How Best to Spend Your Valuable Time as a Student?
Part of the reason for studying in further education is learning to be efficient and an employable asset in your field of expertise. As asset to society, your future employer or your customers as a new business owner. As a student, you will inevitably get a ton of free time whilst you study, I know I did. You then have a number of choices on how you fill that time:
- 1Do you work a part-time job to help fund the three to four years of study? That’s a good choice.
- 2Do you party hard?
- 3Or do you spend that valuable time creating something that is compatible with your field of study? Something that will also give you a massive advantage when you graduate?
How Can Students Best Compete for Jobs on Graduation?
Think about this. There are thousands of students graduating every year in your field of interest that are all competing for the same positions. In a time when jobs are becoming more scarce. It can be a worrying time so how can you make yourself stand out from the competition?
I spent 3 years studying business and finance in the mid to late 1980’s. In my spare time AND as part of the coursework, I ran a small, successful photography business shooting college events and selling prints. No, I didn’t blackmail people although I probably could have made more money that way : )
After 10 years working in finance, I started a photography, video and media company so it was time well spent. However, back then there was no internet but if there was I would have done things so differently. So how can My Net Prophet help you?
Be Resourceful and Jump the Employment Queue!
Let me give you a scenario and you then apply it to your own field of study. See if this resonates or could work for you…
You are studying accountancy at college or university but plan to live in Maidstone in Kent UK on graduation. You are undecided as to what route to take upon graduation. Will you want to immediately start your own business or get some good work experience with an established firm beforehand? The latter is very sensible and pretty much what I did.
My first job was with a firm of chartered accountants near London which lasted for a year. It then led on to 9 years in credit management and eventually finished with me running a number of my own businesses which I still run today.
Based on the two options mentioned earlier (taking a part-time student job or building something else alongside your study), and as en employer, this is how and why I would choose who to employ.
What Would an Employer Think? How Would They Choose Who to Employ?
Personally, if I was looking to employ someone in my business, one of the following has a slight but important advantage over the other. First, I interview a bright graduate that has passed their degree or diploma with flying colours. They are an amicable, compatible person and would fit in well at my company. They spent their free time working one or two jobs to help pay the bills to make their time studying more comfortable.
Very commendable and ordinarily an obvious choice.
Next, I interview a similarly bright student with excellent marks but they filled their spare time differently.
They spent 3-4 years building an online business/website based around accountancy. Maybe even alongside working a part time job for students. Their website offers helpful, useful, relevant and up to date information, tips and advice on accountancy in multiple areas:
- Income tax
- Small to Medium Business Financing
- Government Grants and Loans
- Financial Law
The Benefits for a Student Building an Online Business Website
When I ask them why they did this, they reply with…
I knew that accountancy was my passion and I wanted to choose a career where I could help people in that field. By building this website, it helped with my studies by writing everything down. On top of that, my articles could potentially help other people who needed that current, up to date advice.
Building on that, after 18 months the website started gaining traction and receiving good traffic so I was able to monetise it. I did so via selling advertising space, writing my own eBooks and selling other people’s accountancy courses and various products to my site visitors.
Once the site had good standing with Google and I was receiving targetted traffic, I built and promoted pages around Accountancy Services in Maidstone, Kent. I have been receiving a lot of enquiries and leads for various financial services which I have been passing on to local firms for a small fee. This helped fund my gap year and the final year of my education.
I figured that once I graduate, I could funnel that traffic and those enquiries into whichever firm I ended up working for. I have no intention of working for myself in the foreseeable future. However, if I do at some point, I have good grounding.
It would still be a tough choice. However, the assets this person could bring to my company outweigh the possibility of them leaving to start their own accountancy firm on my “patch” anytime soon. After all, if they were going to go that route they would have done so by now. They would still be my competition regardless. I have nothing to lose by taking advantage of their skills in the meantime but a valuable employee to gain.
Showing initiative and good time management skills
Now, regardless of whether I wanted to take immediate advantage of their lead proposal or not, I would certainly lean towards offering that person the position. They have shown initiative, tenacity and determination in creating such a good and relevant side business during their studies. They have had the foresight to build a solid foundation for their future instead of just partying and wasting their time.
Finally, they have learned other web-based business and marketing skills alongside accountancy that may be useful to my own business in the future. They are an ASSET worth having in my company.
This is just one scenario and one idea of how you can prepare for a easier transition into the workplace.
Starting your own business as a new graduate
I have seen so many people graduate from university in a certain field but head off in a completely different direction upon completion. This is not uncommon. A sizeable percentage of graduates don’t pursue their field of study as a profession. Around 25% of those that do are unhappy in their jobs.
You may well find that when you graduate with a growing online business under your belt, you decide to pursue that instead. You could start your own accountancy firm using the leverage of your online efforts. On the other hand, you could continue and expand upon what you have already achieved with your online business.
This may not be for you
However, this approach my not work for everyone and that’s fair enough. Your circumstances may not make this a viable option for you. If they do though, I encourage you to think about joining My Net Prophet. Use the skills we teach to give yourself the best possible start in these trying times.
A paid internship might be your only choice on graduation in the future and if that is the case, you can make the most of it by making yourself the biggest asset you can. All of this will help further your career when the time comes.
If you are just starting your education and are interested in joining us, please get in touch. If you can supply proof of ongoing and full-time education, we will offer a sizeable discount on the main joining fee.