“While it is critically important to have clarity about your ideal job, in our current economic climate you may need to consider accepting a suboptimal job in order to get some work experience to position you better for your ideal job in the future.” —ALAN T. ENNIS, president and chief executive officer, Revlon Inc.
“Treat graduation as a massive opportunity to accelerate your life’s dreams and goals. Determine who the five key people are that can help you achieve your career goals and make contact with them. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to be your mentor and start building the relationships early. (Oh yeah, also take at least six months to travel through Asia and India on $20 a day.)” —IDO LEFFLER, cofounder, Yes To Inc.
“Neither be discouraged nor distracted by the outside ‘noise.’ Follow your passion, reach high and know no boundaries—you’ll be surprised by what you can accomplish.” —CLAUDIA POCCIA, president and ceo, Gurwitch Products
“Build analytical skills. My first job was as a business analyst for McKinsey. I learned how to run spreadsheets; forecast revenue, costs and profit, and analyze large quantities of data. This is the skill that helped me start my business. When we look for staff today, we want the most analytical people who know how to make sense of data. And go the extra mile—ask for extra work. Everyone notices a staffer who goes above and beyond and takes on extra projects. This shows interest, commitment and a willing- ness to try new things.” —MARLA MALCOM BECK, ceo and cofounder, BlueMercury Inc.