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4 Reasons why career planning / preparation is so important for university students

While choosing the right university and the right major/ course is a string step towards your career of choice, a great degree with a strong academic score will only take you that far. All the best employers across banking, finance, business and conglomerates start hand- picking the best students much before they graduate to recruit the best talent pool. Whether you are a fresher or a final year student pursuing a degree in any discipline across finance, accounting or business, careful career planning will require you to focus on much more than just your academic performance. Employers today seek well- rounded candidates with relevant industry experience, proven skills, and a global outlook. The competition is only getting tougher, and students cannot afford to slacken. This week, we want to focus on the four reasons why career planning is important for university students, and how you can use to effectively prepare for a bright career, strengthening your CV and your personality to grab up the placement of your choice. 1. The early bird gets the worm… or the job of your choice Fields like finance can get extremely competitive. As they say, you snooze and you lose! Take the time to meet the on campus career services advisors and engage with them to understand future prospects of the specialisations you have in mind, and the related placement history. Apart from guiding you regarding potential internship opportunities, they may help you get exposure to career options that you may have not considered altogether, and even advise on job- shadowing opportunities in early student life. If you don’t plan and grab these opportunities early on, you will likely miss on great jobs for want of a strong internship experience. 2. It helps you sharpen your competitive edge There is no shortcut to hands- on experience. Most students already know that most large firms give you a return offer at the end of a successful internship. Employers look for practical experience, and even for candidates who can hit the road running without the need of hand holding and constant guidance. Leverage your network, browse online for internship openings and apply to work with a relatively smaller firm in the first couple of years, till you are eligible to apply for the likes of Big 4 and other management trainee programmes of large corporations. Of course, you can utilise your semester breaks to gain overseas internship experiences. An effective career planning of this nature can facilitate a much smoother transition from your college life to a bright career. 3. It helps you build a stronger network This is the logical extension of the previous point. Apart from reaching out to on- campus career counsellors, enhance your professional network to garner as much knowledge of various industries, conglomerates, and financial institutions as possible. This will help you make well- informed decisions regarding your career. Networking is a non- negotiable for any field, whether you are interested in commercial or finance careers. It can help you in future career growth, getting recommendations and referrals. 4. It is essential for upgrading your skill set Why? Simply because it increases your employability. Based on your field of interest, there are various certifications and exams that students can take to get an edge over their peers. While marketing students can go for certifications in Google Analytics, SEO/SEM, AdWords, etc, the finance and accounting students can increase their hiring chances by clearing the CPA/ CFA certifications. Apart from knowledge of tools like Bloomberg Terminal, advance skills in Excel, VBA, financial modelling will always come in very useful for the financial services spectrum. Again, to make up for any gaps in your CV, take up certifications through multiple professional skills enhancement courses available online, or even stock trading simulations. The planning for your future begins today, and we can help you at every stage of this process. Do let us know what you think of the article, and if there are any specific topics that you would like to know more about!

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