Preparing for the corporate world is one of the most significant steps that a college education should ultimately help with. Being ready to step into your career from your education is critical and most often expect that college alone will be enough to make you prepared.
However, there have been many instances where the mixture of hard and soft skills taught in school is not enough to give you an idea of what to expect. This can be a terrifying notion for many, and they might ultimately seek to supplement that knowledge.
So, how can you prepare yourself for the corporate world in college? Outside of what your school already offered, there are many options out there. To help get you started, here are five ways you can prepare yourself.
Get a Professional Experience
Third, take the step of actually getting out there with an internship, externship, or by volunteering. An internship will settle you into a company of interest that will allow you to get more in-person experience and aid you in getting an insight into the first two steps.
The downsides to internships are that they are often not paid positions and take a good bit of time.
Externships often give you a day or so to speak with a person of interest in your field and gain perspective that way. An externship, by comparison, is also unpaid but takes less time. If you want more details, check out this article about externship on Totempool.
Volunteering is the more extended version of both and is, of course, also more than likely an unpaid position.
Regardless, all three methods are fantastic ways to gain valuable insight into how things work and network, one of the golden keys to making it in the corporate world.
Fortunately, colleges are a bevy of resources for internships, externships, and volunteer work. Utilize your school’s career center or whatever equivalent it might have in order to find some opportunities that can help prepare you.
One of the most important things you can do is use all of your resources to the maximum amount. More often than not, colleges are a bevy of said resources, so never be afraid to do some digging into what is available to you.
Understand The Skills You need
The first one is going to be gaining an understanding of the skills you are going to need. When we say this, we don’t necessarily mean career-specific either.
It’s no secret that there is a mix of hard and soft skills that are almost universally needed in the corporate world, regardless of your position. For example, a basic to an intermediate level understanding of technology can put you leagues ahead.
Computers are a non-negotiable part of the corporate world, and you’ll often use similar software systems across the board. Programs like the Microsoft Office Suite, databases, and CRMs are all fairly common.
Technology also requires a good mix of personal skills. Writing clearly and professionally, understanding email etiquette, putting together a presentation, or hosting a meeting–these things are all bog-standard. Most colleges have basic technology courses or ones that are specialized to the corporate world. If you need some extra credits or feel you lack, why not take a look?
Step two is, naturally, going to be networking. Research local groups, meetups, social events, or online groups that you can join and gain valuable insight from.
Networking not only gives you the chance to hear from those already established in your field but also gives you the chance to get your name out there and the potential to see opportunities you might have otherwise missed.
Taking the chance to talk casually to industry professionals will give you a window into the corporate world that can give you an idea of what to expect. It’ll also give you more opportunities to add valuable skills, brush up on your cover letter and resume and better anticipate what employers are looking for.
Reading is not one of the favorite activities of the majority. Having said that, it’s essential to keep your knowledge fresh.
After you leave your school, there won’t be someone asking you to read and memorize this or pass an exam, but you are by yourself. Therefore, having this sense of self-learning will help you progress in your career.
Reading is not applied to the old method and hardcover books anymore. It can be a blog post about something that is still not in the literature. It means also reading some specifics about marketing/SEO platforms.
Get a Mentor
A Mentor is an experienced person that may give you essential knowledge of the corporate world. The mentor will teach you the intricacies of business and companies relationships and politics.
Where to find a mentor? Well, a mentor can be someone in your family at the beginning of your career. You can also find mentors on LinkedIn. You can also ask one of your former professors. Any person with more experience would be a good start. Besides, having a mentor helps you keep networking with someone in your area that may give you good references in the future.
Starting your career, no matter what approach you take can be an overwhelming experience. Knowing the steps is a starting point.
Try these steps, and you’re sure to see results. You’ll be able to step into the corporate world with more confidence than before and start your professional journey in style.
Use every tool at your disposal within your college and outside of it. Utilize resources outside as well, such as groups, both online and in-person. This will give you invaluable insight into what you can expect and give you the chance to build on your resume and cover letter.
More so, you can use internships, externships, and volunteering to further break into the industry and know what to anticipate. Go forth with confidence, and you’ll know what to expect in no time.