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How to: prepare for a successful career

Date:16 January 2018
Representing the UG at a study fair!
Representing the UG at a study fair!

While I was studying, preparing for my career wasn’t much on my mind. I focussed on passing classes I enjoyed, chilling with friends for hours on end and of course going out. Looking back, I wish I would have prepared slightly more - which would’ve saved me some stress after graduation. In order to help you kickstart your career after uni, here are my tips.


Follow your heart

Loads of our bachelor’s degree allow you to choose majors and minors, internships, or exchanges abroad. When creating a study programme, speak with your study advisor about your goals and how to achieve them - but also, dare to take risks and make up your own path. While I studied Psychology I wanted to become a therapist, but decided to minor in Marketing to see what a different field from a different faculty looked in - and marketing turned out to be a much better match for me!

Cheat on the Uni with the Real World

Looking back on what helped me realise my career goals, there were a lot of unexpected experiences that helped me see what type of work I like and what type of work I am good. One that stands out is when I joined a sports club (Rollerderby - I was once a daredevil even though you’d never expect it if you see me today). After a while, I got involved in helping the club with some promotion and fundraising. I did it for fun mostly (throwing events and parties and get money for it) but it sure helped me with skills from leading an unwilling team of volunteers, hosting events, working hard, and more. So my advice to you would be, go do stuff you like and make it work for you.

Erry day I’m hustlin’

Get a job. Any job. Get several jobs at the same time. During my 4 years of studying in Groningen, I worked for the university (super boring), in a clothing store (super boring), and for a call centre (super boring). Even though these jobs were definitely not amazing, I learned loads about professionality and professional social skills (quite different from meeting fellow students at Chupitos) which I was later able to apply - even during my studies, like when talking to my thesis coordinator.

Cheat on the Real World with the Uni

Joining a student association or society has many perks: it’s fun (mostly); you get to develop new skills; and it’s also networking without realizing you’re networking. What’s not to like? Read about student-blogger Odile’s experiences with her associations.

Fail, get rejected, lie down on the floor, and cry

Before and after graduation, I applied for a good 40 jobs that I got rejected for (from never hearing back, to going through 3 rounds and then being rejected). Seriously, though, if this happens to you: do not worry. It takes a while to nail the art of applying and each attempt will make you better at it. It’s also quite okay to be terrible at several jobs before finding the job you are amazing at and love. I was terrible at the following jobs: working in a clothing store, working in a call centre, and working as an administrative officer for the Uni before I found that Marketing is the best fit for me. Don’t worry - you will find the Career Path For You too before you know it!


Tags: studying, career, job


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