What sets you apart: Having the upper hand

What makes you so special as a student?

Is it your superb 4.0 GPA, your profound extra-curricular involvement or your simply altogether phenomenal communication skills? Yeah, that stuff’s all good and wonderful and all, but what sets you apart from the other uber-fantastic Renaissance men (and women) out there?

According to the an article in Forbes, “Landing a job in this tough economy is no easy feat—especially for college students and recent grads… what they really need to do is get an internship. It turns out that may be the easiest way to secure a full-time gig, as 69% of companies with 100 or more employees offered full-time jobs to their interns in 2012, according to a new survey.”

And I know it’s difficult to accept, especially as underclassmen. We all fear the word “internship,” along with the emotional baggage that comes with it- the inevitable end of our (carefree?) college careers and the beginning of life in the apprehensive adult world, complete with 8-hour work days at big boy/ big girl jobs.

But the transition into the “real” world will be an easier feat when you jump start into your professional career. The earlier you begin applying for internships (Yes, I’m implying that your freshman year is an impeccable time to begin), the more experience you get, and the more likely you’ll be noticed (and hired) by employers. To put it simply, you’ll have the upper hand over your colleagues in a job market fueled by competition and desire.

There are more than enough opportunities to take advantage of as a freshman, and it’s important to utilize them and make yourself a compelling asset to employers. It’s a competition, and the race to the finish line is all but simple in this economy-driven world and intensely competitive job market.

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