Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

The Little Things Do Matter

This blog post was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Luke Martiros ‘21

In high school, we all worried about GPAs, high test scores and being a part of as many teams or clubs as possible. While we were focused on things we thought mattered, we were not aware of what we really should have been focusing on: becoming better, well-rounded people capable of acing an interview or having a conversation with a teacher that was not about the class subject. The reason we were not focused on those things was that they were not necessary for us to succeed, and other people would do it for us. Our parents would attend college visits, pester us to follow up with people we met, and constantly remind us to schedule interviews and write thank you cards. These, however, are the things that we actually should have cared about.

As a college student, your GPA still has a large impact on your career, but usually only for your first and second job. Similarly, being a part of a fraternity or organizations on campus are great experiences, but in the end will only be one way to set you apart. This is where “the little things come in.” The little things really do matter because if you do enough of them, they will catch the eye of whoever you are trying to impress.

What exactly do we mean by “the little things?” Everyone has heard that handwritten follow-up notes are so important because it is not another random email that lands in the employer’s inbox. These notes, however, are one piece of the puzzle that you can build to have an outstanding impression on the employer. Small things like ensuring that your voicemail greeting is not the squeaky sixth-grade voice that you recorded when you got your first phone, and instead, it is a simple and professional greeting will leave a lasting image of your character. Another step towards leaving a lasting impression is returning calls and emails in a timely manner. I had previously spoken to a Babson alumnus who now recruits for a technology firm in Boston and he said that if a student does not follow up with him after an interview by email, the student will not be considered for the internship or job. It is so important to keep track of the employers you reach out to and ensure that they respond to you. Many students who do not receive a follow-up are scared to contact them again, but it actually has the opposite effect. Another email or another call will make your name more memorable and it will show the employer that you are genuinely interested. Taking several of these small steps can be the cherry on top to all of the hard work you have done to get a high GPA.