When you graduate, employers will expect you to have some crucial skills in addition to knowledge related to your major. There are multiple ways you can learn these skills, including by volunteering, participating in campus clubs and organizations, and working a part-time job or an internship, as well as in the classroom. Here are a few to start building now.
1. Time Management
You’ll begin developing better time management skills as soon as you start college because you’ll need to dedicate several hours a week to studying in your own time. You also won’t have anyone reminding you to keep making progress on projects to ensure you meet your deadlines. Being able to explain in a job interview how you created a balance between your schoolwork and your social life can help make you an appealing candidate.
2. Digital Literacy
Employers will want to know you’re able to perform basic tasks using a computer without the need for any training. You may need to be familiar with specialist software, know how to use shortcuts, and be able to perform internet research. If you’re lacking any of these skills, watch tutorials, take some free online courses, or ask for help at your college.
Even positions that typically require you to work independently will involve some collaboration. It’s important to be able to show that you will be a valuable team member. This involves listening to others’ ideas, contributing your own thoughts, and working with teammates to meet your goals. You may be able to demonstrate that you possess these skills if you belong to a club or sports team or if you’ve worked on group projects.
You need to have good verbal and written communication skills to succeed in the world of work. Your classes will likely give you plenty of opportunity to improve your writing, but chances to practice verbal communication may be more limited. If you feel this is something you lack, join a study group or become more active in your community to gain experience listening to others, asking for clarification, and explaining concepts.
More jobs and other opportunities will be open to you in the future if you hone your networking skills now. Push yourself to network with students and other people by attending events where you don’t know anyone and setting an aim to make a certain number of new contacts.
You may have learned to be a leader without even realizing it, such as if you played a central role in a group project. However, if you want to apply for managerial positions after you graduate, it may be worth taking leadership classes or running for student government. These options will teach you more about delegating, providing constructive feedback, and resolving conflict.
7. Global Citizenship
Understanding more than just your own culture is important when working for an international company or for a business that has clients all over the globe. You can develop your global citizenship skills by taking electives that will teach you about other cultures, participating in projects with people from a variety of backgrounds, and studying or volunteering abroad.
You also need to learn how to be independent — not just for your career but to be able to survive on your own after graduation. To learn this, it’s important to live in your own apartment rather than on campus. You’ll find Niagara College student housing at Foundry Lofts. In your suite, you’ll have laundry facilities, everything you need to prepare your own meals, and fibre internet to keep you connected. Book a tour to check out our student community for yourself before you sign a lease.