It was March, university would be done in another month and I had yet to put any thought into what I wanted to do next. It didn’t help that everyone would ask, “So, you’re almost done, any jobs lined up?”

I’m sure every student reading this can relate.

During that time, I was interning at Guardly, a position I had obtained after seeing it on TalentEgg. I was learning a lot about the technology community in Toronto, and was amazed at the quality of start-ups that the city was producing. During this internship, and with a little help from one of my university professors, I found Agility CMS, a content management company.

I contacted one of the co-founders and introduced myself. Thankfully, he was willing to take some time out of his day to do an informational interview with me over lunch. This was a great experience as it allowed me to learn more about his company and the industry as a whole.

We kept in touch after that lunch via email and, about a month later when a position became available, he asked me if I was interested in going through the interview process.

So, one lunch interview, two phone interviews, two in-person interviews and a full reference check later, I graciously accepted Agility’s offer to become their new project co-ordinator.

I strongly urge employers to take the risk on recent graduates.

Find out more about which program they took and what types of courses were involved. There are so many new programs out there that give students a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience.

For instance, the Digital Enterprise Management program at the University of Toronto Mississauga enables students to learn about business, marketing, design, project management and entrepreneurship. This broad skill-set allows the recent graduate to apply themselves in a vast array of positions in any company.

Sure, someone who has worked in the industry may have some advantages over a recent graduate, however, I can confidently say that because recent graduates have the urge to continue learning, they can apply themselves just as efficiently.

For students, I cannot stress enough the importance of networking in any way possible.

Whether it’s at a formal networking event or in the line-up of a fast food restaurant. Perhaps the person about to order a foot-long chicken teriyaki sub is actually the CEO of that marketing company you’ve been trying to apply at. Be ready, your elevator pitch just became your Subway pitch.

It is also important to build a personal relationship with the company you are trying to apply to. The best way to do this is to send an email to whomever you think can help you obtain the position you want. This could be the VP of the department you want to work in, or the head of HR.

Where Akshay is now

Although I received another job offer (besides Agility) about one month after graduating, I knew the position with Agility better suited my skills and had more potential for growth. So, although I had yet to obtain the position with Agility, I took a risk and turned down the first offer. Then, I did everything possible to ensure I received that second offer.

Thankfully, I did receive an offer from Agility and will be starting my role as Project Co-ordinator in the near future.

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