Things I wish I did in university

Recently, I started reminiscing about my university life and lifestyle, and realized, that I regret missing out on a lot of things, that, given a chance, I’d do differently; so I made this short (-ish) post on what I would have improved on.

All 4 are very important: I hope they will help you to make solid and smart decisions.

1. Paying more attention in classes and getting better grades.

Lame or obvious as it may sound, a lot of people may admit to being guilty of being dispersed during the classes. Having been employed in the field I focused my education in, most things that I have learned became either a) obsolete, or b) forgotten. I can’t recall what my classes were really about. There are things I wish I remembered (especially, in managerial accounting).

2. Being more social outside my comfort zone.

A significant advantage of going to a good college or a university is to make potentially useful connections. Many of my friends and acquaintances have gotten hired via referrals, and I have helped more that one of my friends to find a job where I work or used to. The more people you know, the bigger chance you have of getting a referral or two, that’s just the Law of Averages.

3. Volunteering and getting relevant work experience.

During my 2-something years in University (for those who didn’t know, I graduated from Capilano University with the Diploma in Business Administration), I have volunteered in S.O.S. Treasure Cottage in North Vancouver and took internship at Overtime Building Maintenance. The Treasure Cottage was a non-profit thrift store, which sold various donated items, and the profit went to Foster Families BC. I accepted donations and stayed at the register as a greeter and a cashier. At Overtime Building Maintenance I was a Marketing Intern for about 3 months, during which me and the Marketing Manager took on a case study about the impact of “Green” (e.g. environmentally-friendly) cleaning supplies on the overall health and wellness of students, while trying to promote the company services and find good leads.

Unless you have bounty-hunters from HR haunting you everywhere you go, having an extra thing or two on your resume (given, that they are relevant to the position you are applying) is at the very least helpful.

4. Not visiting employment fairs, workshops and seminars.

About a year ago I started going to various summits, such as Social Media Week during the last week of September 2012, and Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Education workshop in June 2013 (I was reluctant to read the book at first, but loved it from the first page).

Start applying to jobs, get better at resume-writing, talk to employers and get a grasp of what they expect. Tip: take a co-op program (combining classroom education with actual work experience) – even if you don’t end up with a job, at least with a co-op you end up with credits towards a degree.

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