I was just about to complete my Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing from Ryerson University. I started looking for jobs a few months before graduation, but I wasn’t prepared for the problems I would face.
I quickly realized that employers didn’t care about the marketing courses I had taken, or my GPA. They cared about relevant work experience.
Fortunately, I had some prior experience compared to some graduates but even that was minimal.
With this small experience, I was able to get through to a few second interviews. However, I always heard the same thing when employers were making the final cuts: I didn’t get the job because I lacked experience.
It was so frustrating having to convince an employer to give me a chance! How else do they expect any new graduate to gain experience?
Employers can’t expect every graduate to be the complete package. We are young, motivated and full of fresh, new ideas!
Employers should take a risk and hire new graduates. It doesn’t matter if we haven’t worked in a large corporation or do not have a specific skill. We can learn! That’s what we have been doing our whole academic careers. Don’t undervalue a graduate by thinking there is no time to train them.
Career centres and schools also need to do more to help students by providing them with co-op experience while in school, regardless of their GPA.
Schools should also provide hands-on experience during class time. For example, case studies are a great way to practice new problem solving skills that employers are looking for.
Also, schools should constantly update courses to better assist students. When I graduated in 2010, I learned nothing about social media and its relation to marketing, a knowledge base that would have been highly useful upon graduation.
My recommendation to students would be this: find an internship or part-time position while you’re still in school so you can get your foot in the door.
TalentEgg.ca, Canada’s online career resource for students and recent grads, wants to hear your Student Voice. Share it at TalentEgg.ca.