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Make it Count: How to Get the Most Out of Your Degree

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How much is your degree costing you in time, money and resources?

And considering all that it costs you, do you think you’re getting the most out of it?

If you’re studying business or marketing, you already know what ROI means, Return On Investment. That is, getting out what you’ve put in.

As well as getting the piece of paper at the end of your degree – you also need to make sure you’re getting the education, experience and employment opportunities necessary to set yourself up for the future.

Here how to make sure you’re making the most of your degree.

Go to every class!

We’re all guilty of skipping classes because it’s ‘easier’, but try this next time you’re pressing the snooze button; divide the cost of your unit by the number of classes you have for that unit.

Yes! You’re basically throwing away a couple of hundred dollars for every class you skip.

Classes are there to make sure that you pass, to help you grow and to make you ultimately, more employable. So attend, ask questions and join discussions. Your grades will get better (and so will your social life).

Use university services to the full extent

Some students never find out the full extent of all the free services and discounts available to them until the very end of their degree,

The majority of universities have at the least; a medical clinic, mental health services, a gym, networking events, free seminars and workshops, a student union, a careers board, mentorships, volunteer opportunities…how many of these things are you taking advantage of?

Get familiar with everything on offer on campus and get the most out of it.

Do an internship

If you’re choosing between an internship credit and a non-internship credit, do the internship. If your course doesn’t set aside an internship credit…do an internship. Do it for the experience, for the references, the contacts and, for the (very possible) job offer.

Visit your university’s academic and careers help centres

These help centres can have all kinds of names, but they all offer the same thing; they’re a place where you can get free advice on assignments, resumes and career planning from experts.  So why wouldn’t you go?

Perhaps you feel that you’re doing alright with your studies? That’s great, but you can always do better. And it’s an absolute must to run your resume by someone else before you start sending it out to employers.  Make a list of things you’d like to improve in your studies or on your job applications and book yourself an appointment.

Choose electives wisely

Things change pretty quickly and a career that looks like a sure thing now may not be so in 5 or 10 years time. Today’s employers require people who have very broad skills sets, and those skills also need to be up to date. Don’t waste electives, instead, be very strategic about what you choose.

How are your industry and career likely to change in the near future? What kind of skills will complement your current studies (for example, if you’re studying media and communications, learning a bit of computer code will go a long way as more communication moves online).

Decide how best to you can pad out your skill set in order to make yourself stand out from other graduates.

Use university for networking

Your fellow students will make up the core of your network in your first few months out of university, so make sure it’s a strong one.

Be sure to connect with your university’s alumni department before you leave (this usually just means joining the group on LinkedIn). Even if you’re heading back home after your degree, you never know when those contacts may become useful.

Consider studying abroad…oh, wait you already did that, great job!

Congratulations, you’re well on your way to becoming a global citizen. Keep making the absolute most of your time abroad!