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Our View: Focus on experiences that help your résumé

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Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 3:07 pm, Wed Jun 6, 2012.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 12.7 million Americans, 8.2 percent, are currently unemployed, which might be a concern for students graduating from college soon.

With an uncertain economic situation, students must prepare themselves to compete in the job market, which means being involved in organizations, on and off campus, that are beneficial to their career paths.

There is an organization on campus for almost every career path imaginable. For us journalism majors and people interested in working in the news media, one outlet is The Standard. Working at The Standard provides us the opportunity to get real newspaper experience and hone our reporting, writing, design and management skills.

Getting valuable experience isn’t limited to the confines of campus organizations, however. In order to be properly prepared for the field they plan to go into, it is a good idea for students to branch out and get involved with professional organizations, whether it is through internships or actually finding a part-time job. Either way, it’s crucial for students to familiarize themselves with their future profession.

Social fraternities and sororities are an important part of college life at Missouri State and at other schools around the country. Oftentimes, they are the organizations from schools that are recognized the most in their respective communities due to the amount of volunteer work and philanthropy they provide. For example, MSU fraternities and sororities raised $1,500 for Children’s Miracle Network and donated 6,174 pounds of food to Ozarks Food Harvest in correlation with Greek Week 2012, according to the Fraternity and Sorority Life newsletter.

The work students do within social fraternities and sororities can certainly boost a student’s résumé. However, is a membership in a social fraternity or sorority more valuable than membership in an organization aimed specifically at a student’s career path? Oftentimes, the answer is no.

There are some students who do both successfully, and we applaud them for their work ethic and time management skills, especially since some of them also hold down part-time jobs to pay for rent and other expenses.

Some students, however, cannot handle the load and have to choose carefully which commitments they make and what they really want and need to be involved with while at Missouri State. If students must choose between social organizations and career-oriented organizations, the smart thing to do is pick the one that will ultimately help you get a job.

Not all career-oriented organizations offer the same kind of valuable experiences The Standard does for journalism majors and other people interested in working in the news media. We consider ourselves very lucky that we have The Standard and try not to take the opportunity to work here for granted.

The important thing for students to do is think about their future. The reason college exists is to prepare people for employment in a certain field. If students aren’t taking every opportunity they have to maximize that, they’re missing the point.

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