I would recommend that young composers work with seasoned composers. The apprenticeship program gives you a chance to see how the pros do it. If you make yourself indispensable to someone, there’s a great chance that work will make its way to you over time!
Try everything, read articles about your craft, always keep your ears open and your portable recorder working. Love what you do, and it will definitely pay off.
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” ~ Calvin Coolidge