Increasing Exposure for College Students
Sometimes I think college days present a student a perfect platform to be unsure of themselves. Why do I say so ? Simply because, one is not young as a school student nor experienced like an industry professional. A young school student is not expected to know about the industry. While a person at work, is a ‘professional’ with knowledge about the industry.
The college student is sandwiched between the 2 stages and this lends to the confusion. How can a student figure a way out of this confusion ? Exposure is the only way out.
Here are some practical tips to gain more exposure and get clarity -
- 1. Talk to more people : Make friends with more people in college. Especially, with opposite sex and other department students. Become interested in what they do. Have meaningful conversations ( atleast once in a while ). When a chief guest comes to college, go up to him and talk. Ask him questions about his work. Get his business card. Try to meet him at his office. Talk to seniors in college . Talk to your college alumni. Talking to people gives clarity.
- 2. What should I talk about ? : Talk about you – what you have done , what you are interested in, what you plan to do. Even better is to Ask him / her, what they have done and how they did it ? Be curious but don’t bore them . If you don’t have much to talk, ask the other person to suggest what you should do. If you come across anything you don’t know, ask Google . Google is probably the best teacher in the current world
- 3. Run Small Experiments : As you gain knowledge from talking to people / reading from books or internet, start applying that knowledge to small projects. Spend a small amount of time, tweaking your computer or practising your dancing skills or hitting that cricket ball or stitching your own costume or repairing your bike / car. These are more fun and gives a lot of happiness.
- 4. Participate in Community Events : In every city, there are a number of community events taking place. Go attend a technology group meeting ( example : http://www.ilugc.in/ ) . Volunteer at an NGO. Or start a group, if you don’t have one in your city. When you go to the meetings, volunteer to help the group organise its activities. Offer to help organise an event – Be prepared to do anything, to learn. You will meet a lot of people, who will be happy to teach you.
- 5. Identify Mentors / Experts and Reach out to them : When you meet experts, hang around them and learn from them. Stay in touch with them. If possible, work on short projects under their guidance.