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Bentley on Bloomberg: How to Make the Most of the College Experience
Around the country more than one million college seniors are getting ready to walk across the Commencement stage and claim their diplomas. They have spent countless hours in the library, completed internships, participated in athletics and campus organizations, and volunteered in their communities. When they walk across the stage, their diploma represents all of those experiences and more: a ticket to a successful career and rewarding life.
But is that diploma enough to launch them into a lifetime of success?
Bentley President Gloria Larson joined Bloomberg Radio’s Carol Massar and Cory Johnson, along with guest experts, to discuss what experiences in college make students truly successful after graduation. (Interviews are linked to guests' names below.)
1. Focus on developing hard and soft skills
No matter where students choose to go to college they need to make sure they are getting an integrated education — one that combines professional skills with arts and sciences. For example, if they’re interested in finance, they should take the relevant business classes but also learn the history of markets, take effective writing and public speaking. To excel in today’s job market, where candidates are expected to have “hybrid” skills – those that cross categories and positions -- they need to know how their technical skills fit within an overall business process and also be able to effectively communicate their role in a strategic plan.
- Gloria Larson, president, Bentley University
2. Participate in internships early on
Recruit once, higher twice is the mantra in today’s job market. Internships have become a 60 day trial period to allow employers (and candidates) to assess fit before making a long-term commitment. Internships also allow students to discover not only what they’re interested in, but also what they are not interested in. This allows them to strategically tweak their career plan and explore different paths while they are still in college.
- Susan Brennan, associate vice president, University Career Services, Bentley University
3. Don’t treat college as a spectator sport
College graduates who thrive in their careers are the ones who are willing to find professors or mentors to guide them. They begin to build their professional networks in college, and they develop soft skills that employers want. Theyproactively taking on work beyond the rigidity of a syllabus and seek out additional opportunities to learn.
- Jeff Selingo, best-selling author and award-winning higher education columnist
4. Become a citizen of the world
Employers are looking for graduates who have knowledge of the world. They want candidates to have the ability to work with and manage conversations with people from different backgrounds and manage work styles in a global setting. Specifically, they look for individuals who have a deliberate interest in working with people from different backgrounds, cultures or skillsets. College students can take advantage of study abroad experiences to expand their global awareness and showcase that knowledge to a future employer.
- Kara Della Croce, campus recruiting leader, Financial Services Office, Ernst & Young
Learn more about Bentley on Bloomberg Radio.
Learn more about Bentley’s PreparedU Project, which examines challenges facing millennial workers, the companies that employ them and the colleges and universities that prepare them.
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.