Congratulations fellow students, it’s past the halfway mark of the semester. With the spring weather coming into full effect, we are very close to the end of the spring semester.
This means two things: finals and job/internship searches. For the fortunate ones, they have already overcome many challenges in the internship/job search process and have triumphed in their hunt. As for other juniors/seniors, they are still continuing their battle. In addition, some freshmen and sophomores are starting to wonder what they should do for the summer. In any case, many students are in the position of seeking answers as to how they can stand out to recruiters and secure an opportunity for the summer (or the future).
The first step in differentiating yourself, assuming you’ve taken your resume to be reviewed by the Starr Career Development Center, is to start looking at yourself from a holistic perspective. The common belief of Baruch students is they should focus heavily on their major courses and join clubs geared towards improving their knowledge of their career-related field. Although this is great advice, I’ve also seen the extreme side of this behavior, where students complain about how courses, which are not relevant to their major, are totally unnecessary. This narrow-minded point of view is counterproductive because taking these classes can contribute to differentiating yourself during internship/job search. Sometimes it’s the student with an Art History minor, accompanying their business major, which stands out to the Big Four accounting firms and big banks. In other cases, the liberal arts major with a minor in Economics can have a better shot at being remembered by a recruiter. In the competitive, globalized world we live in, students need to start seeing themselves as a complete package rather than a specialized, one-dimensional robot.
Speaking of “globalized”, another great way to differentiate oneself is by studying abroad. With so many options, including a program for Cuba which opened up last semester, now is the time to apply. Students often find themselves in situations abroad where they mature in various ways. Living on your own helps build your independence, while interacting with students from abroad (or even from other states), will help improve your communication skills. From personal experience, after I studied abroad this past January in Italy, I find it very easy to strike up conversations with professionals. Moreover, I am able to speak with them about a wider range of topics. The Study Abroad Office, located on the 8th floor of Weissman Center for International Business building located at 137 East 25th Street, is the place to start your exploration of programs abroad. Studying abroad is truly a fascinating experience that everyone can benefit from.
Another way to differentiate yourself, is to apply for selective development programs within Baruch. This continues the idea of being a well-rounded and culturally aware student. I recommend everyone look into Baruch’s Global Student Certificate (GSC) program for this purpose. Like many other leadership programs, GSC is meant to help students learn more about themselves and improve their skills. The requirements of the program include attending global lectures, cultural events, and intriguing seminars – all for free. A group case study project, that involves extensive research on a country, is also assigned. Overall, the GSC program is an excellent way for lowerclassmen to strengthen their resume and for upperclassmen to reach new heights.
More student development programs include all the opportunities offered by T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More) Baruch. With annual applications to join, the deadline is typically in October/November, T.E.A.M. Baruch offers many great programs for students to build on their leadership skills. These programs include Peers for Careers, Freshman Seminar, and Orientation Leaders. Examples of some of the useful things you may learn through participating include writing better resumes, networking with professionals, and communicating to large groups of people.
At the end of the day, there is no superior method to differentiating yourself. Everyone is encouraged to find their own way to becoming more culturally aware and increasingly well rounded in their knowledge base. It’ll help one mature and become a better networker since the more you know, the more you’ll have to say. Don’t be the person in the room with nothing to offer but a silent grin!