Work hard for the money

By Brianna Wellen

For all us seniors, some of the most crucial months of our lives are approaching. Along with combatting overwhelming bouts of senioritis to make sure we can actually get the degrees we’ve been working so hard for, we also have to put in extra work looking for—bear with me—even more work. Now is the time for not only seniors but all students to ensure they understand what the current job climate is like, the best way to approach the job hunt and what to expect in the ever-crucial interview process.

I recently crossed the threshold from student to professional in my first interview for a post-grad job, so I can say from experience, that is something to be well prepared for. Even knowing about the interview weeks in advance, it wasn’t until my car pulled up in front of the company building that I felt an overwhelming need to suddenly practice interview questions, have on a different pair of shoes and go over my resumé one last time. Those last few moments before you have to put on a smile and be impressive enough to even be considered for the position are not the moments to be spent being anxious and full of regret.

Though they are not well advertised, Columbia has career resources to help prepare for these very situations, and students should be seeking them out and using them. No matter how confident one is with his or her qualifications, speaking skills and personality, job interviews are situations created to catch you off guard and are worth reading up on. Columbia’s career development website offers lists of interview questions to practice, as do many other online resources.

Even when feeling prepared for the steps following applying for the job, it’s important to understand what the job you’re gunning for actually is. As creative students with lofty goals and ideals, it’s important to not just go for the job that pays well and end up being miserable when you’re stuck running for coffee every day. Researching both the position and the company will ensure that you know what you’re signing up for without compromising yourself and can identify questions you may want to ask during the interview. If you’re informed enough to ask those questions, it shows your dedication to the job and may leave your potential employer impressed.

The best lessons to be learned come from simply jumping in and doing it. I now know what to expect at my next interview, what I would do differently and where I felt I did great. If you end up not getting the job, it never hurts to ask why you were not right for the position so you can do a little better next time; most of us will have more than one job interview in our lifetime, after all.

Our generation values immediate gratification; we want to put a polished resumé online on Monday and have an offer by Tuesday. But that’s not how it works. These things take time, effort and preparation, and without putting in the proper amount of work now, don’t expect your post-grad life to bring you more than a job flipping burgers.