School is not all about getting good grades. It is also about building your capacity in the fields you want to be in after school.
You guys are always complaining that recruiters are always looking for 5 years of working experience from fresh university graduates, yet your whole four years in University you didn’t do a single internship!
My startup, Sesi Technologies was looking to recruit graduates for National Service positions and of the several computer science students who applied, none but one of them could readily show any projects they had done or send us a link to their GitHub! Yet they all had several interesting things written on their CV which seemed to suggest they had a lot of software development experience.
So then I asked myself, what were you doing with your life aside going for classes and writing exams?
The job market out there is tough. Trust me. Every week we are receiving dozens of random job applications, which means there is a wider pool of applicants to select from. This means if you want to increase your chances of getting a job after school, you need to be deliberate about standing out!
Building your capacity in the field you want to go into after school is one of the best ways to stand out!
Simply, no matter what field you want to go into, while in school, there are so many things you can do to build yourself up which can help you stand out among others when you go look for a job.
- Take an internship in an organization whose activities intersect with your area of interest.
- Take an online course in the areas which matter in your chosen field
- Work on projects (especially for engineering/software guys) and document your projects online which you can easily share with anyone who asks.
- Volunteer for a cause which matters with an organization or non-profit.
- Have a mentor who can guide you and help you shape your career path.
- Read books and articles online and stay current with the latest news in your industry.
- Be proactive, look out for opportunities and pursue them. At Sesi Technologies. 90% of the students who have interned with us reached out to us directly and they all do great!
So in summary, the job market out there is tough! If you don’t prepare yourself for what lies ahead, you’ll find yourself struggling to get a job. However, if you start practising some of the suggestions given above, you will put yourself in a good position to find a great job.
The writer, Isaac Sesi is an entrepreneur and writer and an alumnus of Mfantsipim School.