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Four Skills You Should Have Before Graduating

If you’re in schools for an online master’s degree, chances are you’ve already mastered skills that your undergraduate self wouldn’t have even dreamed of, like balancing a checkbook and filling out your own taxes. As an adult learner, you’ve provided yourself with important skills that you can’t learn in a college classroom – but don’t think that the learning stops there. Before you walk away from school with a master’s degree in hand, you should check a few things off your list of handy life skills that just about every graduate, whether studying for a Master of Business Administration degree or communications degree, should have.

1. Public speaking skills
You’ll be giving presentations no matter what career path you take, and having public speaking skills under your belt is an ideal way to get your foot in the door and gain the confidence you need to move up in your profession. With this skill set, you can also ace job interviews because you’ll be prepared to take on complex questions without batting an eyelash.

Another facet of public speakings skills is knowing how to create a presentation with either PowerPoint or the help of printing facilities. Using spreadsheets and graphing software or images related to your topic, you can provide your colleagues with a visual representation of your speech.

2. Event organizing skills
Offices are always putting together events for the community or their employees, and while this task might sometimes fall on an administrative assistant, you might also be responsible for doing it as well, particularly if it’s a convention that fits in your area of expertise. Whether you have to plan catering services or want to get sponsorships from local businesses, you should try to organize an event while you’re still attending an online school so you graduate with this leadership skill in hand.

3. Fundraising skills
This skill could come in handy if you’re working for a nonprofit organization – especially one that consistently needs donations from supporting businesses. Whether you’re an employee of an office or an entrepreneur, you can attempt to raise money for a cause during your graduate school years. That way, you can pick an organization you’re passionate about, such as a food drive or environmental group, and potentially make new contacts to help refine your job search once you graduate.

A great way to seek donations is to have a letter template ready to go so you can send out dozens of requests at once. You can ask your current professors about the best way to do this.

4. Portfolio building skills
You’ll be doing a lot during your college years, whether you’re working full-time or are attending classes nearly every day to finish your schooling as quickly as possible. Be sure to keep track of all the volunteering, organizing and projects you do so that when it’s time for you to build your resume and portfolio, you won’t be stuck thinking about that small event you organized two years ago.

Try to be creative with your resume. In order to stand out from the crowd of other job applicants, you’ll have to produce a portfolio that shows who you are as a person as well as how you work. Step outside of the box – instead of creating the run-of-the-mill cover letter and resume, throw in some examples of things you’ve done in the past, whether you have work published or you’ve been interviewed for hosting an event.