Experience beyond classroom sweetens resume
By Ashley Nave
College students in the U.S. often face the same problem: getting a job. After spending four years—possibly more—and thousands of dollars, they are not guaranteed what they paid for.
According to the College Board, U.S. college students spend roughly $30,000 at private schools and almost $24,000 as an out-of-state student per year.
Eric Owens of The Daily Caller said, “Just 14 percent of this year’s college seniors have steady, career-type jobs lined up for their lives after graduation.”
The increasing amount of unemployed graduates is overwhelming, so it’s important to note that college students should leave their universities with as much professional experience as possible.
Companies look for students who have branched out beyond the classroom. For example, students who take the initiative to do work outside of the university are better candidates.
KU student Faith Evans said, “It’s definitely important to ‘bring everything to the table’ because an education can only teach you so much. When you have other experience in your field, you gain insight and perspective from professionals you aspire to be like.”
Evans is a communication design major who currently interns with a web-design company. Evan’s internship has taught her that deadlines are a must, and that failing to complete them will bring the entire team down.
She also runs a side business on Etsy where she sells wire wraps, organic clothing and crocheted items.
Students who solely participate in their academics do not get the same hands-on experience as some of these young entrepreneurs do.
KU communication studies major, Jesse Warner, is a co-founder of the magazine called Brain Bug. The magazine began two years ago and is already being sold at a local bookstore in Kutztown, Pa.
The production and success of the magazine has taught Warner about self-motivation and meeting deadlines. On top of that, students like Warner who branch out can have a job lined up for post-graduation.
“I already have a job lined up at Rodale Inc. because, aside from Brain Bug, I’ve been working with this writing company as I finish up my degree, said Warner.”
He believes that these opportunities will present themselves to students who are more involved. For example, employers may look at Evans’ background—at the web-design company—and consider her over someone who didn’t have this experience.
A survey done by Hart Research Associates found that almost all employers said that they are more likely to hire students with skills in their field and that “innovation is essential.”
While having preferred skills and lining up jobs with companies is a necessity, students might also want to consider creating a company of their own.
Like Evans and Warner, KU senior and fine arts major Katie Mullen makes and sells her own work. She buys and paints blank longboards and advertises them to people through her social media accounts and by word-of-mouth.
Mullen sells the longboards for $210, which is a considerably cheaper price than a fully–equipped $500 board from a local skate shop. Not only does she assemble the longboard herself, she also includes a custom design, new wheels and new trucks.
“I’m not looking to rob high school and college students, plus I haven’t gotten my name out there yet, so I’ve got to start somewhere,” said Mullen.
Importantly, all three KU students come to one general consensus: it is extremely important, and encouraged, that students do everything they can to enhance their capabilities.