WE MARKET EVERYTHING ELSE – WHY NOT OURSELVES?
As the great Dr. Seuss would say, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
As an academic advisor, students constantly tell me: “I just want to major in something that will get me a good job.” Well, great! So does every other student attending a college or university…
So what do I do when this happens? I tell the students this: I don’t believe that there is ANY major here at TTU that will guarantee you a good job. It’s all about you and how you market yourself.
Sure, having a college degree can certainly help you land a great job. However, I would like to argue that communication skills, GPA, internships, valuable work experience, discipline, interview skills, knowledge, etc. are more valuable than just getting a degree.
I’m a firm believer that if you are studying what you love, you’ll be good at it. If you’re trying to study something you hate, you’re not going to be very good at it. That being said, I do believe that any major here at TTU will guarantee you a good job if you work for it and learn how to market yourself effectively.
Am I sounding crazy yet? Yes? Good.
Let’s break it down a little further:
Knowledge. Take the time to learn the information you are studying during your time here. Don’t just memorize answers and trivia for exam day. Learning the information and how to apply it in ‘real world’ situation can go a long way in helping you land that dream job.
GPA. Grade point average. Not only is it extremely important during your time at TTU (you need a 2.0 to avoid being placed on Academic Probation or Suspension), it can help set you apart in competitive career fields. Also, majors like Petroleum Engineering and Energy Commerce have strict GPA requirements to even begin the programs.
Communication skills. Ah, communication. My favorite. Verbal, non-verbal, written, and social media communication skills are all great to have. Being able to converse with customers, supervisors, authority figures, etc. is an extremely important skill no matter what field you are going in to. Being able to communicate your skills, interests, values, and work experience effectively can help you market yourself to even the toughest critics.
Internships. Being able to expand your resume with internships is a fantastic way to grab potential employers’ attention! This gives you the opportunity to observe what it’s like working in the field(s) you are interested in. Completing relevant internships can help you gain that ‘real world’ experience, obtain specific job skills, and make great connections. Take advantage of this! Turn those connections and skills into something you can market with your resume.
Valuable Work Experience. If you’re anything like me, you have to work to put yourself through school and you don’t have time to participate in the various student organizations TTU has to offer. That’s okay! ANY job has the potential to teach you valuable skills and responsibilities that you need after graduation. For example: I’m sure many of you are servers or bartenders at local restaurants, right? So was I! Maintaining a positive attitude while dealing with customer service issues, ability to multi-task, maintain customer relations, working well with others, stress management light supervisory skills, etc. can all come from working in food service! Does this make sense? Any job (no matter how mundane you think it is), has the potential to look good on a resume. It’s all about how you market it.
Interview Skills. The interview process for my specific job included a phone interview followed by 3 ½ hours of a prepared research presentation, a Q&A session with 8-12 other advisors and student workers, a skills demonstration, and then a more ‘formal’ interview. Sound terrifying? It was. Fortunately for me, I was prepared. I happen to have learned the skills during my time as an undergraduate at TTU to go into by interview with confidence. How? By following everything I stated above. Not only did I practice my communication skills and polish my resume, I researched everything about the office I wanted to hire me. All of this gave me the advantage of being able to market myself. That being said, here are a few tips to help you nail that interview:
You are your very own brand. Don’t be afraid to use that to your advantage! Market yourself and land that dream job.