Authors: Kateryna Ovsianyk and Nargiza Aitpayeva* The all-time joke between high-schoolers and soon-to-graduate university students is that they need years of experience before they can get their first job. But the true question is: How do I get experience to start my career?
University years are for making memories, but they are also a time to gain experience and skills that you can then apply to the workplace after you graduate. Here are 5 tips for you to help you get relevant working experience during student years:
Find an organization in your field of interest and get involved! Many university students gain lots of experience with volunteering. Even though internships don’t pay as well as a job (if they pay at all), it is the perfect way to build your resume.
Volunteering offers you many benefits, from gaining valuable experience to making a difference and gaining new network contacts. Find a company or program that matches your career path and ask them about internship opportunities, or visit the Corvinus career support for ideas.
Pro Tip: The United Nations Volunteer Program is often hunting for young prospective talents, so don’t hesitate to check their website.
2. Part-time jobs
Another option for gaining work experience while at uni is finding a part-time job. Many students work in coffee shops or clothing stores for 2-3 days a week, but don’t limit yourself to just these positions. For example, you can turn your photography hobby into a part-time job, or do some English teaching both online and offline.
Pro Tip: Online English School Skyeng provides you with the opportunity to hold one-2-one lessons. Check their website to find more information on how to become a tutor.
3. Time to move from Instagram to LinkedIn
Now, the first app you check in the morning is going to be LinkedIn.
Before setting or editing your profile, try to research people of your desired sphere and get some references on keywords that should be mentioned in your experience. Make sure to choose an appropriate photo and background for your profile. Once you have done this, set search for your desired position and region and don’t forget to turn on the notifications. Half way through!
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to use the LinkedIn function called - Open to work. Thus, potential employers will be able to see your availability.
4. CV attached
Now it’s you and the endless open positions that you are potentially going to apply to.
Okay, you found the position you want. What is next? Resume? Nope!
TopResume! The platform that will allow you to prepare your CV before applying to the position. No secret that some companies use scanning machines in the application process. If your CV doesn’t fit the keywords of the position, you might get automatic rejection with nice wishes for the future. Okay, back to TopResume, this platform will scan your current CV and give you some recommendations on improving them. It has paid functions, but for us, students, the free option is quite enough.
Pro Tip: You may also ask your professors or friends who already work to have a look at your CV. Make sure your CV has personal touch and looks nice. Use LinkedIn to fill it with content and use Canva to make it look nice.
You must have been tired of this word, but it’s very important to join a network of people which will encourage you in your professional endeavors. Before you join any country- or world- based network, try checking Corvinus student organisations and communities according to your interest. These communities will help you to get needed experience and arm you with different soft skills like: communication, people skills, networking. But most importantly try to become a proactive member, thus you will improve your leadership and managing skills which will be very helpful in your future projects.
Pro Tip: For example you may like to join the National Union of Students in Hungary’s (HÖOK) Stipendium Hungaricum Mentor Network. The network’s goal is to help freshman students that are coming to Hungary with the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship to integrate into a new environment. Go to their website to become a mentor and find your perfect mentoring buddy.
And the most important tip for getting experience while in college: don’t be afraid to try.
*The authors of this post are students of our Master in Communication and Media Studies at Corvinus University of Budapest. This content was produced as part of the course on Public Relations and Marketing Communication Design, led by Milson Veloso.