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College is a 4 year stepping stone for a 40 year career. But today, a college degree doesn't guarantee anyone a job. Students are graduating with expensive pieces of paper—either unemployed or underemployed.

Results from NACE’s Student Survey show that less than 20 percent of 2009 grads who have applied for a job actually have one in hand. In comparison, more than half of 2007 grads and 26 percent of those graduating in 2008 who had applied for jobs had one by time of graduation. Of the students who did land jobs, 73 percent had completed an internship at some point in their college careers.

In today's economy, a 4.0 is not enough—students coming out of college have to be exceptional. Academic excellence is the minimum. If I was in college today knowing what I know now, here are 66 ways I would maximize my college experience in addition to getting good grades.

Career Readiness

  1. Do an internship with at least two companies in two different industries of interest and get letters of recommendation
  2. Do whatever job you want post-graduation on-campus now (ie if you want to work in journalism, get heavily involved in the on-campus newspaper)
  3. Create a portfolio of all of your best work (preferably online)
  4. Shadow and do a project with/for an alumni in your desired career
  5. Create a resume 2.0

Personal Branding

  1. Buy your domain name at www.yourname.com (Godaddy.com)
  2. Start a personal blog/website (Blogger.com or Wordpress.com)
  3. Buy business cards (VistaPrint.com)
  4. Blog weekly on whatever you're passionate about

Conquering Fear

  1. Write an article for the school newspaper (fear of criticism)
  2. Do karaoke (fear of embarrassment)
  3. Correct your professor (fear of being wrong and challenging authority)
  4. Take a quarter/semester off (fear of being behind)
  5. Recite a poem at an open mic (fear of showing emotion and being known)
  6. Do something that you're guaranteed to get rejected from (fear of rejection)
  7. Where a costume to class on a day other than Halloween (fear of being different)
  8. Ask for a grade change (fear of asking for you want)

Money & Business

  1. Write a business plan competition (compete is a competition or take a class)
  2. Know how to do your own taxes and write-offs (VITA)
  3. Get your real estate license
  4. Get your wholesale license
  5. Start a company and incorporate
  6. Save $5-10K (Maximize your financial aid in necessary)
  7. Clear your credit card debt
  8. Sell something and make a profit
  9. Read Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Skill Development

  1. Learn a foreign language
  2. Organize a huge event
  3. Do a public speech or large presentation
  4. Learn how to use wordpress
  5. Learn HTML and another computer programming language
  6. Master Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint (assuming you know how to use Word)
  7. Learn how to use Photoshop and/or a video editing program

Leadership & Service

  1. Hold at least 2 leadership positions of significance
  2. Raise $1,000+ for a good cause
  3. Start an on-campus club
  4. Mentor younger students or high schoolers
  5. Volunteer weekly for an organization that moves you

International Journeys

  1. Study abroad
  2. Travel to your country of cultural origin
  3. Go on a cross-country road trip
  4. Go camping

Lifelong Learning

  1. Read The Alchemist
  2. Watch 20 videos on TED.com that interest you
  3. Learn to play an instrument
  4. Choose a topic you want to master and read something on it every day for 9 months
  5. Sit in on a graduate school class
  6. Take the GMAT, GRE, LSAT, or MCAT

Social & Emotional Intelligence

  1. Attempt to meet a prominent alum
  2. Host a potluck among friends to talk about life challenges
  3. Take a professor and get a letter of recommendation
  4. Seek mentorship from an upperclassman and/or recent graduate in your sphere of interest
  5. Play an intramural sport for fun
  6. Join a national organization

Self-Awareness & Development

  1. Read a spiritual text from cover to cover
  2. Interview your grandparents and parents
  3. Play an intramural sport that challenges you
  4. Take the Gallup StrengthsFinder and use the results
  5. Complete an assignment one-week early
  6. Run a marathon
  7. Go to an event/meeting of a student group that you think thinks differently than you
  8. Abstain from drinking alcohol for an entire quarter/semester
  9. Journal for 30 days in a row
  10. Take a self-development course (i.e. Driving School for Life)
Last but not least...
  1. Complete the 66 things to do before you graduate list
  2. Graduate 10 times more ready for the world than you classmates

3 comments

  1. Tanya Says:
  2. This is an amazingly on point list. Can i get a re-do?

     
  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. I concur with the previous comment...got a bachelors and a masters. I'm going to accomplish this list and add to it. Go JG!

     
  5. Nowadays it's hard to find a job because of the recession. There are many got unemployed and seeking job now. As a worker, I am also a blood donor to help on my daily needs. I think this is a very big help for the students who are seeking for a part time job now or got unpaid internship and especially it is summer time which are some of us need extra income. I'm donating for 2 years now and it really helps because every donation I make up to $50/hour for blood donation. As we all know, Blood bank shortages kill tons of people all the time and it is the time to spread the word about blood donation and give blood, you will never know when YOU might need blood. This really helpful even it is just a part time job, the bottom line of this is to saved lives.

    If you are thinking to be a blood donor and looking for specific blood banks and a directory of blood donation centers you can check it out here at bloodbanker dot com/banks.

     

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Jullien's Purpose Statement

My purpose is to help as many people as possible reach their full potential by helping them making a living doing what they love and in the process of doing so achieve my own. I want to do this through writing, speaking, and creating offline and online spaces that facilitate conversations around purpose.

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