By: Alan J. McMillan
A few years ago, Gallup and Purdue released a study where they tested workers just beyond mid-career in order to assess them on two fronts:
When they found high engagement and high wellness (where we all want to be - happy in life and excited about what we do), they correlated what those workers tried to do in college to be successful to see if there were lessons to be learned to help those now in college.
What to do in college to be successful
Why does this make sense and how do you know what to do in college to be successful and manifest long term happiness?
How to Self-Position for Advantage
Were the people Gallup and Purdue studied lucky? Did they just fall into one, two or preferably all three of those seeds of advantage? Of course not, they self positioned themselves for success and you can, too.
Having a Professor or Mentor Who Encourages You
Anytime someone who's well connected and has experience and subject matter expertise takes a keen interest in you, it will help. Will every professor be that kind of contact? No, you need to put yourself in position to find her or him. First, know strong mentors only mentor if someone brings extraordinary effort and dreams to the table, then backs up those ambitions with follow-up action. Bring your A-game when you find someone you'd like to be your mentor. Here’s how you self position for gaining a mentor:
Having a project which applies what you are learning the classroom
Look for campus projects which apply to the material you are studying. These are great because you usually get experience and extra guidance (plus, networking!) with others involved in these projects. However, by far, the BEST WAY is to get an internship in the field you are interested in. It has been said (and is extremely true) the ROAD TO MULTIPLE-JOB OFFERS IS PAVED WITH INTERNSHIPS. They will teach you a lot about:
An important thing to remember about internships and projects is they are essentially extended job interviews. Treat them as such, and you will not only extend your network but also potentially land a job offer.
Become a Member of a Student Group or Association
Often student groups are filled with the exact peers you should be networking with. Another networking opportunity comes from employers who visit campus. These employers know that in college, being successful means joining a student organization. They will use these qualified pools of talent as short lists to recruit for openings. Be sure to network with others who have job search ambitions in your field.
The point of all of this is Gallup found hitting one, two or potentially all three of these goals will better your quest toward long term happiness and success. When you learn what to do in college to be successful, you tee up success for the rest of your life.
Now you MAKE it happen.
For a deeper dive into topics like this, check out LearnEarnRetire's course offering here.
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