 more days, but don’t worry, I’m not counting). What I can say is that over the last year and a half I have aggressively tried to change the path so that I won’t end up a college graduate with these regrets. I have attended many professional networking events and have reached out to recent college graduates and industry professionals. During this time I have also connected with my professors and have become highly active in various student organizations on campus. All of these have provided me with different opportunities as I approach graduation. Whether it is a recommendation, a piece of advice that I have received, or an individual that I can reach out to in the future, I consider all of these efforts successful and worthwhile of my time.
Please let me know what you have done to change your path, and how do you place in the “race for success?”