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With many students about to graduate and enter the real world full of job applications and new beginnings, a lot of them may be feeling their degree was a waste of time after a few failed interviews. To those students I want to say: There is no such thing as a useless degree, despite what your friends and family may tell you. It’s more likely you will end up as a student or graduate who does not yet know how to properly network and advertise their skills. Entering the corporate world after graduation can give you a boost in those areas and set you up for future success. Everything the corporate world can teach you is simply icing on your degree cake.

Maybe you were a working college student and didn’t have time for internships, or maybe you aren’t a science, technology, engineering or mathematics major who can fall into a niche job. Either way, upon graduating, you are more than prepared to enter the corporate world even if it’s just a degree on your resume. You spent years in D.H. Hill Jr. and James B. Hunt Jr. libraries to get this degree; don’t let a few rejection letters dull your shine. There is an opportunity out there, and it’s waiting just for you, despite what hiring managers can’t see.

Graduating from NC State while enduring jabs from friends and family about your degree choice teaches perseverance and self-advocating alone. I would know; I am a political science major during one of the most politically-divided times our generation has seen. Many people question what I would ever do with my degree and don’t understand the transferable skills that social science or humanities degree programs have to offer. This is where your networking and personal branding skills will come in handy.

If you are wondering how to spell out your skills in digestible resume terms, visit ePack to schedule an appointment with your career counselor. Also in ePack, you can find positions with NC State-affiliated companies that prioritize students in their hiring process. If you want to use a larger job search database, use CareerShift, located on the ePack homepage. NC State alumni have access to ePack and their career counselors for one year after graduation.

Once you are ready to pick your corporate foundation job, make sure you do a good amount of research to find a clear definition of how the company will measure success and be sure the company gives opportunities to work in teams for consistent networking opportunities. You need an opportunity with consistent performance reviews to add to your case when you are ready to use your connections to get into your dream career field.

I know “corporate” is a buzzword that everyone is afraid of — I’m not talking to the business majors — but look at the big picture, not at your hypothetical gray cubicle: A corporate job offers substantial market pay, benefits and opportunities to move up and around. Think of it like taking general education classes for the career world. A year or two of corporate work, and boom, you can start working in a position you love, now with the ability to leverage your new experience for even better pay and benefits. 

A corporate career does not have to be as boring as it sounds. Many companies are still largely remote — meaning you can do your work from anywhere. Remote work and a solid paycheck means you could move to your dream city or simply take afternoon naps on silky sheets as needed. Remember, you get to pick and choose which corporate industry is best for you. Seek out which corporate gem has the most to offer and build your brand.