College Grads, Chew On This…

For the new and soon-to-be college graduates out there, I’d like to alert you to a simple fact. As cold as it sounds, once you graduate it’s no longer about you. Roles reverse. Circumstances change.

Think of the relationship of students and colleges in a basic way. Students are the buyers. They are the paying customer to the college who is in the role of the seller. In any sales setting it’s necessary to make the needs and wants of the buyer the primary focus. Advisers and admissions counselors ask what you want out of life, what you hope to gain from your college experience, and then use that information to show how the college’s offerings contribute to those goals and dreams. They outline how your investment in a degree from that college gives you knowledge, experience, resources and a competitive edge.

As a graduate seeking a job, the tables turn. No longer the buyer, the graduate becomes the seller. Corporate America becomes the paying customer prepared to give the graduate money in exchange for him providing knowledge, experience, resources and a competitive edge. Interaction with decision makers has to be less about what you want out of a career and more about what the company is hoping to accomplish and how you can contribute to that goal. Put yourself in the role of figuring out where the company, your potential customer, hopes to go and showing that customer how investing in you sets them on the right path.

Discussing what you want in terms of a career isn’t a bad thing. It just can’t dominate the conversation the way it may have when discussing course options as a student. The goal should always be to tie points about your career plans back to the interests of the company, the buyer, in some way.

1 Comment

  • Anonymous says:

    This is valuable info for new graduates! Thanks for bringing a new perspective to the job search for new graduates!

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