Jumpstart your career in college for max success

Trying to find a job in the desired career field that you spent four plus years getting good at can be a daunting task.

One alternative option is to get an early start while you are still in college.

While this adds more work and can be a poorly paying venture, the experience and step ahead of the competition is extremely valuable.

“The first step in getting the job I wanted was starting with an unpaid internship, which I received and was able to get through one of my professors,” said Elias Bonnett, a law student at the University of Minnesota Law School and was an undergraduate at Bethany Lutheran College, where he first started out his journey to becoming a lawyer.

“When I got connected with [the company], I wrote them an email and essay on why I was good for the fit and why I would be productive,” said Bonnett. “I talked with them about how it would educate me and how it would help me build on a foundation not only for law school but as a professional in a more corporate world.”

While his first internship was unpaid, it helped him on a lot of levels. He was getting real world experience in his field while still in school. Not only was he learning about little things, such as how to conduct himself in the business world. From meeting to emails, he was also learning the ins and outs of a law office.

“The biggest difference from school to a law office was deadlines,” said Bonnett on the challenges he learned the most from. “It was a new kind of pressure, going from school where the pressure and effect is just for me and on my performance, to a law firm, where it effects the entire firm and has a huge impact on those around me, depending on how precise and careful I am.”

The experience Bonnett got helped set him up so that he already had the basic skills down when other students were still learning, letting him really focus in on the next level of education. It also made for a huge resume builder to have just that much more experience heading out of school. Another bonus was the connections he was able to make.

“It [was] huge for networking. I got to know the managing attorney for the law firm I was at and he wrote me a letter of recommendation that helped me get into law school, which also gives me people that can vouch for me as I head into the job field,” he said.

Bonnett now has life-long contacts he built while still in school.

While it could make for extra work, going out and getting that extra internship or striving that extra mile for a job in your field instead of taking any easy job and pushing all that off until after graduation can really have a positive impact on your future career. It is definitely worth your time to dip your feet into the world you intend to dive into after college.

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