It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day of business school. Many of us are living in a new country, just figuring out how to get top marks. The professional world seems far in the future. While it’s important to give it your all during graduate studies and get the marks, it’s also good practice to start thinking like a professional. How many people are really going to ask about your marks after your first job, anyway?
We're not saying these are the only ways prep for your career, but they're a few of our favourite tips we sourced from our peers.
1 - Read Industry Publications
Industries are incredibly dynamic due to the speed of disruption these days. Technology can render an existing practice obsolete during the course of one semester. The nature of University course curriculum doesn’t always allow it to be on pace with every trend (some trends aren't worth picking up, anyhow). Furthermore, many of our foundational courses also tend to take a generalist approach to topics. While this is great for well-rounded learning, there are lots of long-tail concepts that are industry critical. Thee roles we take out of Uni have the potential to be narrow in scope, and follow on to these specific concepts. For this reason it’s important to know what long-tail concepts interest us, and what industry experts are saying. Signing up for industry publications & newsletters is a great way to start learning more about these topics. Replace your nightly Instagram scrolling with some of these publications and you’ll be better for it.
A few suggestions from us:
Marketing Mag (Australia): marketingmag.com.au
Curated Industry Content Streams
Google chrome extensions (Zest.is) - This is industry peer-recommended content. You control what you see based on your interests (ie; SEO, PPC, Analytics, Investing)
2 - Sign Up For Company Blogs
Companies are there own best marketers these days. One of the primary ways they’re connecting with their industries, prospective clients, & the next generation of young professionals is through company blogs. They can highlight recent work with case studies, discuss initiatives, and attract talent through this medium. You can typically find these blogs while scrolling through LinkedIn, or you can search directly through google. A couple of blogs that I’ve recently subscribed to are McKinsey ( they have a blog for virtually all divisions of their business) & local Melbourne marketing agency, Thirst Creative. There's plenty of great ones out there based on your own interests. These blogs give you a sense of what the company stands for, beyond just their mission statement. They'll usually provide profiles on current employees, giving you a sense of what your future colleagues could be like. Finally, company blogs are a research technique for tailoring cover letters, which can help you get to that first face-to-face interview. Here's a few to get you started:
McKinsey Digital Blog:
Thirst Creative Blog:
Westpac Wire Blog:
3 - Take People Out For Informational Interviews
The professional workforce is full of unknowns. Contrasting to Uni work, there are different skills, schedules & dynamics to figure out. It can be quite intimidating to make this jump on your own. It's even harder without having the right expectations. A great way to prepare your mind for the working world is to do informational interviews. So what is an informational interview, you ask?
It is basically a conversation with an industry professional where you ask questions about the nature of their work. It serves as a chance for you to find out deeper information about a potential position you're interested in, and how to navigate through the first part of your career. An informational interview could be with a friend who's recently graduated Uni, or it could be with a connection you have on LinkedIn. Here's three tips we've gathered about how to make it a success.
1 - Listen Up & Take Notes
If you're doing all the talking, it's not an informational interview. The information should be coming from the other person. They aren't meeting with you to hear about your problems. his is a good chance for you to practice small talk that you'll need for networking.
Write a few things down so you can follow up on what the person said later. You should come away with a few action steps to help further your career goals.
2 - Meet Them Close to Their Work
As the person seeking advice, the burden is on you to make this meeting convenient for your interviewee. Offer to meet them close to their work so they can pop down during work hours (maybe they'll even take you up to their office space).
3 - Pick Up the Tab
This person is giving you their time and sharing their experience with you. Show your gratitude for them by paying for their meal (or coffee).
Hint: Make the first move to pay before they insist on paying!!!
4 - Use LinkedIn More than Facebook
Facebook is the social media platform of our time. Everyone you've ever met is on it, and the memes are addicting. It’s easy to waste away a few hours scrolling on the timeline. But there’s a better social site to spend your time on. LinkedIn started as a professional connection network, but has emerged into much more than that. It’s a good blend of industry news, insights from thought leaders, and a way to keep up with your peers career moves. Plus it’s one of the first places recruiters and HR managers will check when you apply for a job, so you want to make sure your profile is setup properly, and you’re actively engaged in the topics that are relevant to your career goals.
Here's a few tips we have to make the most of LinkedIn
1 - Follow Companies of All Sizes
It is easy to follow the big firms. The Big 4, Big Tech & Big Banks are all fine to follow and they'll give you plenty of relevant, curated corporate content. But it's important to follow small & local as well. SMEs in Melbourne are posting on LinkedIn all the time, with case studies, reports & trends. They also recruit directly through LinkedIn as well. It's a great way to get to know your (potential) future employer.
2 - Be in Conversation
In Uni we learn how to analyse in a clear, succinct manner. Put these skills to use on LinkedIn by reposting content you see, and adding your analysis! Recruiters who look at your profile want to see you engaged with relevant topics, with unique thoughts. It's a peek into your thought process.
3 - Update Regularly
We're in a time in our lives where there's lots happening. You join a Uni Club, had a summer internship, have just completed an ongoing research project. Add these experiences right away to your profile while they're fresh, so you can provide the most accurate representation of yourself. Trust us, it's a lot easier than thinking back 18 months to remember the details of a job!
4 - Connect with Your Peers
During your Uni career, you're going to meet a lot of people. Some who are in their last semester when you're in your first. Chances are they have a job now & may be able to give you some insight into it. Connect with these peers & reach out to them to keep that connection alive, you never know when it will come in handy.
Have any tips of your own? Feel free to comment down below or reach out to us!