Being at university is no easy picnic for the majority of students. Okay, so it may look on the surface that they are just a bunch of scruffy layabouts that do nothing but feed off pizzas, sleep all day, and party all night, but I think we need to give the majority of our well-read rebels a bit of slack here.
For many undergraduates, their education is not taken for granted. Most do not arrive at campus in BMW sports cars and credit cards to boot. In fact, a large amount of those entering higher education find it necessary to support themselves for the duration of their study period and have no choice but to find jobs that they can fit-in around their classes.
Jobs for students are usually both casual and menial in nature. It's theses job types that allow the flexible working hours necessary for the young learners. Unfortunately, jobs for students are usually poorly paid too. However, working in a McDonalds as a waitress today may open a door to a junior store manager after graduation, so sometimes, a tedious job through college could result in a career move later on, providing you impressed the big wigs along the way of course.
I remember working as a bartender during my entire college career. Bar jobs for students are perfect, as the tips are usually far greater in a busy pub than a bustling restaurant. There's something about folks and alcohol that makes them loosen up on the ole purse strings when it comes to settling the bill. Yes, bar work was perfect for me and I loved to keep my finger on the pulse of the social scene without having to dig too deep into my own pitiful funds. Socializing while working. It doesn't get any better than that.
Although there are many types of jobs for students I think I'm right in saying that bar work is the most popular and therefore the most difficult to get into. It's an unfortunate fact, but true nonetheless, that good looking students have a much greater chance of landing these sought after pub positions than the unattractive or just plain ugly kids.
In hind sight, I wish I had thought more carefully about the jobs for students that were available at my years at uni. I was so busy having fun in the pub, that I completely overlooked the potential out there.
I always wanted to be an executive in the civil service and there were plenty of casual jobs in the local passport office going at the same time that I was at college. This would have shown enthusiasm and devotion to my major and would most likely have placed me in a favorable position for any openings after graduation. In actual fact, I personally know of 5 graduates from my year that walked into such junior executive positions within the civil service and yes, they all took part time work at the local passport office during their study years.
Me, after failing numerous interviews for governmental posts, I gave up and took a job as an assistant manger for a tiny shoe shop in the local high street of my home town. I have no plans to make a career out of this but I'm certain today that if I'd looked carefully at the jobs for students available back in my days of higher education, I may have placed myself in good stead for a better career launch after graduation.
It's too late for me, but if you are an undergraduate, why not carefully consider the jobs for students on hand during your summer employment. Be mindful about what you want to do for a living after you graduate. You may well find jobs for students that relate specifically to your area of interest. It is these employment opportunities that will help you establish yourself as a professional in the future.
With the high level of competition amongst students and graduates and the need of companies to recruit the best quality, this has triggered an enhancement in the level of sophistication of the graduate recruitment procedure.
Enterprises now report responses to adverts running in the hundreds where formerly they could have acquired thirty or so. It means that graduate job searchers are up against a wide range of competitors all with the same or similar experience. It is the responsibility of each potential employee to make themselves stay ahead of the crowd.
Each and every single student or graduate job seeker has personal competencies which have been developed over the years not just in university but also before. These need to be identified by undertaking an analysis of your transferable skills.
The step you now require to take is to ensure that you have an understanding of these unique selling points, can mention about them with regards to work and can bring examples forward at the right moment to reinforce your suitability for specified job openings.
Here are ten key selling points that people who run businesses look out for. You owe it to yourself to discover where you are strong in particular areas and determine what evidence you have to support your claims:
Adaptability: How good are you at working with change? We live in an ever changing world - the only certain thing is that things will change. Were there any times in your working career when you confirmed versatility and a drive to adapt? Think clearly about this and build some set answers that concentrate on real examples from your working life.
Commitment: All entrepreneurs are on the lookout for constancy in the people they employ. It's a task to reveal commitment or loyalty if you have only had part time jobs or no jobs at all. A technique around this is to point out a consignment to customer satisfaction or quality. Did you ever go that extra mile to make a difference for the customer?
Communication: But it is thought to a number of of the situations, which happen in organisations, are due to a breakdown in communications. As a student, can you show that you have an awareness of what constitutes good lines of communication, that you realise its importance for success and that you have demonstrated in a practical way your persistence for guaranteeing good communication in all working activities.
Creativity in Problem Solving: Can you show that your way to solving problems does not rely on all the old familiar approaches but that your approach comprises of using not only reasoning but also ingenuity and creativity?
Decision Making: Exhibit that you have a technique. This strategy will be logical and well thought out, show that you can make judgements. Give examples of when confronted with a problem or an opportunity you examined the options and decided where the business planned to be in the future. You then set some objectives and drew up an action plan.
Evaluation: You need to show how you are committed to providing for the evaluation and review of the decisions you have taken. Give examples of your research strategy and how you applied it.
Foresight:A well-considered method of looking into the future and seeing the issues prior to when they occur. How did you make obvious the ability to see the trouble a long way off before it was upon you? This is a worthy skill and one that future employers will appreciate and value.
Independence: How much do you desire to be supervised? Can you work on your own? Can you set your own agenda in line with the needs of the organisation? How did you show this? Give examples of when and under what happenings you took accountability to good effect.
