With senior year being your last opportunity to experience the wonders of college, it’s also critical in building a robust career foundation. As you’re already accustomed to a normal schedule, make this moment count by honing some skills that will aid you as you venture into post-grad life. Our awesome Levo League mentors have divulged their top ten must-have abilities and good habits for all graduating seniors—so scroll down and browse through them! And don’t forget, if ever need more guidance from our fantastic mentors be sure to click here!
Identify your personal learning style
“Understand how you personally learn best. Are you a visual learner? Do you like to read to absorb concepts? In your career, you are going to be asked to learn new things quickly and hit the ground running, so know how you are most effective at learning and retaining information.” —Tara Syed Williams, Business Analytics, Pinterest
Broaden your knowledge and read beyond the required materials.
“I think it’s important to be extremely well-read. My ‘breakfast’ each morning consists of reading four main newspapers, watching CNBC and multiple morning shows, and scouring a number of sites throughout the day for news and industry updates. Thank goodness for Twitter! It’s hard to stand out from the competition if you don’t know what’s going on around you.” —Dustee Jenkins, Vice President, Public Relations, Target
Enhance your communication skills
“Learn how to tailor your communication. This means recognizing that one style of communication doesn’t necessarily fit all. If you understand that, it will take you far and allow you to be effective with different audiences and personalities.” —Tara Syed Williams, Business Analytics, Pinterest
Seize the opportunity to explore new places
“Go traveling early. Make sure to get exposed to new cultures and be inspired by different experiences. You’ll learn so much and come back to your career with new perspectives and insights.” —Ruzwana Bashir, CEO & Founder, Peek
Take control of your finances
“Learn how to budget…and stick to a budget. This is another one of those skills that’s applicable to both your personal and professional life!” —Tara Syed Williams, Business Analytics, Pinterest
Intern or freelance
“There are ways to work without actually hacking into your study time. One way is through student groups. If you’re in an on-campus club, for example, and interested in a future career in finance—run for treasurer. Sign up for projects through non-profits or local campaigns in your college town. Ask to help with one of their events, or inquire about assisting with a community project. These one-off engagements can lead to longer-term opportunities.” —Arielle Patrick, Director of Publicity (pro bono), The American Reader
Craft your authentic identity
“First decide how you want to be known, then message it through every channel. Do you want people to know you as passionate? Show up early because you are so passionate. Wear passionate colors. Share articles about passion. Tell stories about passionate people. Very quickly people will be saying “[She] is so passionate!” That’s a simple example, but it works even with more complex branding.” —Tiffany Dufu, Chief Leadership Officer at Levo League
Make the most of your connections
“Many of the best opportunities come from people you know: Who in your network (or in your friends’ and family’s network) works at a startup or knows people who have started a company? If that’s what you want to do, go intern there right now. Depending on what city you are in currently or want to be in post-graduation, do some research on the co-working and accelerator spaces and meetups. And then go there and meet people!” —Kathleen Warner, Strategic Advisor, Up Global
Harness your experiences to ascend towards success.
“Gaining experience from other jobs will prepare you for critical situations that you may not have had the experience to deal with. I believe having a well-rounded knowledge and a focus on a position that you wish to have could give you a slight advantage for that ultimate job. Some people try to hold out for the experiences they really want and the opportunity never presents itself due to lack of experience. I believe gathering experiences in the workplace specific to what your interest and outside of your interest could be beneficial.” —Percy Howard, Special Agent in Charge of the James J. Rowley Training Center at The United States Secret Service
Embrace a multitude of possibilities that may come your way in the future.
“Be curious and open to possibility: you might have never thought of working in x country, city, or state in x type of job, but it might turn out to be super amazing! And even if it isn’t, you hopefully will learn a bunch about yourself and what you should (or shouldn’t!) do next.” —Kathleen Warner, Strategic Advisor, Up Global
As you look back on your college days, what valuable wisdom did they teach you? Share your most noteworthy lessons learned during your senior year below!
For access to insightful advice from mentors such as Ruzwana Bashir, Arielle Patrick, and Percy Howard? Then click on their names and take a look at their profiles. Ask them any question you’d like – they’ll be more than willing to help!