Monday, July 30, 2012

The importance of professional experience

This post is intended to address the dilemma of students who can't seem to decide whether they should go directly for further studies or get a job out of university. The simplest answer in my opinion is, you should go and get a good job first.

Pros of getting a job:
You get industry exposure
You learn people skills
You learn about good procedures
You get a good grip on your technical knowledge
You get to see a lot of things in action, which you previously only knew via books
You get better at handling people driven stress
You learn how to negotiate
You earn money, which if situation permits you can set aside to cover the costs incurred during higher studies application process
You make friends/contacts in the professional realm
You get a realistic idea of your strengths and weaknesses
You get a better idea of what you want to do with life and if the 9-5 office drill fits you

Cons of getting a job:
You feel like you have little time left for studies or GMAT/GRE preparation
You get bogged down in the 9-5 grind
You might get addicted to the steady paycheck
You might end up changing or scraping your higher studies plan entirely (this may be a pro)
You might loose sight of your personal goals for a long while, as you try to make a niche for yourself on the corporate ladder just because you are expected to
You may withhold your goals till the next year, that never comes
You may find getting back to studies difficult as you may feel that studying is "too much effort"

The cons can all be overcome by keeping sight of your goals and keep yourself motivated to achieve them no matter what it takes.
And you should be willing to re-evaluate your goals and long term vision if your stint in the professional world ends up changing your priorities all together.

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