Even before coming to university I am sure you had heard the term ‘P’s get degrees’. A simple saying which made university life sound so easy. All you have to do is scrape through your courses with a pass, get your degree and then get a job.
Unfortunately that isn’t quite how it works.
The 2014 Australian graduate statistics saw only 68.1% of university graduates working in full-time positions within four months of completing their degree. Gone are the days that simply having a degree will get you hired, especially a degree that was given little effort. Employers understand that it isn’t reasonable for every student to have a transcript full of 7’s, but that isn’t to say you shouldn’t put in your best effort at university.
When you are a dedicated student, opportunities open up for you which you may not have otherwise seen. Funnily enough, university isn’t just about completing assignments and going to classes where you are marked for attendance. If you take the time to go to your classes and actively ask your lecturers and tutors questions they will get to know you which can be very beneficial, particularly if they teach a few subjects throughout your course. Once you finish your degree and are looking for a job you might even be able to ask them to be a reference on your resume.
Another myth that seems to go hand in hand with the P’s get degrees and degrees get jobs theory is the idea that employers don’t look at your transcript. This idea can be somewhat true, but it depends more on your field of study. If you are a business student it is likely that employers are going to want to see your transcript in order to determine whether you will be good for a position writing reports etc. Whereas if you are a graphic design student an employer is going to be more concerned with your portfolio in determining whether you are right for the company.
Another great reason to put your utmost effort into your university work is that having a higher GPA opens great opportunities for internships, scholarships, awards and even work opportunities within the university. For example, the Griffith Business School awards an Academic Excellence Award to all students within the school who achieve a GPA of 6 or higher at the end of each year. This goes onto your academic transcript and looks fantastic on your resume.
Even though high grades are an advantage when seeking employment after graduation, it isn’t going to ruin your chances if your transcript isn’t perfect. It is a lot more normal than you would think for students to have a transcript that ranges from 4’s to 7’s for different courses, with possibly even some withdrawals as well. What matters most is the amount of effort that you put into your subjects and how hard you strive to reach that dream job.
Just as, or possibly even more important (depending on your field) is the experience you gain outside of your studies. Having work experience in your selected field can put you right up the top of an employer’s recruitment list. There are countless opportunities to volunteer and gain work experience at Griffith, all you have to do is look and ask around or search the opportunities listed on Enrich Your Studies. You can also join social groups and student associations which offer fantastic networking opportunities and an avenue for finding more out about work experience and internship opportunities.
Lastly, make sure that you are enjoying your degree. If you have the attitude that all you have to do is complete your assignments with a pass and that you’re not interested in really learning anything from your studies, it may be time to revaluate your choices. It is possible that you just don’t like what you are studying. If that is the case there are so many people you can talk to in order to make the changes that could see you falling in love with university life and your future career prospects. I have met so many people who tell me that they hate their degree but are just doing it because they think they will get a good job out of it. If you hate the degree, why would a job from the degree be any different?
Study what you love, work hard at it and you will succeed. What’s your advice to help fellow students succeed?