I am about to graduate from an HIT program at a technical college in Wisconsin with one more practicum to complete. The most frequent advice I've received from instructors and current industry professionals through networking with my local and the national professional associations (WHIMA and AHIMA) is that you need to join their associations (AHIMA and your local one respectively)-they should have a new graduate renewal fee-I just received mine-and be animant about communicating with mentors on the Mentor CoP. They have helped me considerably regarding different areas of the industry. The industry is quite broad as you probably know and depending on what area (more than just records)you want to pursue, you need a mentor who has been there and can relate to where you want to be both short and long-term.
Have you registered or sat for your RHIT or RHIA exam yet? These are also very important according to current professionals and major employers. Any of the positions that are remotely related to the HIM field usually require one or the other depending on what type of position you're applying for. If you don't have it, they usually expect you to be eligible for it and have definite plans for taking it.