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Things You Should Take Note of If You're a Final Year Student

by Dana Teoh. |

As a final year student myself, I understand the anxiety and fear every other student faced as they entered into their last semester before officially graduating and stepping into the real workforce.

It seems like it was just yesterday when I enrolled myself at the university for my degree even though it has been three long years and now, I am graduating! I am pretty sure there are a lot of things that going through your mind as you start counting down the days to your convocation.

Though I am glad to finally be free from taking exams, I do have a million things that made me overthink and be paranoid over every little thing, so here, I will list a few things that I was worried of and some of the ways you can overcome them.

1. Finding a job

Honestly, this was the first thing that came to my mind when I stepped into my third year and I think it will continue to be there until I finally land myself a job. You just cannot stop yourself from thinking of the “what if’s”.

As if that is not enough, finding a job now is going to be tougher because of the current economic status of our country. Although, it's important to put in more effort into your job search, remember that you are not alone. Everyone starts and shapes their life at a different pace. The journey you have gone through is still a milestone achieved!

Deposit your resume at all companies that are looking for positions you are keen to try and don't limit yourself to what you have studied. You may try looking for a job in JobStreet, WOBB or by emailing the company’s human resource department. It's also important to be proactive (but not overly proactive) to keep in touch with your interviewer after your interview.

Now, more than ever, fresh graduates should always keep an open mind and have the hunger for knowledge wherever you are in order to broaden your horizons. Be persistent and look into different avenues to increase your employability like learning new skills and look into brushing up your technical and soft skills as simple as Excel, email writing and critical thinking.

If you're looking for a handy guide on how to stand out for your interviews..

2. Jobs Related to Your Degree

After getting offered a job, you might start to worry whether the job is related to what you have studied and learned in your degree. Often times, I kept worrying about having to compromise to something totally out of my field of study. When this happens, you might think your time and money spent to obtain your degree may go to waste.

The good news is, things you have learned in your degree will definitely be in use no matter where you go in life; just in a different way. For instance, I have a degree in finance, but I might end up working for an event planning company in the future.

Though it is not finance-related at all, I can still apply what I have learned in my course when I manage my own finances or a more complex example would be if I have decided to put my savings into investments, I can calculate the risks and expected return on my own without the need to engage with a financial planner.

This scenario would be killing two birds with one stone as I get to learn event planning which is something new and at the same time, I can apply what I had learned previously (finance) in my personal life.

3. Salary

Most of my friends that have graduated shared their employment stories and the common question I gauged from their stories is “how much salary should I write on my application form?” Yes, that is also the question I asked myself and also how much is deemed acceptable?

After much thoughts and advice from seniors, I think salary should not be placed as much importance as experience and working culture in your first job. Though a high starting pay will let you have a higher increment when you jump to a new company, nothing beats having experience and knowledge from your first job.

It will add more value when you are at an interview and the hiring manager has to decide between two candidates, one that has the knowledge and experience in the position and one that does not.

So, go all out on being hands-on in a project or gaining as much knowledge as you can instead of focusing on the higher pay. The truth is, most people are more willing to teach a fresh grad than someone that has worked for a few companies.

If you've been working for about a year in and looking to seek for a promotion..

4. Geographical Issue

Everyone that has been in the workforce will tell you to look for jobs in the city or even in Singapore for better prospect and better job opportunities. Though that is true, I am sure most of you do not like the idea of leaving home to work in another state let alone another country.

I personally prefer to stay closer to home because I am very close to my family and looking at the expenses and time taken to travel back and forth is not something I would opt for. But as time passed, I realised gaining experience is important for fresh grads as you will need to grasp every chance you have to learn new things about your career or industry.

Having said that, the choice is yours at the end of the day. Ask yourself if you are alright to put up with the travel time, to calculate if your salary justifies the cost of travelling (tolls, petrol, parking) and such as well.

As such, I think stepping out of your comfort zone will enable you to grow and learn which will help in future career development. Well, just go out there and take in all the experiences and opportunities you can get as they do not come often and are not easy to get.

Lastly, just enjoy your remaining days as a student! Enjoy the student discounts we are entitled to as a student at various restaurants and shops while you still can before returning your student card to the university. Everything is possible if you believe in yourself.

You may find out more about Dana on her Instagram too!

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