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How to Develop Your Career as an Undergraduate

Yes, high school may seem very early to think about your career but you should know that university is all about learning and indulging in new things and realizing exactly where you want to be. It’s understandable that some of you may hesitate to give justice to your work and education simultaneously but your career should be at the forefront during college years.

Be an Intern
You should get some prior experience of the professional world that is of your interest to get a clear vision and an inside view of what your field demands. Internships are the key factor to initiate your goals. Here you meet new people, make contacts and see the daily tasks and responsibilities employees have. Internships can also help to clarify the types of positions that interest you, as well as to see what size of company best suits you. These can all be valuable things to learn and serve as a stepping stone to make you marketable before applying for full-time positions.

Talk to career professionals
Make sure that you start developing your career a year before you graduate. This is because there are teachers and instructors to give you guidance about your career services. Moreover, talking to professionals in the industry will assist you to discover your career. Speaking to them will give you confidence and idea about where you stand.

Exposure to extra-curricular activities
Looking for extra-curricular activities in school which relate to your field, such as the school newspaper, debate team, or drama club is another way to increase your knowledge, build your resume and prepare for the future. Keep yourself active in several societies, organizations and take advantage of volunteer work; you’ll see how people will contact you.

For example, if you think you have a passion for photography then buy a DSLR camera and cover maximum social events happening around the university. This way you’ll grab attention and strangers would randomly approach you regarding photography.  Similarly if you think, performing arts is your specialized field, then get yourself admitted in that specialized school which helps you achieve your aims and objectives. At the same time you can start practicing what you’ve learnt to gain experience.

Take relevant courses
The subjects you opt for are the most obvious ladder for building your career. After you’ve gained enough experience in the field, choose the relevant electives in your last semester. Try associating your projects and assignments with your future work and how those theories used can be applied in a working environment. But if you’re a freshmen, then plenty of options will be open to you because most universities don’t require you to choose your majors right away.

Reading newspapers & seeking jobs
Read as much newspapers you can. The more you find out about interesting job openings that ideally fit you, the more you will be tempted to apply for them. Send your resumes wherever possible. If you can’t manage a job with studies then look for freelancing jobs online or keep a track of the frequent advertisements regarding jobs. Also, word of mouth really helps. One in ten people are usually working or have contacts; you must spread the word of what kind of job you’re looking for.  It will speed up your long-term opportunities.

The immense benefits of starting early cannot be ignored. Just remember that it’s better to start early than to regret it later. However, once doors are open for your career, you are free to change your plans afterwards. Stay motivated because positions and opportunities always open up and you should never lose hope. Build a strong social network to establish your career because you never know where a certain meeting may be lucky for you.


Written by HerCareer is a career community of women seeking consult, inspiration, and the tools needed to succeed in the workplace.