What if I don’t get into a college of my choice?
Updated on Jul 9, 2015 - 11:32 a.m. IST by Team Careers360

Don’t get disheartened if you don’t get admission in the college of your choice, there are other options

If we were to take a straw poll in a room full of people then I would find that rare is a person who got into the college and the subject of his/her first choice at university level. You will find that a vast majority of people did not get into their first choice of college and or career. Some, unfortunately, allow this initial failure of not getting into the college of their choice to debilitate their ability to set new goals and lower their confidence. They get chained by self-doubting questions like are my dreams worth it? What if I never get success? Nothing good ever happens to me? Entering this spiral of failure further reduces their chances to succeed and “go for it”. However, there are others who are willing to be more flexible with their aspirations and they fearlessly set new goals and decide to work persistently towards them.


So when you don’t get into the college of your choice the question you need to ask yourself is, “Am I willing to work super-hard, face failures and pursue my dream with a doggedness that triumph requires.” If the answer is ‘Yes’, then definitely success can be yours. For, despite the popular myth, admission to a well-known college is not the only ticket to success. The reality is that there is potential inside you and a good college can give you a plethora of opportunities to polish it further but the talent is always your own and so is the responsibility to hone it further.


Employability skills

Let’s face it. Most of us are seeking college education as a means to land that golden job which will come bundled with a fancy salary. But countless students graduate with degrees, even from premier colleges, without a job in hand. So what is the key differentiator between somebody who cracks the code of getting the job versus the ‘also ran’ student from the same college? Employers all over the world agree that they are all seeking candidates who have vital life skills like discipline, time management, ability to meet deadlines, capacity to self-learn etc. So while you are in college, apart from getting the best education that you possibly can, it is worth spending time to acquire these life or employability skills.


How to go about

One of the best ways to acquire these skills is by doing a summer job or an internship. An internship is a great way to pick up skills that employers will eventually want. For an internship, my recommendation is not to be very brand-conscious and only seek an opportunity in a large company but target start-ups, small and medium businesses and see if there is a business/technical challenge that you can solve for them. An internship is not only a great way to acquire employability skills but also a good way to try out an industry or job profile to see if there is a fit between what you want and what they require. So look around you and get in touch with local employers and see if you can help them solve any of their work problems in exchange for learning and a certificate.


Another great way to demonstrate to a potential employer that you have the necessary employability skills is by volunteering in an NGO. The volunteer experience very often will give you an opportunity to step out of our comfort zone and challenge yourself to grow in different directions.

shivani-manchandaShivani Manchanda

Director,Career Track 


Despite the popular myth, admission to a well-known college is not the only ticket to success. The reality is that there is potential inside you and a good college can give you a plethora of opportunities to polish it further

Free e-Learning courses

In an attempt to make high quality education accessible to more students worldwide, top ranked universities across the world are joining hands and making course material freely available online through free lectures, notes and videos followed by an exam to test your learning. So whether you missed an opportunity to go to one of the IIT’s or IISc or Stanford the eLearning courses can put world-class knowledge at your fingertips. These online courses give you an opportunity to learn at your own pace and in your space and just require an Internet connection at your end.


Even though these courses are not always followed by a certificate you can use the opportunity to benchmark and direct your own learning in the domain of your choosing. Thus if you aspire to be an independent problem-solver, a self-learner and an ideal candidate for that job that you are aiming for then consider joining a few of these courses to make your résumé unique.

Establish activities in college

Some colleges are like a blank canvass. They have very limited in-built opportunities that are a great opportunity for you to establish some new activities and create a mark on the college. If you have the entrepreneurship streak in you gather a few like-minded students and decide to invite a few local industry people to come and give talks in areas of your choice.


You will learn great coordination skills and develop a network of a few industry people. Similarly if the placement cell of the college could do with some strengthening then volunteer your time and invite some speakers to come and talk about résumé writing, interview skills and so on. Once you decide to make the most of the prospects that are around you then only sky is the limit.


So don’t let a missed opportunity, to study in the college of your choice, determine the fate of your career. Eventually in life how persistent you are in the shadow of failure is the true litmus test of your passion to succeed. Therefore, no matter which college you are studying in, take the reins of skill enhancement in your own hands and step out with a magnifying glass to look for openings that will help you unravel your potential and fulfill your goals. 

Indicative List of Internship Websites
(You can Google some more names)

  • http://www.aiesec.in

  • www.letsinteren.com

  • www.hellointern.com

  • http://www.letmeknow.in

  • http://www.lawctopus.com

  • www.twenty19.com

  • www.internshala.com

  • www.hellointern.com

  • www.indianinternship.com

Open E-Learning Resources

  • Coursera www.coursera.org

  • Edxwww.edx.org

  • National Programme on Technology

    Enhanced Learning www.nptel.in

  • Centre for Distance Engineering Education Programme www.cdeep.iitb.ac.in

Establish Clubs in College

Placement Club

Entrepreneurship Club

Career Fair

Science Exhibition

Cultural Festival



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