With determination and confidence, there is still a way for college students to succeed even in the current time of the pandemic.
All companies and businesses have expectations when it comes to hiring college graduates. In the past, it was not a dyer to attend college to build a successful career. Now, obtaining a college education is the minimum ‘requirement’ for getting to your eventual dream job. Graduating with a degree from a credible university and an excellent GPA does not make you, nor anyone, stand out over other applicants. Being active in on-campus organizations and leadership positions do. But wait, that is not all. What about getting good internships? And working a job through college? Also, you really should study abroad in order to become more diverse. All of these are now considered as expectations, not going above and beyond. So you get the point, expectations for college graduates are excessive.
Sometime in your college career, reality begins to sink in and you feel as if you need to start focusing on the future instead of the present. There is a lot of pressure when it comes to plans after graduation and the feeling of the need to ‘figure your whole life out’. While this is hard enough itself, many students, including myself, have lost hope and excitement in our future as internships, classes, jobs, and events have been canceled or moved to online due to the pandemic. Yet, there are ways to set yourself up for success after graduation. If there is anything I have learned through my time with The Selling Factory, it is you can still learn and grow as an individual even if it is not in-person. It just takes some motivation, time, and confidence.
Motivation: Many individuals have lost their motivation because the majority of our lives have been forced to continue online. Nobody can push you to still try and care about your current situation or future other than yourself. It is not an excuse to not care because everything is remote. This attitude, in the long run, will put you at a disadvantage because employers will still look for motivated recent graduates to hire entry-level positions. Multiple opportunities exist where you can immerse yourself in even if it is behind the screen. The Selling Factory is a perfect example of this. I reached out to sales acceleration companies and The Selling Factory provided me with the opportunity to begin my career in their SDR team. Instead of telling yourself “Well, they are probably closed or are not hiring because of COVID-19,” reach out to companies of your interest and build your connection to access to potential job openings. If you put in the effort, you will find plenty of opportunities where you can grow and better yourself.
Time: We all used to have jam-packed schedules every day, all day during the school year. Whether it be meetings or classes we would be running to, there is now no need to even leave your house anymore. With that being said, we all have a lot more downtime that we can spend to better ourselves. Use this extra time to critique your resume and have mentors look over it. Update your Linked In profiles and build connections while you can. Reach out to past advisors and supervisors so you still have those references when you need them for a future job. And most importantly, apply for anything and everything you are interested in because you never know where it could take you!!
Confidence: Employers are looking for students who are confident in their knowledge and experiences. Do not downplay any internships or classes just because they were remote. It takes a lot of self-discipline to participate in online classes and internships; everybody has struggled and learned to adjust. Make sure to bring your best self to everything you are involved in. Show your enthusiasm and determination through that computer screen and continue to accomplish your goals. This will look incredible to employers when they see a student who was still motivated and actively bettering themselves even when times were tough.
While the pandemic has negatively impacted our lives, it opened up new opportunities now that everything is remote. For me, the opportunity that I found through all of this is The Selling Factory. Via Zoom meetings, I explored the functions of the sales services. The Sales Development Representative (SDR) team at The Selling Factory helped me to regain the confidence I lost when the pandemic hit. Also, I learned how to manage my spare time and continued to motivate myself to be better. Although The Selling Factory was entirely remote selling, it provided me with a unique experience that I did not even realize I so badly needed. I feel better prepared for my life after college because I have learned so much through this remote selling experience that I truly did not believe I could get anything out of. I have more confidence in myself and my future than I ever had before because of an internship that was 100% remote. I feel inspired and motivated because of the connections and knowledge I have gained through this. With all this uncertainty, it is easy to get down on yourself. Just because times are tough, it does not mean your goals are unachievable or impossible.