As a student you can sometimes live in the bubble of student life, which, while it is great to be in a world of people like you, having fun, and extending your academic knowledge, it can remove you from the wider world context. When you are looking to secure a graduate job it is important to keep abreast of what is happening in business, media, the arts and law – locally, nationally and internationally. It is important, whatever career direction you are heading towards.
Here are my top three reasons why is it important to know stuff:
Networking. The art of conversation doesn’t always come easily but if you have read the news, have a view on the economic situation, can show interest in a recent merger or a high-profile court case, you can talk about that. Similarly it may be a TV programme. What do you think of the new Seven Sharp? When networking with potential employers it helps to come across approachable and smile but to also engage in conversation.
Interviews. As part of your interview they may check out how passionate and interested you are about not only working for their company but also the sector. For a marketing or communications role you could be asked: What recent campaign attracted your attention and why?
For a commerce-type role the question may be: What do you think are the biggest factors affecting the NZ economy at the moment?
For an Arts role the conversation may change and the question may focus more broadly and be looking at your views. Which countries do you think have interesting ideas in making art more accessible to the public?
Science and research interviews could ask for views about relevant subject areas such as the Brain Activity Map for biologists. Law students can expect to discuss current cases and architecture students could be asked for opinions on the Christchurch rebuild for example.
Connections. As you keep up to date with world and local issues, it can stimulate your thinking on what you are learning in class and widen the debate in tutorials. It can also give you ideas on what fascinates you and what kind of job market you would like to work in. On reading a recent article on why Google is the best place to work it took me to the top 100 companies’ to work for as surveyed by Fortune magazine – makes interesting reading.
There are some easy and fairly quick ways to know stuff but don’t forget to also have an opinion on what you have found out! Here are my favourites………