Importance of getting experience in college


By Jill Odom

Variety Editor


Some students, regardless of how long they’ve been in school, think that if they have a perfect GPA they will get the job of their dreams, end of story.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but getting a job takes a lot more than simply having a 4.0 for four years. When teachers, parents and other adults talk about “building a résumé” that isn’t a suggestion. A résumé is a crucial part to letting employers know what type of skills and experience you have.

A résumé is made up of education, experience and special skills. Imagine how foolish you will look if you hand the interviewer a piece of paper that only mentions the high school you attended and the college you recently graduated from.

As much as you hate to hear it, extracurricular activities are necessary to have a résumé worth reading. Keep in mind; however, less serious activities like LARPing aren’t likely to help you either.

The goal is to join organizations where you will develop skills that apply to the job field you hope to enter one day. These groups help prepare you for the real world and the expectations held there.

Employers want to see that you take your future seriously and that you were proactive in getting ready for the new world you are entering.

Some students think that if they commit to an organization or join too many their grades will go down. Balancing commitments is a vital skill that must be learned eventually so why not practice in college?

If you find you are too involved, scale it back to what really matters, grades may slip, but proper time management is another ability that is needed in any career. Remember, always try to get you school work done first, but don’t let involvement be the excuse for getting Cs and Ds in a class.

Another word of advice for those paranoid about falling GPAs is that employers don’t want perfectionists. Yes, they want someone dedicated to putting out a quality product, but they do not want someone who stresses over the little details and ends up missing the big picture.

For the students who claim there are no organizations that apply to them or their majors, here are a few.  Those who are interested in getting into politics, join SGA, the College Democrats or the College Republicans

Students interested in music can join the Collegiate Singers, Concert Chorale, Gospel Singers, The Sound of the South, jazz ensembles and so forth.

Those who want to work with publications can get hands-on experience editing student submissions for the Rubicon or working at the Palladium, creating a yearbook.

Anthropology majors have the Anthropological Club and the Troy Archaeological Society. Athletic trainers have an Athletic Trainers club. Sport Management Club is good for any student wanting to enter into athletics and learn what goes on behind the scenes.

Let’s not forget about journalism students. Students majoring in journalism have several options open for them to help prepare them for joining the work force.  Troy has its very own TV studio, TrojanVision, where broadcast majors can try their hand at all the different positions required to make a news station work.

For those in print journalism, there is the Tropolitan. Here writers can work their way up to editor positions and learn about layout and the different elements that come together to create a newspaper. Photographers can also build portfolios by covering the various stories that the Tropolitan publishes.

Don’t just look at campus organizations either, see if there are internships, volunteer work or just good ole fashion jobs you can do. Employers want people with experience. Working at McDonald’s can prepare you for working with difficult people and coping with rough hours. It can help you appreciate your real job when you get it.

Grades may play a part, but college is also the place where you grow the skills and abilities that you will need if you want to survive on your own. Find out what your department offers for organizations and internships.

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