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Career Advice I Wish I had Before I Graduated

Group of students in graduation robes on stage.

University is a time of change, growth and development, not only in your personal life but also in your career. It can be quite stressful, with the pressure to figure out exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life weighing on your shoulders. To give you the upper hand upon graduation, we talked to some of our Trainees in the New York Academy to find out what they wish they knew when they were still in school. Here are a few pieces of advice to follow when in the first stages of your career.

"The career advice I wish I had when I was in college was to network and to be open to all opportunities. During college, I spent my time going to class and then studying outside of class. However, part of your college career should also be focused on attending networking events. It is important to connect with employers and communicate your strengths and skill set. Communication is vital to your success, and I believe many college students take this for granted. I recommend building a portfolio with all the business cards you receive at each networking event. Then don't be fearful to send out a follow up email after your encounter. By doing this, doors begin to open for you and opportunities arise that you never imagined. Before you graduate, make the most of your time outside of the classroom and don't limit yourself." – Mary Kimmel

“There are many pieces of advice I wish I had received while I was still in university. One thing that sticks out the most is to be more proactive in learning from other people’s mistakes. I have always believed that the best lessons are those you learn from your own failures and I was never as keen to learn from the mistakes made by others. I could’ve gained a better understanding and insight on how to properly handle different situations if I had shown more initiative. While I transitioned from academia to the professional world, one thing became very clear; anybody can read a textbook, however, the real life application of the knowledge it contains is very different.”  - Austin Mueller

“There is so much I wish I knew around the time most people start transitioning from college into the workforce. There is no doubt it can be highly stressful at times, but if you just be yourself when it comes to job searching it will make the process much easier. There will be failures along the way, but you will overcome them and it will only make you stronger. Also, don’t be afraid to speak your mind and most importantly, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. I wish I found out about FDM earlier because it has given me the best resources and preparation for entering the workforce.” - Winnie Liang

“At the age of 21, I was in the third year of university and interning at a public accounting firm. In many cases, junior year of university is the year that people begin to think seriously about their future career. Although I gained internship experience during my time at university, I remained at one firm for more than a year. I wish someone had suggested that I explore different companies in order to gain experience in different work environments.

Secondly, I know now that I underestimated the importance of developing a professional network while in school. I wish I had been advised to nurture my LinkedIn profile at an earlier stage in university. Growing your professional network can help not only with your job search after university, but can also provide you with valuable advice during university.

Two years on from that internship, I now understand the importance of standing out from the crowd. As a business major, it was difficult to stand out amongst the hundreds of thousands of business graduates who are conferred degrees every year. I wish I had appreciated and learned more skills in order to strengthen my resume and differentiate myself from the rest. My experiences at FDM have informed me that it is never too early or late to solicit career advice. Effective career advice should be accepted at any stage of your career.” - Rahul Reddy

If you’re looking for a way to network and expand your knowledge after graduation, apply to the FDM Careers Program today.

Featured image credit: Photo by StockSnap on Pixabay 

Updated 22 May, 2019

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