We all know that attending university isn’t just about studying, no matter how hard you try, there’s bound to be someone better than you. Even though I’m not the best at studying there is still ways that you can achieve above and beyond while you at university.
1. Do side Projects.
This is really key, to be honest the projects that I’ve been part of and been picked up by the University, some people just envy me about, let’s be honest I’m not really the best programmer out there, but I do love doing side-projects. And once you gain users, some people just may see it, especially if its the university.
Two of my projects have been this way:
- MARIE.js was just luck, I joined the team early on, and I got a Winter Research Scholarship because of that.
- monPlan was started off as a pain point for me as I was picking my units for my second year so I thought up an idea and then I posted on a Monash University Facebook Group, asking if students want the kind of app where you plan out your course, this was met with excitement. And then it caught the attention of someone high up in the IT Division (eSolutions) of Monash, and here we are already 5 months into the project.
2. Don’t Just Study and Work, Volunteer
Another key thing, that if I was an employer or recruiter (which I was) that I would look out for is whether or not you volunteered. I know that it may seem tedious, but think about the key ‘soft’ skills you have experienced: leading, teamwork. These skills especially in the modern team environment is extremely important and especially around software development. You interact with your team more, and then you’ll do well. Most employers these days afford to pay for you to learn your hard skills, but if you have soft skills it would be great.
3. Participate, participate and participate
University isn’t just about studying and working, it’s also about enjoying the social aspect side (don’t go too crazy though), participating in Hackathons (such as UniHack, Hackamon, Unearthed, etc.) may actually benefit you. One, it shows that you are keen to drive and improve communities — which is really important as it can show your employer if you fit in the team or not. Two, it shows that you have at least done something.
4. Aim for beyond the stars
A wise person once told me, always try your best no matter how hard it is. This is so true, so try your best in everything and you’ll succeed. If you fail, don’t worry pick yourself up and try again.
This was originally posted on LinkedIn and has been modified.