Here are some tips for students who are entering the work field while still attending college. What type of jobs do most college students have? Many college students have had and continue to have service related jobs in order to pay for college and living expenses. In addition, it’s not too early to start thinking of job experience, skills, training, and networking that you gain while you’re still in school.
Don’t just think of your job as a ways to make a few bucks, use it to your fullest advantage. When you’re interviewing for a job, whether it be a fast food place, retail, delivering papers, tutoring, whatever – interview the interviewee. Ask him or her how they got where they are and see if you can find out if they worked their way through college. They will not only see you as a hard worker by getting a job while going to school but one that is interested in them as a person. Find out the needs of the company and what you have to offer them, especially since your schedule to work needs to be flexible around your school schedule.
Network, Network, Network!
When you’re working while going to college – most of you will most likely be in an hourly customer service and/or labor type of job. This means that you’ll want to find a job that is large enough to have other workers who are in college like yourself and those who have graduated. In addition to your bosses and coworkers, you have customers – if you’re waiting tables, a retail salesclerk, or parking cars – you most likely will have regular customers. Get to know them by name, see if you can get their business card when you’re making small talk. Share with them what you are studying and what you hope to do when you graduate. You never know where your next job interview will come from.
Look for a paid internship. Once you get to your junior and senior years of college you normally know what you will be majoring in your studies. Many companies offer no pay and paid internships. If you need the money while going to school the next best thing to gaining an internship is one that pays. Ask your school career counselor and search the web for companies and organizations which offer paid internships.
Many times companies hire from their intern program graduates. If anything, you can ask for a work reference and check if any of their partner companies have job vacancies when you graduate. If you aren’t able to find a paid internship, you should still plan to intern at least during your final year of college. By participating in an internship program either paid or unpaid, you gain valuable experience and contacts that you may not have working in a completely different field just to pay your bills through college.