For most people, graduating is one of the happiest times of their lives. It means no more exams, no more deadlines, and no more all-nighters. But this feeling of joy and accomplishment can be quickly overshadowed by a fear of an uncertain future. Throw job market pressure and societal expectations into the mix, and the post-graduation joy quickly turns into post-graduation blues.
But there’s no need for this. Just like your educational institution of choice can get you ready for a career in your desired field, you can prepare yourself for the post-graduation journey. The Open Institute of Technology (OPIT) is here to help in both regards.
This article will guide you through your post-graduation journey, allowing you to relax once your graduation comes and you enter the competitive job market. To give you only the most useful advice, we’ve enlisted the help of one of our alums, Francesca Fancoli. She will chime in with her personal experience pre-, during, and post-OPIT. Let’s begin!
1. Follow Your Heart
It’s perfectly understandable if the words “Follow your heart” sound like nothing more than a cliché to you, especially in the cutthroat business world. But the truth is that genuine passion and intuition can be powerful guides.
Take Francesca as an example. Though she previously focused on climate-related issues and sustainability, she became intrigued by the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the corporate world. That’s what brought her to OPIT and our Master in Applied Data Science and AI program.
As long as you continuously pursue a career that challenges and motivates you, you’ll likely find both fulfillment and success. This way, you’ll think of studying as not a mundane task but an adventure, just like Francesca does.
2. Network, Network, Network
Don’t let anyone convince you that “networking” is nothing more than a buzzword. Networking is still very much a valuable and effective way to build meaningful connections, gain insights, and open doors to new opportunities in your professional journey. The only thing that has changed is where networking takes place.
Sure, you can still attend formal networking events and career fairs in person, as this will allow you to build confidence and sharpen your interpersonal skills. But nowadays, you can also leverage the power of virtual networking, connecting with professionals globally through online platforms like LinkedIn.
Study online at OPIT, and you also get the chance to interact with classmates and alums from all over the world. For instance, Francesca comes from Italy, but OPIT students and alums can be found in virtually every corner of the world.
Genuinely getting to know your fellow students, professors, and professionals in your desired field can lead to all sorts of unexpected opportunities, as many job openings don’t even get posted online. Instead, they circulate within enclosed professional networks through word of mouth.
3. Don’t Wait for the Right Opportunity – Create It
This tip ties into the importance of networking. Suppose there’s a person you want to meet or a job you really want. If that’s the case, don’t just sit back and hope for an opportunity to achieve these goals comes your way. Instead, make your own opportunity.
Initiating contact and expressing genuine interest paints you as an assertive, proactive, and driven individual. And these qualities are precisely what many employers and influential professionals value. Plus, thanks to LinkedIn, you can demonstrate all these qualities from the comfort of your own home.
4. Create a Standout CV
Once the time comes to send out your CV (curriculum vitae) to your potential employer(s), you’ll want to ensure the CV in question truly stands out. After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should resort to flashy gimmicks whose only value is their shock factor. It means presenting a visually appealing, well-organized, and impactful document that will instantly set you apart from other candidates.
Though there are many factors in creating a standout CV, one is arguably the most important – customize your CV for the job you want. Nothing screams mediocrity more than submitting a generic CV to every job application.
Let’s say you study computer science and AI like Francesca and want to apply for a job in the field. In this case, your CV should showcase specific hands-on projects you’ve worked on during your studies and the technical skills you’ve mastered. You can even include some industry insight to demonstrate your understanding of the current trends and challenges.
For instance, one of the reasons Francesca chose her field of study at OPIT is that she believes that automation can help with “foreseeing risks” and “applying better compliance.”
5. Don’t Stress About the Interview
Obviously, this is easier said than done. It’s perfectly natural to be nervous before a big interview, especially if it’s your first post-graduation. But as long as you remain confident and express genuine interest in the position (and the company), you’ll likely make an excellent impression.
If you’re like Francesca, use the interview to showcase your passion for AI and computer science in general. Talk about your extracurricular activities in the field and all the fun projects you got to work on during your studies.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should forget about the “traditional” interview question. Remember that most interviews are a lengthy process, so prepare yourself for the common questions that might come your way during it.
6. Continuously Educate Yourself
Newsflash – learning doesn’t stop once you graduate. Or at least, it shouldn’t. It’s crucial that you continuously strive to learn new skills, adapt to new technologies, and pursue relevant certifications.
That’s precisely what Francesca did when enrolling in OPIT. She sees her time here as “upskilling,” which will help her conquer the corporate job market.
Even if you land your dream job, keep learning and educating yourself. This will allow you to advance quickly and achieve long-term success in your desired field. And remember not to be too hard on yourself if there’s something you don’t know in your new job, as no one expects you to know everything from the get-go.
7. Don’t Fear a Career Break
A career break is nothing to fear and stress about. In fact, it can be a valuable opportunity for personal and professional growth. Take Francesca as an example, as she used her career breaks wisely – one to start a family and the other to study at OPIT.
