I attended an event today as a panelist at the University of Toronto Scarborough for soon-to-be graduates, separated by industry/stream.
I was lucky to have a very outgoing panel who had plenty of knowledge to drop all over the students. During the discussion, several points kept coming up that I feel I should share:
- Work hard. Your entry level job isn’t going to be your dream job, but you’re going to have to be persistent and tough it out until you have the skills and knowledge necessary to get there.
- Take small steps. You can’t go from student to super-star CEO of a company immediately, you have take a look at where you want to go and create a strategy on the steps you need to take.
- Don’t be afraid to look dumb and take risks. You’re going to have a lot of naysayers if you’re not following a traditional path. Ignore the haters and carry on.
- Have something to say. You need to have the knowledge to speak with your peers in your industry, and what better way to show that you have that knowledge by having opinions on important matters for that industry?
- Network, network, network. It’s easier said than done, but you have to hustle hard and create meaningful relationships with people and create that repor that establishes credibility.
The session had many more gems from the super intelligent people I was sitting next to, and in my opinion, these are the important ones.
I would love to hear any tips they would give to soon-to-be graduates from university. Leave them in the comments and I’ll add them to my list!
Here are some of the additional tips I have received:
- Know what you want? Chase it and be aggressive. If you have an idea of exactly what you want, you should actively chase it and aggressively ask for related responsibilities. (by Wendy Kwan)
- Learn to think outside the box, and be proactive. It shows that a person is analytically inclined, and capable of solving problems in new and innovative ways. (by Slxia1215)