With solidifying post-collegiate plans developing into an ever more elusive process, here are the five most important qualities that I am looking for in a career after college:
1. A role in a field that I am generally interested in and can learn from.
This trait stems from the oft-cited mentality that “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” Although I expect this to not be the case 100% of the time, I do fully believe in pursuing a line of work that you enjoy, or at the very least are interested in. Couple this with skills learned on-the-job that you can add to your repertoire, and you find yourself at the very least with knowledge of aspects that you do not care for in a position, along with pertinent expertise that you can potentially apply to your actual dream job.
2. Money in the bank.
At the risk of sounding shallow, I will rather choose to maintain a realistic perspective. With college behind me, I want to be able to fully support myself as I pursue my first job. This, however, comes at a cost. A lot of them, actually. Being practical, the job I wish to pursue after completing my undergraduate studies would be one that would help establish me as a fully-functioning and independent adult. One who needs to eat, drink, and live underneath a roof – all while maintaining a steady WiFi connection and solid grasp on my student loans.
3. Work-Life Balance.
Looking past the necessary time and dedication that my future career will demand, I maintain the notion that life is worth living as long as you actually live it. With this said, ties to my family and friends are incredibly important to me, as is the time to be spent with myself alone, ideally within the comforts of my own warm bed bumming around while watching a marathon on VH1.
4. Track to Business School.
My hope is to one day earn my MBA. I would love to be a part of a company that would not only allow for this as a possibility, but also rather encourage this as part of one’s career path. If they also chose to sponsor this track (at least in part) I wouldn’t complain either.
5. Global Business, Global Perspective.
One thing that fascinates me is traveling, allowing for the opportunity to experience foreign cultures and learn new languages. Increasingly in our day in age, the world is becoming smaller and more interconnected. It is not a surprise that commerce should also follow suit. If given the chance, I would love to be able to specialize within a foreign market, especially within Europe. While I realize that such an opportunity would most likely not be feasible for an entry-level worker, my hope is that the job that I choose to pursue would hopefully allow for the possibility of this experience somewhere down the line.
Caroline Herrmann is a junior at Duke University majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in German Studies. She is working on a Markets & Management Studies certificate. Her goal is to attend business school and she would love to work in marketing or consulting in the United States or Europe. She was a part of the first Forté College Leadership Conference and can be found on Twitter at @caroooline717.