Keys to College Success: Get Experience

Last week I talked about how professional networking is a great thing to participate in when you’re in college because it will help you get a job. This week I figured I’d do a slight backtrack to explain how you get those professional connections. (True it would have made sense to do this first, but sleep deprivation is a thing sometimes and this order still kind of works.)

This is the mass email advertisement that I created for our event that was on March 15.  Photo credit: Stephanie Kawula

This is the mass email advertisement that I created for our event that was on March 15.
Photo credit: Stephanie Kawula

In previous blogs I’ve also talked about getting out there and going outside your box. This blog post will fall along those lines but it’s slightly different. The way I approached my college experience was to think what would look good on my resume (after, of course, considering what I’m interested in and what I could get involved with). For example, I know a lot of employers like to see active applicants and community service. So, this year I’m a community advisor and through my position I coordinate service events around the city, which also incorporates my journalism skills when it comes to advertising. Now, this shows employers that I can do things outside the classroom, that’s what they’re looking for.

Other jobs I’ve had on campus include working at the dining hall (something that’s not on my resume but that I can talk about if I have to) and working at the front desk at another residence hall. These two jobs show that I have great customer service skills and that I can talk to people. Hint: employers want people that can talk and work with other people….especially if you’re in a journalism or communication field (since you’ll have to interview people and work in a giant team to make a product).

Another thing you can take advantage of, as a student, are the experiences that you get from your classes. For example, I go to the University of Missouri-Columbia’s School of Journalism. In the J-School we have this little thing called the “Missouri Method” wherein the students literally learn by doing. For part of my convergence classes I was placed in several different newsrooms where I worked on editing and creating content. (You better believe I put that on my resume and connected with the news directors and other reporters that I spoke to on a regular basis.) Below is one of the videos that I scripted and produced as part of my time at Newsy.

Video credit: potc4ev (YouTube)

So you see, after you think about what you want to show future employers on your resume, you can think about what situations you can put yourself in to get that experience. And, through those experiences you’ll be able to connect with people and hopefully add them to your professional networks on LinkedIn so they can support you with your future endeavors. Below are some of the residents that are already getting ahead with their community service. 🙂

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* This blog has been updated to include pictures from the CA experience at D&D Farms that took place on March 15, 2014.

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