Creative Ways To Acquire Professional And Business Skills While Studying

SFAN
5 min readApr 21, 2022

Employers won’t hire you as a fresh graduate if you don’t have job experience. But you have to work to get job experience. How do you escape such “Catch 22”? You will need to make the most of your studying period on your campus.

Just because you’re still in school doesn’t mean you’re bound to the beans and ramen of life. In this week’s installment of our ReadyforWork career advice series, we share creative ways to acquire professional and business skills while studying.

Here’s how:

Get a Part-Time Job

Consider part-time work in your field of interest. You can opt for a traditional part-time job that allows you to choose your hours, pay the bills, and even make some pocket money. A part-time job may give significant experience in various settings, from working in a restaurant, in a contact center, or on campus, to becoming an assistant in a large corporation. But seek far less apparent options that might provide excellent learning opportunities and help you acquire a diverse range of skills. And work on basic skills required in the workplace, such as discipline, professionalism, time management, client interaction, etc. Win-Win.

Volunteer

While serving the community, you’ll gain expertise and business networks. Depending on your degree, volunteering may be more beneficial than working. Volunteering could also help you better understand societal issues while also allowing you to contribute to the solution of at least a portion of the problem. Your job will not be the only thing that is highly regarded. You may also develop brilliant ideas and assist groups or organizations that help avoid different societal problems. Volunteering continues to be a unique opportunity to gain professional and interpersonal experience. That will be essential in helping you stand out for a potential job application.

Take part in a research project or come up with a research project.

Joining a research team is a great way to acquire experience while improving your resume. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work alongside a professor. Teamwork, leadership, analytical skills, presenting abilities, and communication are all soft skills that research may help you build. Research skill looks good on a CV, but it also gives you a distinct perspective on your subject of study. Again, have you ever considered that even something as basic as coming up with a research project could teach you many essential skills? If you’re unsure where to start, reach out to the SFAN team for a helpful research topic.

Find an Internship

Internships are ideal for launching a successful career at a prominent firm related to your field of study. Some internships are paid. And if you do a great job, you might be employed at the end of your internship. If you are not hired, you will receive an excellent reference for future career opportunities and build contacts with people who may become future coworkers or partners. Internships are a good idea since they allow you to understand your study area deeper. Many employers are investing in internships as a vehicle for finding great talents. You should take advantage of your internship period to acquire essential career skills. That will add some flavor to your resume.

Get an Insight Program

Insight programs are typically developed for first-year undergraduate students and aim to provide insight into the company and how it operates “behind the scenes.” An insight program isn’t always a “work choice” in and of itself, as it might run anywhere from one day to a week and sometimes even longer. Also, an insight program can be the initial step in the application process for internships and other career opportunities. Insight programs are essential if they are tied to a research topic, assignment, or graduation paper that you are working on. You can have fun while participating in an insight program because you will attend workshops and lectures and participate in surveys and other interactive games. If you have an opportunity to secure such a program, you should take it on.

Participate in Work Shadowing

Spend some time observing one or more professional employees at a company. The most significant time to perform work shadowing is over the holidays when you can better understand the types of work involved in your chosen sector. While rarely a paid alternative, setting where paid work experience options are scarce. For example, work shadowing can open the door to trendy and competitive areas, such as television and media, automotive, and software applications. You might never see advertisements for work shadowing; instead, you will have to contact the employer directly and negotiate the work’s content and terms. Work shadowing is similar to an apprenticeship but less controlled and more challenging. During a work shadowing assignment, you will be expected to ask questions about anything you don’t know or understand and figure out for yourself what the most important secrets of the field or person you are witnessing are.

Consider Freelancing

You can augment your income and earn significant experience by freelancing your services to organizations that need them if you have a gift or have mastered a skill. Freelancing can also help you build your network of connections and provide you with project stalks to add to your portfolio. Since you need to demonstrate you can do the job before anyone recruits you, freelancing can be an excellent opportunity to build up your portfolio. To gain experience and positive recommendations, you might have to complete your first freelance task for free or for a modest wage. That gives you the needed experience to add to your CV.

If you found this article useful, please share it for others to find it. To learn more about how to incorporate your new skills on your CV, contact SFAN at info@sfanonline.org.

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Cheers to your future success!

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SFAN

SFAN is the education company that unlocks the potential of Africa’s young geniuses by helping them turn their passion into businesses and fulfilling careers.