Students all around the world are pondering on that question. After years of studying and reading thousands of pages of wise words, they are hungry to put all that information into practice but finding the first “real job” in the field of studies can sometimes be tricky.
Luckily, there are many options to gain experience during your studies or a cap year. Just remember to write in your CV the things you have learned and skills you have gained!
Study some more or learn languages
Would your dream career include some specific skills that are not included in your studies? Maybe you want to be able to create beautiful graphics or you know that your IT skills need some improvement. Even in smaller towns, there are generally possibilities to take extra courses on different topics. Not to mention all the possibilities that can be found online. Universities and other education institutions offer online courses on thousands of topics and there are many possibilities that are free of charge.
Among the skills that you can gain during your studies, languages are always useful. As recruiters, we come often across candidates who have just the right profile, except for language skills. Fluent English is nowadays requirement for many positions and even knowing the basics of a language can make a difference.
Extra curriculum activities and volunteering
You want to get experience in project management, communication, event organization, marketing, finances, sales or leadership? Joining a student organization can be the most effective course you ever take on topics such as these. As a volunteer, you can try different things without big risks but at the same time you can take responsibility over large projects. Thanks to the skills gained as a volunteer it is a lot easier to go to an interview and tell with confidence about all the things you have made come true.
Take advantage of your current situation
In case you are currently working besides your studies try to see if there are possibilities to improve your skills. Maybe ask your manager if you can have more responsibilities or suggest new projects that you can lead. Showing proactive attitude can both make your current work more interesting and help you to gain the skills you need to move forward to work in the field of your studies.
In our international world, spending at least some time abroad has become must for certain positions. There is no better time to go than during the summer vacations or before starting with your career. There are many options for gaining that international experience.
The easiest way to spend some time abroad is to take part in one of the exchange programmes. For many it is the first step and afterwards it is a lot easier find new opportunities outside your home country when the employers see your improved language skills and international experience.
In addition, many organisations offer volunteering positions where you can help the local community. Just choose the organization wisely so that you do not contribute to volunteerism and worsen the situation for the locals. Alternatively, if you are interested in travelling around, you can look into possibilities for working in farms or hostels in exchange for food and accommodation while meeting other travellers and improving your language skills.
You can also put your language skills to good use and find a job with your native language but working in a new country. We at Talent Search People have many such opportunities. Check them out here and get in touch with us!
By Marjut Jalkanen