What Students Can Do to Prepare For Future Careers

Devin Hennessy

College is fun. There are a lot of parties, friends and freedom, but students have to remember why they go to college in the first place, and that is to get a job. Although it is easy to get caught up in the freedom students discover in college, there are a few easy things students should do in college to prepare for the work force.  

First off, join LinkedIn. Students these days are social media pros already, so make an account and brag about yourself a little bit. LinkedIn is a great tool to network with students and business professionals in an easy way. 

“LinkedIn is very utilized in our company,” said Todd Lancaster, business development executive at Oswald Companies. 

 Secondly, get your foot in the door. 

“It’s never a bad idea to get an internship,” said Ryan McNaughton, a career counselor at the Career Services Center. “The more experience, the better,” McNaughton said.

McNaughton said internships are a great way to figure out what part of a business in which you want to be. 

Lancaster agrees with McNaughton. 

“Training and experience is very valuable to get hands on knowledge of your career field,” Lancaster said. 

Lancaster encourages students to have multiple internships. 

“This way, students can see what industries best fit their outlook and culture,” Lancaster said. 

Third, network. Join clubs and organizations in your major. Many of the clubs on campus bring in professionals who can share tips and information that will benefit your future. Also, attend job fairs that the Career Services Center plans. There is one job fair every semester. It’s free for students and presents students with many opportunities. Even freshman are encouraged to attend the job fair. 

“Don’t wait,” McNaughton said. “If you have the ability to do it, you should,” McNaughton said. 

Junior nursing major Blanca Daniel works at Summa Akron City Hospital as a nursing technician. 

“Although I get a lot of experience through clinical work required by the nursing program, I want to be one step ahead of everyone else,” Daniel said, “I know I want to work in the hospital, so I am thankful I have a part-time job that relates to my desired career.”

Kalee Donofrio, a senior public health major, has held two internships. Her first one was during her spring semester as a junior. Donofrio said both internships were beneficial, but she said she preferred her first one.

“I worked at Family and Community Services, Inc. in Ravenna,” Donofrio said. “Even though [the position] wasn’t paid, I learned a lot from it. It helped me find the field I want to get into now, which is human resources.”

All of these tips are simple. Students need to dedicate some of their time to start networking. Every step you take to learn and gain experience will benefit your future.

Devin Hennessy is the jobs reporter for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].