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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.
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.
BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu.
In the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings of America’s Best Colleges 2017, Bentley University is ranked #3 among “Best Regional Universities - North.”