One mistake students make is waiting until senior year to do things that will help them eventually find a job after graduation. However, there are ways to plant seeds in the ground that will make it easier. Yes, you will have to expend effort. However, it will help you launch much faster than those who don’t do these things.


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I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I'm a career coach who helpspeople professionally find work for a long, long time. And I thought I'd do a video talking to students while you're still in school, to give you ideas of things you can do while in school, that will help you get a job when you graduate or when you come out of school.

If you wait until your senior year, you've wasted three years of preparatory time; it's gonna make you stand out from your competition. Your competition isn't only the students at your university, it's all the universities in your area. And then there were the ones that the competition from students who went out of state, out of city to other places and are returning home, to their parents' home to find work. Thus, you need to do things to differentiate yourself while you're in school. I made a few notes, so excuse me if I refer to them.

Number one is, this is a reminder for you. Grades matter up to a point. They matter, to the point that you get in the door. And thus, you want to have good enough grades to get attention. But you don't have to be manic about it. You need to make some time. Now there are exceptions to this. You know, a 4.0 from Harvard or Stanford or any other great school means something, a 3.8 from a school no one's ever heard of before, is better than a 2.8 from that school, right? And want to have good enough grades that they're not a basis for disqualification. So you don't need to be manic about them, despite what your folks say, because a year after you're in your job, no one's gonna care.

So number one thing I want to remind you of is that there are things that you ought to be doing while you're in school that are going to position you with lessons learned, that you can talk about on your interviews. That's gonna make a difference. One thing is, in your major related to your career, you're taking courses that are designed to prepare you write a blog post weekly, that talks about some of the things that you've learned, they'll find it eventually. And it'll be a basis for conversation on the interview, especially if you put that in your resume, and in your LinkedIn profile. So number one, do that. Do a weekly blog post, once you're starting to take courses in your major. They'll see a progression in your thinking over the course of time. And that will be useful to you.

Number two is look for clubs, volunteering opportunities, internships, that are going to put you in a position where you're doing interesting stuff, stuff that might relate to an employer stuff that you can learn from because again, on an interview, this is part of the conversation that they're going to have with you.

And also want to remind you that interviews, well, you don't have to be practicing right away. But you have to start developing a confidence in your speech because when firms hire, competence is only one thing they look for. They like self confidence. They want character, they want to feel like there's chemistry between you and the person interviewing. That allows them to ultimately want to trust you. If you're charismatic, that's best of all, but you don't have to be. Develop a degree of self confidence in your presentation style, that's going to allow you to be different than the nervous people. Know what I mean? So that becomes a second thing.

While you're in school. If there's a firm you'd like to work for, remember, the school project gives you a way of getting in to talk to people, and talk about your project and, and make a connection with folks. Take advantage of that.

Also, start having informational conversations with people who are maybe a year or two ahead of you, so that you start learning from them. So, for example, if you're a junior, and you want to start developing relationships with people outside, you might talk to someone who's a year, maybe two years in and talk with him about what the profession's like. Start asking them questions.

Start asking about how they found the job. It's too early to really ask for work, but it's never too early to start building a network of relationships. So again, talk to alumni a year or two ahead of you. The ones who are 15, 20 years and are in managing functions, in theory, they're going to be able to hire you. But they're not going to take the meeting so fast. They don't care yet. For now focus on people a little bit ahead of you

Start doing market research of firms in the area that you might want to work for. Start volunteering and interning. Interning is great. Like, if you do it on campus, you start connecting with more senior people, more senior people at your school, that you can start learning from what their experiences are like. You'll overhear conversations and be able to chime in and maybe ask a question and start learning from them.

Another place where you can volunteer, or maybe intern is with faculty. Depending upon the school and the faculty members, you want to intern or volunteer, doing projects with faculty, particularly, if they're adjuncts, and they have relationships with corporations on the outside where they can recommend you. You can even do it with the tenured faculty. As long as you make a clear somewhere along the line, you want to do great work for them. And hopefully, they'll want to introduce you elsewhere once you graduate.

Start attending industry functions. You can walk in bright eyed and bushy tailed, not know a heck of a lot. Start learning. Start walking over to experience people and saying, "I'm a beginner. I'm in school. Could you explain this to me? And do it at a break, obviously. But, you know, ultimately, you start building relationships with people now so that in this way, when it comes time for graduation, there are people in place who might advocate for you. That becomes a big part of what you do while you're in school.

Hope you found this helpful. I'm Jeff Altman. Visit my website, Go there and go exploring. There's a lot there to help you. If you have a question for me, email me at I'm sorry, that's my website. In the subject line put stuff in like career coach office hours, because I do a weekly interview show where I answer questions that I haven't been able to address during the week. So send questions over there.

I also want to mention my website, has 1000s of posts that you can watch, listen to a read. They'll help you find work once he got out of school. It'll help you with interviewing your resume, LinkedIn profile negotiations, a whole host of different things. So go over to the site and go exploring.

Lastly, I want to mention follow me on YouTube. is great. Thousands of posts there that could be of help to you. Have a terrific day. Be great!


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a free Discovery call.

If you have a quick question for me, you can get it answered with a 3-5 minute video at Want to do it live? offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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