The world is becoming more and more competitive every single day. There was a time when the college years in a person’s life were considered to be a period of devotion to academic work. The only things that you were expected to have were good grades, a bunch of great friends and positive remarks from all your professors. Times have changed dramatically since those days. Being the class topper is no longer good enough to be an outstanding college student. You need to bring something extra to the table and have that x-factor that will let the world differentiate you from the rest of the crowd.
It is not simply about standing out as a student. Forget about success, you need to focus on non-academic activities during your college years in order to survive the tests of the real world. In other words, you need to obtain work experience to adequately prepare yourself for all the hurdles and obstacles that you will deal with later on in your life.
Anyone who says that there is no time for work other than studies during the college years is either too lazy to explore options or is simply lying to you. Then there are those who will tell you that there is no way to get decent work experience under your belt as a college student. As pragmatic as their assumptions may sound, they are all wrong. Here are 10 ways in which you can get work experience during your college years:
1) Find an Internship Program
An internship program will provide you with a wonderful work experience that you will never forget. Most internship programs out there are very respectable in terms of what they have to offer to a student. Some internship programs are paid, while others are unpaid. Your primary concern here should not be the monetary gain. Forget about earning high wages. Simply focus on getting as much experience as you can from being a part of a working environment. There is a lot for you to learn and absorb as an intern. The experience gained here will definitely help you become a more competent professional later on in your life.
2) Work As a Volunteer
As mentioned before, money should be of little concern to you during the college years. The road to becoming a millionaire does not begin in college. However, you do need to lay a foundation for yourself so that one day you can hope to become an extremely affluent and successful human being. That being said, you should try to look for opportunities to work as a volunteer in different kinds of projects. The knowledge and experience that you will acquire from voluntary work will change your perspective of life and give you a better understanding of what it is like to work in a local, national or global organization. Doing voluntary work will also allow you to interact with many underprivileged men, women and children of our society. These interactions will serve as a lesson in humanity that will make you a better citizen.
3) Take On a Leadership Role at a Club
Colleges have a number of different student clubs that can pique your interest. Depending on what your major is and where your passion lies, you can select a student club where you will be afforded the opportunity to take on a leadership role. There are too many students who head over to the club for a free pizza. Don’t be like them. Clubs are meant to be fun, exciting and entertaining. However, your time in the club should also be a learning curve for you. If you get to be a club leader of some sort, then you will be adding to your existing leadership skills. Excellent leadership skills will be pivotal for success in the corporate world, should you choose to take that career path.
4) Work for a Startup Company
Working for a startup company is one of the smartest decisions you will ever make in your life. Securing employment in such a company is pretty much a win-win situation. Companies such as these are often founded and run by energetic, dynamic and highly ambitious college students. If the company succeeds a few years down the road, you will be generously rewarded for dedicating so many precious hours of your life during the early stages of business operations. If the company does not reach the projected heights, then you can at least walk away with a truck load of experience that will make you a stronger candidate for employment in the future.
5) Start Your Own Business
Be a part of the young entrepreneur’s society in America. There are hundreds of inspirational entrepreneurs who had started their million/billion dollar businesses during their college years. Not everyone succeeds at doing this, but you could be among the ones that do. All you need is the right set of ideas, exemplary business practices and a knack for hiring the best employees.