Getting a job out of college is a tough process.
Students need to find companies that they are interested in and search for opportunities which match their interests and talents.
It can be stressful and confusing.
Wouldn’t it be helpful if you had a mentor when going through the process?
So why don’t more college professors make an effort to help their students get a college once they graduate?
Just think about it.
Professors have information about their students that they can use to further their careers. They have a good idea whether they are strong in certain areas and can give important insights to perspective employers.
However, professors oftentimes mislead their students about how much they are willing to help them.
I will make this concept clear using my friend’s example.
She is very smart and good at academic work.
My professor works with a management team of a hotel to run a research project in engineering and asked her to join in.
Before the project, my friend was not informed about the content of what she was going to be doing. But she trusted the professor and believed that it would end up helping her in the long run.
She was wrong.
It was not until the time my friend went to the hotel with my professor that she knew it was about engineering and she was upset but couldn’t quit the task.
Basically the professor had used her.
This kind of thing happen a lot in China as many professors just want more students to help when they need staff in projects.
And it makes you question whether professors are really looking out for their student’s best interests at all times.
I’m sure many of you have heard of similar situations.
As a student, it is a learning experience to know more about ourselves and prepare for entering a job after graduation.
In China, students tend to find internship when they go into their junior year.
But I find students in the United States tend to get started earlier even in freshman year.
It is very good to try the jobs that students are interested in and at the same time learn academic theories.
The earlier we get started, the better chance we will gain experience and find our target position career.
Take my own major as an example.
I major in hospitality management and there are different concentrations that students can choose.
I chose hotel management and would like to start in a front desk job in a hotel as my first job.
I got some experience in food and beverage in China but not in hotels.
Hospitality is a very broad area.
Some of my friends here have experiences in restaurants, hotel, event planning and tourism.
After working for different areas, they have known which area they would like to enter and those experiences have enabled them to learn a variety of knowledge in this industry.
Therefore, exploring for ourselves and a direction that fits our talent and interests is a very good choice.
Besides, it is very important to let students find more about themselves.
Everyone knows about themselves better than others, although it is hard for us to summarize our traits and personalities.
Finding a job is not just because we can do and love doing, it also matters that we are suitable for those positions.
Every time my mentees come to me and ask me that how to a find an entrance for their career paths, I will let them take a MBTI professional character test to know more about themselves.
Then I will encourage them to try the opportunities to grow and learn.
Because through the process of learning, students’ points of view and how they view themselves will change.
They will find what they like and feel comfortable to work with.
For instance, one of my friends is comfortable to work without interacting with people so she is now working with accounting very well.
I think this self-knowledge learning process is very important for students to experience rather than the situation that professors lead them to real jobs.
It is also important that students get to know different companies and their cultures.
Working in an environment which motivates people benefits both people and companies.
After students have clear understanding about their personalities, they can find the companies which match their personality.
Searching for opportunities is a process.
It is undeniable that professors usually have a wider network and experience to help students in their career.
But students should find their own pathways by themselves.
Professors oftentimes won’t think outside of the box and for whatever reason usually don’t take personal risks to help their students outside of the classroom.
It doesn’t make sense for them but it is the reality.
So don’t count on them- no matter how many promises they make.
You are the only one who knows yourself and in the end it is on you.
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Cover Photo Credit: Patrick Freebern/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)