Grad’s lack of experience compounds job hunt
FOR many students, the thought of leaving college to go out into the ‘big bad world’ can be quite intimidating. For those who are still studying, that time can seem far away and it can be easy to relax a little when it comes to building a career.
However, our years at university are more precious than we often realise. Indian national Kanchan Bhojwani, 21, who studied marketing and public relations at Murdoch University, learnt this lesson the hard way.
Having recently graduated, Kanchan says: “University was like a Rubik’s Cube; very colourful yet puzzling. Now I realise that grades do not matter as much as experience and preparation.”
Experience versus grades
Kanchan believes that a job is easier to find if you have lots of contacts or plenty of experience on your CV.
While university is supposed to help students prepare for the world of work, there is a limit to what a degree achieves: it all eventually comes down to the student’s personal attributes, self-motivation and work experience.
Good communication and judgemental skills and a well-built CV are what really matter when it comes down to impressing an interviewer.
“The hard work and time that I put into my assignments are pretty much a waste, because all this time what really mattered was the exposure [to work] so that, once I left, I could be fully prepared with a decent CV and portfolio,” says Kanchan.
If she could go back and start university all over again, she would definitely be more serious about her career: “Every vacation I would try to get in touch with good advertising companies and find myself an internship at the very least.”
Kanchan is frank in admitting that she is struggling to find a job at the moment because of her lack of experience gained during the course of her university studies.
However, she adds that situational factors were a massive disadvantage for her. For instance, when she once applied for an internship, the person in charge told her that they would get back to her in the future; when that happened she was out of town.
In another instance, she applied for an internship and had given a successful interview, but received an email a few days later saying that, while her interview was impressive, the company had selected another batch of interns.
Past rejections have taken their toll on her confidence. “Even if I do find a job, I do not know if I will be able to live up to the company’s expectations,” she says.
The next step
Kanchan has applied for some job vacancies through job hunt websites, but has received no reply so far. Her next step is to gather contacts.
“Contacts make a lot of difference. I am going to speak to my university officials and see if they can help,” she says.
Despite her struggle, Kanchan still has hope, and has some sage advice for others still at university and those in her situation: “Be prepared for everything, every possibility. That includes rejection. Try to get as much exposure during your university years as possible and consider consulting a career counsellor to determine your strengths and weaknesses.
“After you graduate, don’t let rejection bring you down. Enjoy your life and remember it is just the beginning.”
What's your experience of being a recent graduate? Comment below...