The Primary Indicator of Future Success

I recently read an article (referenced below) that spoke to the most important thing employers are looking for in college graduates.  The article stated that many students think good grades, extracurricular activities, and good references are going to put them at the top of the list, but while those are important, they’re not going to put you on the “most likely to succeed” list.


What is?  Experience.  As I’ve said to many students in classrooms before, there’s a difficult cycle of, “You have to have experience to get a job, but you can’t experience without a job.”  I completely understand that it’s frustrating and sometimes seems impossible, but it’s the reality of today’s competitive work world.  While that article was speaking to college students and graduates, it applies to high school students as well.  If you want to get ahead, you need to show people that you want it and that you’re worth hiring.  Show them that you have people skills, work skills, initiative, references from within the field (and not your grandpa or your best friend’s mom), and valuable experience in the field from a reputable business/company.


High school internships give you that edge on the rest of your peers.  You are showing colleges that you’re serious about the major (more likely to get in!) and future employers that you’re dedicated and determined (more likely to get hired!).


Keep working on those grades and extracurricular activities, but focus most on experience.  Volunteer, intern, and get your face and name known in the field, and you’ll be on your way to a successful career and future.





Original Article: 

Barizo, Dee.  The Number One Thing Employers are Looking for in New College Grads. 20 March 2010. Web.  April 2013.