Education, Education, Education

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”.

Final Notes-
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.

Don’t Devalue Your Education

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About calawre

I am a student at SIUE planning to major in Speech Communications-Public Relations, and minor in Mass Communications-TV/Radio and Theater & Dance. I am on the SIUE Dance Team.
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4 Responses to Education, Education, Education

  1. kthierer27 says:

    I love this post because since I am now mostly in classes of my choice and not gen-eds, I feel like I am going to class because I want to learn about it and not because I have to. I picked up an interpersonal communication class this semester and realized that is what I am interested in and by trying different classes allowed for me to try out something different and to not settle with just what I know but to expand. In the same class, Interpersonal Communication Theory and Applications, I use all of the theories talked about every single day in my relationships. It gives me an understanding of my relationships with different people in my life. I agree with this all, value your education because it is useful.

  2. jmatzer says:

    I do realize that being a PR student, you need to have experience under your belt in order to raise your chances of getting a job. I recently changed my major to speech communication so I haven’t had the oportunity to look at internships yet which working, school and other campus organizations I’m involved in. I still have one more year of school before I graduate so that is when I plan on applying for internships.

  3. bberns2288 says:

    I agree with this post completly because most students try to get by with C level work if they can. I for one know if I don’t have to work exceptionally hard at something then I won’t. I feel it is our generations attitude for the most part. Also experience in anything is key but especially in PR. Internships are basicaslly are degree. The actual degree is like putting your name on the application. Required and assumed you have one.

  4. bday12 says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post! This past year a lot of my classes have been “hands-on” work that has allowed me to further prepare myself for the future. I have currently been finishing up my own website with work I have been doing in my classes all year. It feels really great to look back at it and say, “Wow, I did that!” It is great to have something to show for. I have also already done an internship, it definitely benefited me in a number of different ways, but the only people who really saw that was the company who I was working for. I am excited to have my own work out there for people to take a look at.

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