Morgan Housel wrote a great post earlier this summer entitled “Unsolicited Advice for Everyone About to Graduate College,” which can be found here. On a similar note, here are a few words of advice for those about to enter their senior year of college…
Start looking for a job now. Don’t wait until the spring, don’t wait until a month before you graduate, and don’t wait until after you graduate. Start researching now so you have options. You don’t want to be forced to make a decision, but that is what will happen if you wait until the last minute. Many people who put off the search end up settling for what they can get.
Meet with your professors outside of class. By senior year you should know which professors you respect. Meet with them during office hours or ask them for a few minutes to chat. Professors love this, and you will get some great advice.
Enjoy socializing with your classmates. A big part of college is about making connections with your peers. I forget where I heard this, but “college is the time you’ll have the most freedom with the least amount of responsibility.” Enjoy it. You will never have so much time to figure out what you like so take advantage of this.
Start to create/clean up your online presence. Have a decent LinkedIn profile. Maybe starting thinking twice about your tweets before posting them. I have had multiple interviewers comment on my social media. They were positive comments, but the point is they will look before they hire you.
Take care of yourself physically. Fair or not, we are judged on the way we look. Adhere to general hygiene. Regular exercise, a quality haircut, and ironing your clothes will make a bigger difference than you might think. Fortunately, these efforts will hopefully result in greater confidence and healthiness as well.
Start staying up-to-date with the news in your field. Make a habit of reading books, blogs, and professional journals. Know a little bit about the industry. Have a general sense as to what is going on outside of the academic setting.
None of these pieces of advice are particularly crucial, aside from maybe the first. That being said, a successful experience is often less about making herculean efforts and more about doing the little things right while avoiding the big mistakes. As Darren Hardy writes in The Compound Effect, “small, smart choices + consistency + time = a radical difference.”