8. Embrace Volunteering
Let’s say you can’t find a job for a while. Or, you want to use your career break wisely, like Francesca. Whatever the case, consider volunteering.
Volunteering can help you add relevant job experience to your CV and set you up for a successful career. Best of all? If you attend an online institution like OPIT, you might even have time to volunteer during your studies, making the transition from education to employment substantially smoother.
9. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
It doesn’t matter if you’re currently studying, just graduated, or already in the job market. One thing remains the same – growth happens when you step beyond the familiar.
During studying, challenge yourself to explore different subjects, engage in extracurricular activities, and seek to understand the study materials beyond surface-level comprehension. For instance, during Francesca’s studies, her goal was to “understand the uses of AI in a corporate job and specifically what AI can do for compliance and risk management.”
After graduating and joining the job market, continue seeking opportunities to apply your knowledge in real-world scenarios. Don’t just stick to what you’ve learned or experienced in school. Even if these new experiences inspire you to change your career path, do it! This turned out great for Francesca, and it will surely be the same for you as long as you remain adaptable and embrace challenges with open arms.
Thanks to the digital age, even moving to another country mid-study is feasible, as you can “take” your studies with you. Just ask the lovely Francesca who moved from Italy to France.
10. Be Patient
Once you graduate, not everything will go your way. You might take a while to land your dream job or advance in your career. You might even start a job only to realize it’s not for you after all. And that’s more than OK. Remember that the best things are worth waiting for, and be easy on yourself while waiting for them.
Of course, if you’ve read all the tips outlined in this article, you won’t be waiting idly. You’ll use this time to better yourself, improve your skills, meet new people, and explore alternative paths. Combine these actions with your formal knowledge, and it’s only a matter of time before you reach the top. But more importantly – you’ll also enjoy your journey up there.
Put Your Trust in OPIT
At OPIT, we have one goal – to help you achieve your dream career. This involves empowering you to excel in your chosen field during and after graduation. If you have any questions about our study programs, contact us directly. We’ll be happy to share more tips from our alumni who have successfully navigated their career paths, just like Francesca.
In this unite.ai article, Riccardo Ocleppo, Founder & Director of the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT), leverages his experience from Docsity to revolutionize higher education. OPIT aims to innovate and modernize education by offering high-quality tech degrees at an affordable price. It prioritizes hands-on learning to bridge the theory-practice gap and fosters diverse skill sets and networking opportunities.
Discover OPIT’s innovative approach, which includes embedding AI across all its degree programs, in the full article at unite.ai: https://www.unite.ai/riccardo-ocleppo-founder-director-of-opit-interview-series/
The Open Institute of Technology (OPIT) is a unique institution through and through. From an unparalleled support team that guides you every step of the way to state-of-the-art virtual resources, OPIT redefines online learning. This institution also proves that online education can be as enriching as its traditional counterpart. Better yet, it can outperform it in numerous aspects.
This fact alone begs the question – how did it all begin?
To answer this question, we’ll go straight to the source – the founder of OPIT, Riccardo Ocleppo.
In this article, Riccardo will walk us through his journey of envisioning (and building) OPIT and transforming online education in the process.
The Pre-OPIT Years: Where It All Began
To understand how Riccardo came up with the idea for OPIT, we must travel back to the year 2006. That’s when Riccardo graduated from Politecnico di Torino with a bachelor’s in electronics engineering.
This institution is arguably the most prestigious in Italy (and one of the most reputable in Europe). So, it shouldn’t be surprising that Riccardo chose to continue his education here, pursuing a master’s degree.
He completed the master’s program in 2008 and did so with honors.
Yet, Riccardo couldn’t shake the impression that it was all in vain. In his words, “When I left the university, I had the impression that I could do very little, and I knew very little that could help me in my professional endeavors.”
But Riccardo decided not to sit idly by.
He saw it this way – it might be too late for him, as he was done with his studies. But it’s certainly not too late for future students who deserve a better education. That’s why, only two years later, in 2010, he founded Docsity.
Docsity is an online social learning network with over 20 million registered students. Thanks to this network, over 250 universities worldwide received help in improving their study programs (and finding students).
Docsity also gave Riccardo a chance to fully immerse himself into the education sector for over a decade, finding new ways to reform it from within.
OPIT’s Inception: From Vision to Reality
With the knowledge (and the resources) from Docsity, Riccardo started working on a platform designed to provide the kind of education he wished he had received. The platform in question was, of course, the Open Institute of Technology.
The primary goal of OPIT was to bridge the gap between “what students expect, what companies need, and what higher-level institutions actually deliver in terms of training and education.”
From Riccardo’s experience, this gap was pretty huge. Remember that even with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in electronics engineering, he felt he had little to offer to companies.
This perceived shortcoming primarily comes from the fact he received a lot of theory at the university but very little practice. And that’s not to mention how outdated the curriculum was, as well as laser-focused on electronics engineering. In other words, bid farewell to “competencies on the most recent technologies and project management methodologies.”
