As an upperclass student on the verge of reaching graduation, it may seem more important or beneficial to focus more on internships, networking with professionals and involving yourself completely with organizations. But, your classes can teach you a lot more than you may think even if sitting in a classroom taking notes isn’t exactly “hands-on experience”. Here are a few reasons why you should value your education:
Sector Specific Courses- become an expert
Take a moment out of your day to list out some of your dream jobs. (Mine would include being an actress, a broadcaster for ESPN or doing PR work for the Cardinals or Blues.) While picking out your classes for next semester, keep this list in mind. You should consider choosing your electives based on your list, because in the long-run you may change your mind on your “dream job” after taking a related course, or taking that course could increase your chances of getting into the desired sector of your industry.
“I don’t have enough experience to put together a portfolio.” – take credit for your hours
Ryan McShane, a practitioner who serves on an internship committee (as well as the author of the original article), explains:
“It doesn’t look good on a resume, when a candidate doesn’t have a lick of real world public relations experience (especially for a senior) and doesn’t attempt to leverage the minimal experience he has from the classroom.”
If you’re trying to land an internship and the only thing you rely on is listing your completely coursework on your resume without a portfolio of material, don’t be expecting that “Congratulations” phone call. Not only does it show lack of experience, but it also shows that you’ve learned nothing from your 1-3 years of college.
So go ahead and save your work. Even if you recieved a ‘B’ on a press release assignment, ask your professor if they would be willing to proofread it so you can have a chance to edit your press release and make it “portfolio worthy”.
So does this mean that I don’t have to waste my time networking with professionals and joining organizations? Not exactly.
Get as much real world experience you can before your graduate, but don’t overlook your education. Value your grades because even though an employer may not ask for your GPA, you won’t surive long doing C-level work.