What Do You Need To Know Before You Graduate?
Once a year, I give up a weekend of my time to volunteer as a Visiting Industrialist for the Department of Computer Science at Aberystwyth University. Working in teams, we read and review CVs and covering letters from 2nd year students, and provide them with both feedback on their efforts and with the opportunity to practice being interviewed. It’s a very demanding weekend, but very rewarding.
The basics - read the job description, sell yourself in your covering letter, make your CV relevant - are taken care of easily enough during the time that we have with the students, and we’re normally able to coax something interesting and different out of each student that we interview. It’s harder to impress on each student just how important it is to do more than just their curriculum. Their degree alone doesn’t (and can’t) cover the skills required from day one by today’s employers.
But what skills do students need to teach themselves for when they graduate?
To answer this question, I created the Google community Voices From Industry, and invited my friends through Twitter and Facebook to join the group and answer one simple question:
What do you wish you’d known before you graduated from university?
There are no right and wrong answers, which is why I asked my friends for their thoughts rather than simply writing the book alone. What’s important depends on what you’re working on, where you are working, who you are working with, and at what stage of your career you’re at. I’ve been very fortunate to gather answers from people just starting out all the way through to veterans of twenty years.
I hope you find our advice useful.Tweet