Being a student in college can sometimes seem like a long dark tunnel with no hope at the end. We are all here with a goal to better ourselves with the hope of starting an illustrious career and a future we can count on.
Sounds great in theory, but the facts are the facts and we all know the job market is scarce. The reality of graduating with a degree and walking into a job market is not what it used to be.
As a recent attendee at the Associated Collegiate Press Convention in Seattle Wash. with The Commuter staff many of the sessions were tackling this reality head on.
One session in particular by Lauren Rabaino, focused on the risks that college students need to be taking while there in school to help themselves once they get out into the dreaded job market.
Rabaino knows first-hand the grueling task of graduating and finding a career. She graduated in 2009 from Cal Poly State in San Louis Obispo at a time when getting a job in journalism was close to impossible.
Her theme was simple – “take risks.”
Not only to take the risks in college, but to learn and recover from your risks to make you stronger. She firmly believes in the notion to challenge the traditional way of doing something and do this every day of your life.
Granted most of what Rabaino was referring to was the proper risks to take to enter the journalism field, but when you broaden her thought process it can resonate with almost all college students.
For instance, she focused a lot on getting involved with start-ups and believes everyone should get involved with at least one start-up in their life. Getting involved in a start-up she believes can teach you to contribute to your field in a non-conventional way, learn to wear many hats that you didn’t expect to wear to help you survive, learn to be nimble, and most of all teach you to fail gracefully.
A major theme throughout the conference was educating students on the importance of creating your own personal brand.
Rabaino also touched on this by adding that students need to build their own identity and voice that connects them to others that are similar to them and not just on Facebook.
Social Networking sites are popping up every minute, but Rabaino raved at the contacts and networking capabilities of Twitter. She claims most of her business contacts and opportunities that she has had can be linked right back to Twitter. Like other panalists she made it a point for students to search out who they want to be like and follow them. Not only follow them, but study them and engage with them via Twitter.
The job market might be tough right now, but as Rabaino noted it’s still out there for the taking. It is slowly getting better, but times are changing and unless students are willing to adapt to the new job market they could very well be left with just a fancy piece of paper at the end of their college days.