You Need Experience to Get Experience: Advice On Post-College Success

We’re in college, we’re grown up and the responsibilities just keep on growing. Regardless of any student’s major or where they go to school, we all go through struggles at one point or another. In other words, college is hard. There’s no doubt about it.

Besides all the homework, time management is a whole other challenge we have to overcome in order to not only complete the work but get all the desired grades, as well.

While that alone seems like a complicated and difficult feat to accomplish, there’s one other thing that we as students can’t forget about no matter how much work may be on our plate.

That, of course, is experience.

What do I mean by experience? – Internships, Jobs, Careers, etc. Like I said before, we’re in college and we’re grown up. This is a fact. Think of what your parents and teachers do. They’re all adults with careers. How do you think they got there? Experience.

We’ve come to college to hone our skills and pursue our greatest passions which will hopefully one day turn into a career. Unfortunately, getting a job out of college isn’t as simple as having a diploma and knowing what you want to do. Jobs and internships, paid or unpaid, are something any college student should strive for at every chance they can get.

To get where you want to go, you have to start somewhere and that ‘somewhere’ is usually the bottom.

Every little kind of experience helps whether it’s working as someone’s assistant and just getting them coffee or working as a bus boy in a restaurant. It doesn’t matter if some small job or unpaid internship that you may get has nothing whatsoever to do with your dream career, every bit helps. You may learn new skills that can help you with future jobs and you can make new connections as well.

Most of the paid internships or higher up jobs that you desire are always looking for the kind of employee who has already had experience working.

Even if you’re only work experience was in a small retail store of fast food restaurant, it’s jobs like those that can show other small skills such as being able to listen to directions, sticking to a schedule, having good time management and working well with others.

It’s when you’ve retained those abilities to other employers see that you clearly are able to do even more and this will give you the chance to step up. This is all a step-by-step  process. The best part is you can only get better and your resume will always improve.

Never refuse any kind of opportunity to get experience just because some job or internship is unpaid.

In the end, employers are never looking at how much money you made during college but rather how much experience and skills you’ve gained and improved upon.

Employers like to know that the person they’re hiring for a particular job not only loves what they’re doing but are knowledgable and good at it. Another positive aspect of working those small internships or jobs is that even by working in a field that doesn’t have much to do with your career path can show an employer that you’re versatile and are a potential employee with many talents. With different jobs, you may also find that you have interests in other fields and have hidden talents that you never knew existed.

A small experience can only get better and bigger with time and soon you’ll be ahead of the game before you realize it! You’ll graduate from college feeling all the more wiser and ready to start a new life in the real world with a real career. Remember: You need experience to get experience.

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Nina Reichenberg, a junior at Syracuse University spent her first two years in the Communications Design Program but is now currently working towards a degree in Computer Art & Animation. Whilst at school, Nina spends most of her time animating, watching films, and working as a design intern at SYR Outside of SU, she enjoys traveling, singing, dancing, spending time outside and collecting thimbles.

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