From College Girl to Career Woman:

Vital Things University Won’t Teach You Part 1

Written By: Kate Wisniewski, Intern

Many Americans state that their experience at university was one of the best times in their lives. Between making friends and memories alike, this learning experience shaped us as educational explorers and individuals in society. It seems as if college has prepared us for anything the working world has to throw at us.

Well, we’re wrong.

I’m here to pop that bubble and tell you some of the most valuable lessons that I learned during my first days being an intern here at Germer that college simply doesn’t teach you.

You will have no idea what anyone is talking about.

I’m sure some of us have experienced this in college, but the working world brings this up to another level. Imagine taking a 300 level Arabic class when you’ve been taking French for 5 years. The vocabulary used, structure, and classifications make absolutely no sense. This is the same in the workplace. Your colleagues will have terms and nicknames for different parts of your job. The company structure will be different than how the textbooks describe it. Also, they will have an organizational system that seems overwhelming to a newbie.

Just take a breath! 

Everyone feels this on their first day. Starting at a new company is like reading a new textbook. The content, vocabulary, and organization are probably going to vary from your other books. Approach your job like you approach the book… TAKE NOTES! Make sure to write everything down in a separate notebook. Any terms, instructions given to you, or methods on how to attack a certain problem or feature in a database should be copied and stored. Believe me; you will thank yourself in the future.

At university, only you are negatively affected by your actions. At work, your team and your clients will suffer.

When you don’t properly study for an exam or sleep through class, your grade more-than-likely will suffer. In the workplace, if you are not putting in 100% of effort into your performance, your team will have to pick up the slack and your clients will not receive quality work. You must hold yourself accountable and take pride in your work. Hopefully, your boss is not micromanaging you. So, in the end, you need to make sure you’re working hard and putting your best foot forward. Make daily goals for yourself and check-in weekly to make sure you are on track.

Don’t be the weakest link!

It is okay not to know.

You aren’t superwoman or superman. Knowing everything is impossible, and if you think you do, your head is probably too big for your body. In school, you get penalized for not knowing. Sometimes tutors are difficult to reach or TAs just aren’t working with you. In an office, you have great resources sitting at the desks all around you! Don’t be afraid to ask questions; however, always ask first if your colleague ‘has a free minute’ because this shows your consideration for their time. People will appreciate your consideration and you will appreciate their help!

Come back on August 7th for more tips on transitioning from university life to a career job!