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Asked by Hayley on September 11, 2017

College is becoming similar to a checklist for students. Is it bad if one strays a little off the "recommended" time frame for obtaining an internship or doing certain things in order to be successful?

Answered by Tony, Hiring Expert at Hill-Rom, on September 13, 2017

Hello and great question! It is very important this day and age to receive your degree as well as gaining experience but there are plenty of people out there that have taken different paths to achieve success. There are other ways to gain life experiences through extracurricular activities such as taking an active role in organizations or perhaps a managerial position at your job. The important thing is to differentiate yourself in whatever you do. An employer does like to see your resume flow, however, if you can explain your path and why you feel your actions you have taken to this point have value then it shouldn’t matter what order they came in. I have seen employees achieve success through taking a traditional route from college to internship to full-time job as well as people who have had years of experience but chose to go back and get their degree to help them achieve future goals. Be mindful of your decisions but also be your own person. Best of luck!

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Answered by Natesa, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on November 3, 2017

Thanks for asking this important question! I agree that it seems like college is becoming more and more of a checklist for students. From a student’s point of view, it seems like there is already a predetermined path you must take to ultimately end up with a job post-graduation. This is not the case. Most of your peers will probably take this path, but it is okay to stray away from the “recommended” time frame. The important thing is that you are developing your skills and gaining experience that will show you are a strong candidate. A recruiter and hiring manager want to understand the choices you made and why. If you can articulate your decisions, you should be fine. There is not a perfect timeline or formula to follow. Just be sure you make the decisions that are right for you and can explain why you made those decisions. Hope this helps!

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