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Here's What Industry Insiders Wished They Learned in College

August 9th, 2017 at 2:00am

Our entire lives, we are trained to think that college is the only education we can get when it comes to jobs. We are told to choose a major that applies to the career we want, and then we’re expected to shell out thousands of dollars and four or more years of our lives to attend a university. Yet when it’s all said and done, many of us still don’t feel prepared for life after school. At CollegeFashionista, we often feel the same way—so a few of our team members sat down to share their experiences in college and what they really wish they learned in class.

Keep reading to see what the CF Team wishes they learned in college, and our number one tip on what to do if you’re left feeling unprepared for the real world. 

(Photo via @jaidabrinkley_)

Basic Applications—While there are some students that receive a perfect, well-rounded education, there are also many programs that unfortunately leave out important lessons in basic programs like Excel and Google Analytics. Sarah Desiderio, CF’s Social Media Manager, says, “I wish I would’ve learned photoshop and a lot of other apps and programs that you have to use in a job but you don’t necessarily learn in class—things like Google Analytics and just real world experience. I wish I would’ve learned to write a successful cover letter and really market myself in a résumé or an interview. So much of having a job is a hands-on learning process, but having the help of learning through our experiences in college can ease the transition into a full time job.”

(Photo via @alexadmendoza)
Job Etiquette—It could be argued that job etiquette is something that has to be learned on the job, but it’s such a huge part of working that it’s imperative to be introduced to it before your first day in an office. Kali Concepcion, Marketing Coordinator at CF, says, “I wish my classes would have focused more on the day-to-day operations of the different sectors of the industry. I would have liked to be more familiar with email etiquette, as well as commonly used applications. This industry is constantly evolving, and fashion schools should work to reflect that and be as up-to-date as possible.” (Photo via @alexadmendoza)

(Photo via @hellogabrielle)
NetworkingIt’s true that some universities make it a point to stress the importance of making contacts in the industry—but it’s an unfortunate reality that others simply skip right over it. Anna Coke, an editor at CF, says, “Probably the most important part in getting a job is knowing how to leverage your connections and network, network, network. Yet after four years in college, the word ‘network’ hadn’t been mentioned in my classes a single time. Luckily, I had a mentor at CollegeFashionista during my junior year who taught me the importance of reaching out to people in the industry and making and keeping contacts. Ultimately, connections are what led to me landing a job in the fashion industry. More than anything, I wish my college had provided classes and opportunities to learn about best practices for networking. It would have helped me tremendously.”

So now you know what you need to know—but where do you go from there? As much as we wish we could give you all the answers, it’s up to you to decide to put in the work in order to learn. However, there are resources available that can give you the extra push you need. Instead of being complacent, start researching programs and opportunities that will provide you with experience and lessons that you need to get ahead in your career.

Apply for as many internships as you can, and soak up every skill they provide. Additionally, find other educational opportunities outside of school. Yes, a lot of classes outside of school still cost money. But there are some amazing (and free!) programs like CollegeFashionista that allow you to not only learn straight from industry insiders, but provide you with access to exclusive job boards, educational videos, and even internship opportunities. With that kind of education, who needs school?

What are you doing to build your future? Apply to CollegeFashionista today and learn the skills you need to pursue your dream career.