Team Player: Success is a team game! Corporations will want to see that you can lead and be lead - negotiate with others - work collaboratively on concerns and encourage colleagues to give their best. What examples of this do you have from your working life?
Value Added Marketing: You probably will not be a sales person but every member of the organisation is expected to play a part in selling the product even in the care or public sector. Most organisations adopt a market lead approach to business. What ever you think about this it is obvious that there is no business where there are no clients. Your future student or graduate employer will be looking for evidence of your support of the marketing function. How did you forward the image of your company to the customers?
In the summer of 2001 Avid Amiri, a graduate student at the Johnson School of Business at Cornell University, began research on the emerging opportunities within the internet space. His research involved analysis of the top 100 etailing firms, including eBay.com, amazon.com, shopping.com and others to better understand the business models supporting these companies and the technology undergirding their web platforms. Amiri also investigated leading "mom and pop" ecommerce firms to evaluate strengths of these smaller companies and the traffic strategies that were most successful.
His research was shared with colleagues as well as faculty and discussed within the context of a new breed of entrepreneurship, namely ecommerce entrepreneurship. Amiri's central contention was that in a manner inconsistent with previous economic changes, the primary driver for success online was intellectual as opposed to capital. Where previous economic changes involved high capital intensity, within the online realm knowledge and intellectual capital were paramount for success. Companies involving a drop ship model where freed from the historical restraints of warehousing and order fulfillment, often the most expensive part of a new retail operation.
Avid Amiri also concentrated on the role and importance of search engine optimization, an area of the web which he believe will separate strong an d sustainable ecommerce companies from firms that will experience diminishing profitability over time, as advertising and marketing costs online continue to escalate. Amiri asserts that ecommerce "real estate" defined as natural search positioning will take on a new economic value and will fortify valuations for ecommerce businesses within the next decade. He has performed detailed regression analysis of over 1000 small to mid sized ecommerce firms and has seen a strong covariance between the success of these companies and their natural search positioning.
Originally from Utah, Amiri had seen other Utah internet businesses burgeon since the onset of the internet revolution, companies like Authorizenet et al and felt like while these were strong business models, they were models that could be improved upon. Amiri continues to discuss these topics with colleagues and plans on further research over the next year.
Have you and your new graduate developed a plan for the freshman year of college? Creating an effective plan of action for the start of college requires input from parents and students working together. Involved parents can begin to shape the future of their children by helping them develop an effective plan for college.
Since most students head off to college with no plan at all, those who take the time to figure out how they plan to get started will have an immediate advantage. When the steps are anticipated, the results are improved.
To get started off on the right foot, think about three questions:
A. What does it take to generate a workable plan of action for the freshman year?
1. A good relationship between the parent(s) and the student.
2. An agreed upon direction.
3. A degree of flexibility for all involved.
B. What should the parent and student team include in their plan? Think about your goals and include the steps that will get you there.
1. Is the student prepared to select a major now or will he/she explore options by taking classes in areas of interest? Does the college allow/support exploration?
2. Select classes that support the major or help with exploration. Ask upper class students about professors and class requirements.
3. Explore the campus itself via computer and by personal investigation. Find out where every resource is located. Visit the student's adviser.
4. Students should put forth a special effort to make friends. (Dorms, Classes, Library, Cafeteria, Clubs, Activities, Sports, Work, Campus Events etc.)
5. Determine what college clubs, organizations and activities support the student's direction and goals.
6. Identify off-campus organizations and activities that support the direction and goals.
7. Participation is a key to success. Students don't become successful by remaining in their dorm rooms. Each student should try to participate in something where they can make a contribution.
8. Consider the options with regard to work. Students can work on-campus or off-campus. Investigate part-time work in your field of interest.
9. Take a look at possible community service activities. What services, causes and community needs are important to the student?
10. Study habits and academic achievement should be discussed. A CUM below 2.7 on a 4 point scale will not help all that much. A "B" average or better is expected by the most sought after employers and graduate schools. Many look for candidates with an average well above a 3.0.
11. Who are the most influential people on campus and in your field?
12. End up with a simple, realistic plan that students and parents can live with.
C. What else should parents do for students?
1. Discuss past successes and failures. But, try to spend 95% of the time on the positives. Be prepared to offer encouragement and suggest alternatives.
2. Encourage students to make most of their own decisions. Generally, your job is to offer advice and guidance, not make decisions for them. Recognize that some mistakes are inevitable. Expect them. Be prepared to address them.
3. Always be happy to talk with the student about anything that concerns them.
4. Show your support for the student. Be a good listener.
5. Stay out of most campus problems. Do not talk to a professor about an assignment, grade or something similar. That is not our role. Students must learn to handle things like that on their own.
6. Recognize that your children are not you. They will have their own needs, wants, goals and ways of doing things.
Parents and students should be looking to the future, so they can create a simple plan with a few important steps that will support their goals. In that way, parents agree on the steps, track the progress, offer support and encouragement and celebrate the milestones that are achieved. The best plans allow for changes, as the student learns more about their interests and abilities.
When parents and students work together and are in agreement, the chances of success are greatly improved and their relationship will be strengthened.
Visit Bob's web site: http://www.The4Realities.com. Bob Roth is the author of The 4 Realities Of Success During and After College -and- The College Student's Guide To Landing A Great Job.