By Morgan Y., Marquette University Student Intern
COLLEGE. At first glance it is scary, new and such a culture shock coming from high school. It’s fun, but exhausting. You have more freedom, but you’re constantly busy. There’s many courses for your degree, but nothing about how to apply your degree to “real life.”
I may not be able to teach you how to sleep with your eyes open during class, or how to reduce the amount of homework, but I can share some tips to make the transition from college into the workplace easier.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help.
Accept that you don’t know everything – and don’t pretend that you do. Employers understand your skill level and know that there will be times that you need help. Ask questions! Your coworkers and mentors are there to guide you in the right direction. Take advantage of that experience and knowledge.
- Open yourself up to accept unfamiliar tasks.
What I mean is: don’t be afraid to accept tasks that you have never seen or done before. Before interning at Vogel Bros., I had never spent much time estimating, doing takeoffs, or calculating budgets. I remained open and eagerly took on any task that was presented to me. I can confidently say that I am much better for it and have learned so much throughout my time here at Vogel Bros.
- Get an Internship.
The courses you take for your desired degree are EXTREMELY different than how your degree is applied in the workplace. Your courses give you the basic textbook knowledge to understand what your degree is. However, it does not give you the answers of how to do the job after graduation. Internships are vital in helping you figure out if you like your major, providing an understand how your courses apply to the real world, and offering real experiences of what a job after school will be like.
- Spend time at more than one company if you can.
Just like when you were exploring college options, you must explore employer options to see what you really like. I spent time at two very different companies, and found stark differences in the work environment. I learned that the kind of place I wanted to spend my years working is a place that gives me a feeling of “family” like that which I found at Vogel Bros. Building Co.