This perspective made him determined to create a holistic educational solution. Or, as Riccardo puts it, “When designing OPIT’s degree programs to address the skills in high demand today, we chose to start from scratch to go beyond the limits of traditional higher education.”
At OPIT, you’ll receive valuable knowledge beyond theory. Essentially, OPIT equips you with everything you need to enter the job market, ready to excel in your field from day one (or day zero, as Riccardo calls it!).
Tailored for Triumph: OPIT’s Unique Programs
Designing any online curriculum is no easy task. However, the computer science field comes with its unique set of challenges. Why?
This field is constantly evolving. That’s what makes it difficult for most traditional higher education institutions to keep up. As Riccardo puts it, “[These institutions] are very slow to adapt to this wave of new technologies and new trends within the educational sector.” Of course, thanks to Docsity, Riccardo speaks from extensive experience, as he’s seen “multiple times how difficult it is to help these institutions update their study curriculum.”
Companies have it no easier.
Riccardo says, “A company needs one to two years to make people that should be trained on today’s technologies and on today’s skills effectively enter the job market and be productive when they enter these companies.”
Again, Riccardo speaks from personal experience. As a founder of a tech company (and a manager in others), he was tasked with creating and managing big tech teams on several occasions. However, despite interviewing hundreds of candidates, he couldn’t find those trained in today’s technologies, not those from 20 years ago.
With this in mind, he designed OPIT’s curriculum to effectively “train the next generation of leaders and managers in the field of computer science.” Many people helped him in this endeavor, chief among them Professor Francesco Profumo, current head of institution at OPIT and former Minister of Education in Italy.
This unique approach makes OPIT’s programs different in terms of how they’ve been conceived and how they’ll be delivered.
Take the Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Modern Computer Science program as an example.
Riccardo says that to be a great programmer, “you cannot just dive into programming itself.” First, you must understand how a computer is built and how its various units operate and communicate. This way, you’ll have no issues debugging a code in the future since you’ll understand the underlying mechanisms.
These underlying systems and foundational skills are precisely what is taught during the first term of the modern computer science program. Afterward, you’ll move toward the latest advancements in computer science, including machine learning, artificial intelligence, data science, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. This way, you’ll have quite a broad perspective on computer science, rarely seen in other educational programs, online or offline.
It also means you won’t have to specialize in a particular field, as you’re forced to do with many other programs. In Riccardo’s opinion, the master’s degree is where you should begin your specialization journey.
OPIT offers as many as four master’s degree programs, but Riccardo focuses on Applied Data Science & AI this time.
In Riccardo’s words, “The whole purpose of this [program] is actually to train people that do not want to pursue a super technical career but actually want to pursue a career at the intersection between the tech and the management of a company.” In other words, individuals who complete this program will acquire all the necessary tech skills. However, they’ll also be able to ensure the tech team is “correctly understood by the management of the company,” thanks to the managerial skills earned during the program.
Of course, this program also covers all the essential theoretical knowledge, from Python to machine learning. But it also has a solid applicative angle, teaching students how to use the most valuable tools available in today’s market. Simply put, you’re training “for what you’ll be doing when you enter your next job.”
Breaking the Mold: What Sets OPIT Apart
The unique curriculum isn’t the only thing that sets OPIT apart from other higher education institutions in the same field. Here’s what Riccardo singles out as OPIT’s most appealing characteristics.
Learning at your own pace can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have all the flexibility and freedom to organize your studies (and life). On the other, you might start procrastinating without a traditional daily commitment of in-classroom learning.
OPIT ensures this unfortunate scenario never happens by doing away with one big final exam you must cram for. Instead, you’ll be continuously assessed throughout the program, allowing you a much better approach to learning and a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
As Riccardo puts it, OPIT will give you “multiple checkpoints,” preventing you from getting “lost” throughout the learning process.
New Learning Resources
According to Riccardo, most of today’s available resources were created for the “oldest wave of education.” That’s why he (and his team) created all OPIT resources and learning materials from scratch, giving you a fresh perspective on the tech world. These resources also come in the form of engaging videos, which are short enough to keep you fully focused yet detailed enough to provide a deep understanding of the topic.
Let’s not sugarcoat it – modern resources mean nothing if the professors teaching them still stick to old-school principles and approaches. Luckily, this isn’t the case with OPIT’s faculty.
Every member of this faculty has been carefully selected based on their academic expertise, business experience, and global perspective. These professors aim to “help you learn in a more engaging and interesting way,” as Riccardo puts it.
He also adds that OPIT’s faculty breaks away from the common saying in academics, “Those who can’t do, teach.” In his words, “We didn’t want to have people that can teach because they cannot do,” so that’s the standard he prioritized when bringing people on board.
Future-Proof Your Career
Now that you know the fascinating tale of OPIT’s conception, all that’s left to do is to get in touch with our team of experts and take the first step in future-proofing your career. As you’ve already seen, OPIT will take care of most of the subsequent steps. All you need is a desire to learn and an interest in developing new skills, and success is imminent.