Posted May 12, 2014 by

Preparing Students for Success Throughout Their College Careers

College students walking together in a row on campus

College students walking together in a row on campus. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

College students are continually preparing for a bad economy and highly competitive job market when they leave school. In order to obtain post-grad engagement and support, universities need to prepare students for a successful career. Universities can provide help by hosting networking opportunities, maintaining a relationship with the student and providing emotional support through this difficult transition. Don’t expect a gift like the $151 Billion donation from Real Estate mogul John Arrillaga to his alma mater, Stanford. But any student prepared to accomplish life goals will certainly be more willing to give back to the University that got them there.

Strengthen Job Searching Skills

Whether students are focused on art history or biology in school, they will need to have strong job searching skills to survive in the real world. Their alma maters can help with a student success center or a career advisement program that provides them with information on resume writing, mock interviews, career fairs and professional advisor-student relationships.

Physical handouts, a monthly email and worksheets all simulate the classroom environment. Teaching students job skills through a medium they’re familiar with will facilitate communication and improve learning retention. For example, creating material like Vanderbilt University’s Elevator Speech worksheet is a great way for students to know what they should say when attempting to land their dream job.

Use Technology as a Tool

Universities should strive to stay present in students’ lives throughout their college years and beyond. Use social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and create accounts solely for your student and alumni demographic. Arizona State University has a Facebook page that regularly provides career advancement help, information on upcoming events and general news about ASU. Go a step further and invite students to an online discussion forum them that opens a dialogue between current students, alumni and professionals. The ASU campus is in the same proximity as large corporations such as LifeLock, partnering with these companies or advising students to look up career information about LifeLock on LinkedIn makes practical sense.

Work Together Toward Success

Much like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a university to raise a professional. Teamwork is key for post-graduation success. This should not be an afterthought, but something that has been cultivated from the first day of college. Talking about the future from day one will better prepare students once graduation day comes. Furthermore, a sense of shared ownership and professional support will put students at ease. Here are some ways university’s can prepare students for post-grad life.

  • Determine a student’s strengths and passions.
  • Set up structured career counseling early on.
  • Create career goals that match education.
  • Clarify the importance of “soft skills.”Schedule mentor meetings between students and young professionals.

Source: SocialMonsters

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