The Biggest Myth About College
I want to impart a little something that I have learned over the years, not only as the owner of a NYC tech recruiting firm, but in my daily life in general. I hope to give you some added perspective as you consider your options before and after graduation.
Building the foundation of your work life after college can never start to soon. If you are already passionate about a career that you want to pursue, that is great. Whether you know what you want to do or not, just make sure you allow yourself the time to experiment with courses that may not on the surface seem directly associated with your potential career choice or interest.
These days, many parents and their kids alike know first hand how hard it is to get a good job out of college as the economy grapples with high unemployment. The natural reflex has been for students prompted in many cases by their parents, to try and select classes and activities solely based on how they can enhance their resume and their prospects at getting a job upon graduation. This is a good idea to a point, but students should not make all their choices of study based on what they expect others would like to see on their resume or based on what classes they think are a lock on a good grade. This is your life and you will have to be the one that lives it, so take a class or explore an activity that YOU want to try!
Too many people have worked hard to graduate with a “good resume”, only later discovering that their course of study did not truly reflect who they are and what they are passionate about, but only what their parents or society expects to see from them. With this realization after graduation, they are not only unhappy about their choice, but trying to feign enthusiasm on an interview for a career they don’t truly want to be in, comes through and they don’t get the job. They find themselves at this point in their life, still trying to figure out who they are and what career works for them.
Instead, you should allow yourself the opportunity to explore courses of study that you might not have had the luxury to pursue in high school and will be harder to try once you have graduated and are preoccupied with earning a living. Choose a class or activity that you have always wanted to try or just because you think it might be fun. This extracurricular knowledge will serve you well in your future pursuits. If it does not alter your decision of what you want to do, at least it will give you the opportunity to be a more well rounded, informed person and it might actually help you close a deal.
For example, you might be majoring in Computer Science but you took a class in Economics which gave you the impetus to read an article in the paper one morning, on the macroeconomic result of whether Australia should grow its own crops using an increasingly diminished water supply or buy produce from others. A potential customer who is looking to buy your software, sees you are reading the same article he has just read. You have a lively discourse on the subject and by the end of the meeting you have not only made a new acquaintance with a similar interest, but you have also sold your product. This is an example of how many people find jobs or successfully sell their product or service. They make a connection and that connection opens up possibilities.
A good resume is important, but when you discover a common interest with people, you will find the chances of getting a job or making a sale increase dramatically. Remember, knowledge is power. In college, seek and experiment with the outer limits of your interests. You will see, as your interests and knowledge expand, so will your options.