One of the perks of working on Corporate Social Responsibility projects at Banif Bank is that it brings me personally close to a series of very interesting community activities, one of which is the MCAST Life Case, where the Bank works in tandem with students to commission and show their creative work. The collaboration seeks to bridge the gap between education and industry. Opportunities like these offer students a chance to actively and tangibly work towards their future careers. How can a student make the best of these opportunities?
Here are my five tips for doing this:
Forge an entrepreneurial spirit
A student’s study years are there for immersing oneself in reading, writing, and achieving academic results. But it should also be a time where you start carving out your career path. If you sit comfortably on your laurels, you may make it to the end-of-course without much in hand apart from the academic achievement, as important as this is. Start thinking business. How can I build my personal brand? From whom can I get advice on the industry? How can I make important contacts? By talking to tutors and undertaking research, you can open avenues for the future.
Develop a list of business contacts
Through conversations with tutors, visiting lecturers and even peers, you can start building a potential list of industry contacts that might be useful to you in the future. Don’t keep back from making contacts and for exploring what opportunities are in store for you. A contact in hand now may be the employer or the client of the future!
Send cold calls for internships
Internships could be a great opportunity to build a professional portfolio. They give you the chance to work on real life jobs, within industry strategy, guidelines and time-frames – an invaluable possibility to gain experience, develop your CV and start a collection of work.
Identify skill gaps
Research market trends to identify any personal skills gap. Industries are changing fast, spurred by the strength and ubiquity of technology and media. Today’s professional needs to be able to multi-task, deploying as required various skills to the task at hand. In the current scenario it is not enough to be creative. You also need to be assertive, to be able to sell (yourself or your work), to have language skills, to appreciate fast-changing cultures and expectations, to be flexible and adaptable, and so much more. If you feel you are lacking in a certain skill now is the time to work on it.
Use contacts to sell
Being a student doesn’t mean that you are not already churning out some great quality work! If you have a list of business contacts don’t shy away from approaching them with a view to sell your work, your ideas, or your services. Keep in mind industry benchmarks for pricing, and that you’re still not a professional! This should ensure the quotes you pitch are reasonable.
About Banif Bank
Banif Bank is an established retail Bank and a key player in the local market. Now in its ninth year of operations the Bank runs a network of 12 branches and 3 corporate and business banking units. It offers the market a wide range of commercial financial solutions both for personal and business customers, while also contributing to the community it operates in through Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
The Campus Package from Banif Bank
For students in post-secondary and tertiary education Banif Bank offers the CAMPUS PACKAGE – a financial solution devised around the particular needs of students, boasting attractive benefits as well as an instant gift on opening of account and an additional gift on first direct credit of stipend. For full details click here: students.banif.com.mt