Your university days are the perfect opportunity to build up your skills and experience before entering the workforce.

In this first part of two, we explore the different ways you can make the most out of your university time and prepare yourself for employment down the road. (Read the second part here)

14. Capitalise on class projects

Projects and assignments are the bread and butter of university studies. While sometimes it’s easy to want to take shortcuts and to get things over and done with, such endeavours give you the platform to develop leadership, communication, people and project management skills.

13. Blog

There’s no harm in sharing your thoughts and experience about your university days in the online space.

However, you can use blogging to your advantage when you pick on topics you are interested in or industries which you want to explore to discuss and debate about relevant topics and matters.

For example, if your planning to go into HR, you can talk about the current trends and challenges which companies face in terms of recruitment, staff development and talent management, as well as provide your opinions on what you would do instead if you were the hiring manager.

12. Volunteer

There are countless ways and avenues for one to get involved in the projects, movements and non-profits around him.

Getting started is as simple as searching up the organisation on the internet, getting in touch with them and exploring how you can contribute. You’ll get new perspectives, meet new people and build up the necessary skills which are valuable in the workforce.

11. Join a student organisation

Apart from joining a student club because you find its activities interesting, challenge yourself to take it to the next level by running for a committee position, organising and hosting events and leading teams within the club itself.

Each university has its own student union or association that manages the clubs and organisations under its umbrella. Here are links to some of them:

10. Freelance

If you’ve got a skill in something, why not see how this can be monetised while providing you with good working experience?

Sidekicker is a great platform where you can take up customer service/support, marketing and presentation preparation tasks for compensation. If you are more into web, logo and graphic design, you can check out 99Designs. Elance is also an excellent place to pick up freelance jobs like writing, marketing and programming.

9. Engage with your university’s career services

While studying at university, a wealth of career preparation help and resources are available at your fingertips through your campus’ career services.

You simply don’t have to wait till graduation to start thinking about your career. You can start by making an appointment with a career consultant or counsellor to have a discussion to map out your career pathways and how you can prepare yourself for the workforce.

These are links to the career services in the various universities:

8. Tap into your network of contacts

They say that your network determines your net worth.

There’s a grain of truth in that because you never know where you can go when you leverage the potential of your contacts.

This involves asking your friends and family members whether they know of anyone who is working in your industry of interest. You can then get their help to introduce you to that person who can share more about his position and how he got there.

Read the second part of the series. In the meantime, if you have any career-related questions, feel free to share them in the comments below and I’ll have them answered.

Image courtesy of decoded conference.

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