Graduation usually arrives quicker than you expect. But with so much to fit in what should you be doing earlier in your academic career? To make sure you have made the most of your university experience here are nine things you shouldn’t leave until your final year of University.
Your final year of university arrives faster than you expect and before you know it there is a list of things that you wish you had done earlier. Between final assignments, revision and job-searching, there is minimal time to complete your list of things, so here are nine that you can do early in your university life to make your final year run more smoothly.
1. Join a society, and lead it
Everyone needs to experience being in a society – and in case you need a reason, here’s why you should join a society while at University. Most universities run a ‘Societies Fair’ in the first week of term, so make sure you attend. By signing up early, you can meet new people (many of whom will be in the same boat), discover and develop a new talent and get the full experience from start to finish. Once you have joined why not stand for election to join the Executive Committee, or better still run as President. This will provide you with the leadership skills that will prove invaluable when applying for a job.
2. Build your LinkedIn profile
Often students delay this task until they come to apply for graduate jobs. However, with other commitments taking a lot of your time during final year, it’s good practice to create your profile at the earliest possible stage of your academic career. Employers are now looking for candidates who have complemented their degree with work experience on industrial placement s and internships, so don’t forget to add these as well as any summer or part time jobs, to LinkedIn profile. And don’t forget to mention any non-academic activities such as societies you joined, as these will enhance your employability.
3. Run for an election
Elections fever is one of the most exciting times of year as candidates make their pledges, launch their creative campaigns across campus and campaign for votes. Being an officer requires a huge time commitment with meetings, events and admin work alone, so why not run during your first year or second year, when you will have more time to commit to the role.
4. Building relations with your university tutors
Most students see their tutors in their seminars and lectures only. Try to introduce yourself to your tutors early, asking either for advice or help with recommended readings. This rapport will allow you to feel comfortable approaching them in person (as opposed to by email) for help with those critical assignments as you progress throughout your time at university.
5. Study abroad/travelling
Opportunities to study abroad for a term or year are growing in number. These will give you the invaluable opportunity to develop cultural experiences. Explore whether your university has a partnership with another university in another country. See this as a way to develop new skills, as well as potentially learn a new language.
6. Visit your careers service
Using your university’s Careers Service during your first or second year will allow you to understand what career resources are available. Furthermore, attending CV workshops and Interview practice sessions earlier in your academic life will leave you better prepared for when you come to apply for summer internships or industrial placements.
7. Use library resources
Leaving this until the assignments grow in number and difficulty in your second year could make an already challenging situation even more difficult and time-consuming. Therefore, take some time to familiarise yourself with the library and its resources during your first year. In the long term this will save a lot of time which can be allocated to completing your assignments.
8. Find cheaper ways of doing things
Starting at university leads to the temptation to buy everything brand new. And textbooks, socialising and gym memberships soon eat up your student loan. For many, it is not until your second year that you really begin to learn the tricks and realise how much money could have been saved. As you progress through your first year, do some research online, or ask other student friends for their money-saving tips while at University. You will find that purchasing second-hand text books and buying an NUS Extra card will save you money.
9. Explore the hidden gems within your university town/city
In your first year you are often shown the most popular places in town and they quickly become the norm when a group of you are choosing where to go out. However, there can often be other places that are lesser known, restaurants and bars for example, which you tend to find out about through word of mouth and in later years. Take the time to ask around, or perhaps plan a day trip to a local town so you can really get to know your surrounding areas.
By the time you come to graduate you will want to have had the full student experience and each of these things will add value to your time at University. Not only that but they will provide you with a set of skills which prove useful when coming to apply for your graduate jobs. Why not put these skills to the test by applying for a Graduate job with Enterprise now.
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