Gaining experience while in school relates to employee engagement

Jenee Gregor

Jenee Gregor, Deputy Editor

By Jenee Gregor
Deputy Editor

The classes seem daunting and the workload sometimes is strenuous, but in the end it is all building a skill set.  Just like learning a language, if those skills aren’t used frequently they slip away and are easy to forget.

It seems to be a problem that when looking for a job, that “experience required,” is on most job postings. “U.S. business leaders say candidates’ knowledge and applied skills in a specific field are more important factors than where the candidate went to school or what their major was,”  according to a Gallup-Lumina Poll in relation to hiring.

“Wait, I have a degree, but I am not sure what I would do when I step into the office” line of thought comes to mind.  This can be remedied, but it requires some persistence and innovation; searching out jobs that are similar to your field of study and finding a way into their workplace.  Which may mean broadening knowledge outside a specific field of study. Internships, and experience makes a huge difference in employment opportunities.

Gallup Purdue study of over 30,000 graduates say that the chances of employee success doubles with the combination of “an internship or job in college where they were able to apply what they were learning in the classroom, who were actively involved in extracurricular activities and organizations, and who worked on projects that took a semester or more to complete.”

As a journalism major, making an effort to branch out into all types of categories that may come after school has already been a benefit.  Content writing, Public Relations, Social Media Marketing, and other opportunities that allow growing a skill set have created more opportunities and as the experience grew.

The Voice has been an incredible tool allowing lectures to turn into tactile reality.  Applying AP style to the hours spent copy-editing in the newsroom as made a significant difference in writing professionally and with proper style.

Applying for jobs that may not pay, or not pay well, but have a barter system to add to  list of quantifiable skills for the day that school no longer takes up all of the student’s time.  By trading time and gaining experience, but also receiving a benefit, for instance helping a yoga studio with their website for free classes.

Companies and organizations that students will reach out into in the future look for confident perspective employees.  Confidence comes with practice.  In the time that is spent between lecture and school work, finding some type of gig, or internship that allows a student to practice the skills that are learned only adds to self worth and employable value.

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