Friday, January 19, 2007

NextPath - 13 Things I Wish I Learned in College

NextPath - 13 Things I Wish I Learned in College

13 Things I Wish I Learned In College

College is a great experience that millions of students look forward to every year. I myself have been in college for a total of 6 years and have obtained a B.A. in communications as well as a MBA. After attending college I started working and realized that college does not prepare you for the real world. Here are some of the things that I should have learned in college so I would have been more prepared for my job after college.

1. Getting to the Point – Most of the term papers I did in college were long and had minimal requirements. The last thing my boss wants to read is a 10 page report that could have been one paragraph long. Professors need to teach students to get to the point and not push for lengthy essays.

2. Making Proper Presentations – I have made a lot of presentations in college, but the professors did not show me how to successfully communicate my ideas. Having cheesy designed slides may have worked well in college, but in the corporate world simple, effective designs are preferred. Now I have learned that slides with less text and larger font sizes are much more effective then slides with lots of text and small font sizes.

3. Working on a Team – Most of my college career was made up of reading, studying, test taking and paper writing. Most of which I did alone. I was graded on how well I performed, not on how well I performed on a team. But now, my boss wants to see how well I can cooperate with my co-workers, how well, WE can complete projects. So, being diplomatic and being open minded to team-member’s ideas has become second-practice. It’s important to understand that every member of a team brings their own skill set and perspective to a project.

4. Writing a Resume – It seems like one of the biggest college and post college misnomers concerns “writing a resume.” College seminars that help students prepare for the great “job hunt,” should teach students how to create a basic resume template and then custom tailor it to fit specific job requirements. I’ve found that resumes that address the specific skills associated with job or company work best. Research the company you are interested in working for. Try to find how your interests, skills or knowledge directly applies to that company and that position. Then sell it on one page. There is no reason you can’t have more that one resume.

5. Interviewing – I spent some ample time in college talking to my professors in an attempt to highlight my value in class, but dropping knowledge to a professor in order to increase my grade and proving that I am the best candidate for a job are two very different things. First off, be prepared to be judged, by how you are dressed, how well you answer questions and in “stress interviews” where there are multiple people interviewing you at once, on how well you keep your cool. Again, research the company before you go on your interview, go ahead and Google the name of the person who is interviewing you, find out as much as you can before you step into that room. I’ve also found it helpful to take about an hour the day before the interview and imagine what questions you might be asked and how you would respond to them. This gets your brain working in the right direction.

Click to the article to read the rest of the items. Good stuff.

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