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Strategies to Transition from a College Student to a Professional

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Strategies to Transition from a College Student to a Professional

Matthew Aguilar

California State University of Los Angeles

December 2018

To:        Norvell Thomas

              Professor Business Communication – Cal State LA

From:        Matthew Aguilar

        Student – Business Communication

Date:        December 3, 2018

Re:        Strategies for College Students to Achieve Employability and Career Success

Hello Professor Thomas,

Here is the report of the research you request in regard to college student’s employability and career success post-graduation. This research goes in depth to describe different strategies that can be implemented, while providing my recommendations to further improve the strategies stated.

The study incorporated strategies such as involvement in extracurricular activates, networking, obtaining internships, achieving academic excellence, and seeking mentorship support. Our recommendations address how they strategies are flawed and what can be done to improve this system of success.

Thank you for the opportunity to dive into this research project. I hope this analysis will be of value to you and if you have any further questions do not hesitate to reach out.


Matthew Aguilar

Executive Summary

The labor market is becoming more competitive year after year. This is making it difficult for college graduates to pursue and obtain a well-paying career, let alone a career related to their degree. If students use strategies such as getting involved in extracurricular activities, networking, internships, academic excellence, and mentorship support, students are able to break these barriers. The purpose of our research was to examine the positive correlation between the following variables:

  • Extracurricular activities and employability
  • Networking and employability
  • Internships and career success/compensation
  • Academic excellence and compensation
  • Mentorship support and employability


As expected, our research and analysis concluded that there was a positive correlation amongst all variables listed above. Most importantly, these conclusions support the strategies that should be utilized by all college students to obtain a rewarding career.


  1. Workshops – It can be extremely beneficial for colleges to host workshops for students and teach them the importance of these strategies
  2. College Curriculum – Implementing these strategies within the college curriculum is a direct way for students to obtain the information
  3. Conferences/Events – Hosting conferences allows students to get feedback from experienced professionals and the strategies they utilized


Graduating college is a goal and an outstanding achievement every college student strives to accomplish as young freshman. An even bigger accomplishment is knowing you have secured your first full time job the moment you step across that stage and received your college diploma. However, the transition from a college student to becoming a working professional is not as easy as it seems. It is inevitable to say that you will be faced with a variety a challenges in the work environment that you did not experience while you were a college student. In this study, we are examining the strategies for achieving success and employability in the stages of one’s career. Needless to say, majority of the strategies that amount to this success are taken throughout one’s collegiate career. The research methods utilized in this study will consist of literature reviews and statistics that will demonstrate how the following strategies create a significant impact in the beginning of one’s career:

  • Engaging in extracurricular activities
  • Building and surrounding yourself with a strong network
  • Obtaining internship opportunities to gain relevant experience
  • Achieving academic excellence in the classroom
  • Seeking mentorship from experienced professionals

Extra Curricular Activities

Types of Activities 

Researchers have examined the way extracurricular activities have a positive impact on the future employment of college students. In specific, extracurricular activities are a place for college students to enhance and sharpen their social skills to succeed in the difficult job market (Ramalheira, 2015). It is common for these students to be associated in sororities, fraternities, sports, arts, cultural events, and volunteering events. In addition, researchers have concluded that most college students are a part of these organizations due to internal or external motives. [pic 1]

Internal Motives 

These motives are primarily driven by personal interests or related to activities started during childhood

External Motives 

These motives are a way to showcase skills and qualities not seen on resumes through extracurricular activities.

Furthermore, the research stated how students take part in these extracurricular activities to enhance their employability skills and add value, which compensates for those students who have lower grades (Ramalheira, 2015). These students tend to be stressed out at times due to high involvement in their activity, and limited amount of time to focus on academics.


Moreover, participating in extracurricular activities has a significant impact on students who are in fields of Business, Economics, and Law. Being part of these associations provided students with the capability to become, and acquire the following skills (Ramalheira, 2015):

  • Creativity
  • Initiative
  • Organization
  • Interpersonal skills

These organizations give students an advantage because it shows they are going beyond their academics in order to improve themselves on a professional and social level. For example, many business students join clubs related to their major, such as an Accounting, Finance, CIS, or Econ club. This ties back to the external motive, which drives engagement in extracurricular activities (Ramalheira, 2015). However, this shows how a college student can be very diverse and handle academics, while contributing to thier school through volunteer work.



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