College is an important experience for adults of all ages. While many college students focus only on gaining credits and attending classes to finish their degree as efficiently as possible, the traditional college experience offers many opportunities to students that may be just as valuable as their diploma. These are four of the most important college opportunities that should not be missed.
Volunteering does all sorts of good things for your career. At a time when money is especially tight, most college students are focused on getting a part time job, and it can be difficult to dedicate time to something that doesn’t pay. Volunteering, however, has all sorts of hidden advantages.
First, the experience gained by volunteering in a position related to one’s major can be especially valuable. This gives a student the chance to see how their field of study actually works in the real world. They get to meet professionals and network with them. A dedicated volunteer can open up many post-graduate job opportunities for themselves.
Volunteering may even help to get credits. Especially dedicated volunteers may be able to earn credits toward their internship or practicum. Although this is not guaranteed, school administrators may allow it if the student shows an above average amount of hours and dedication.
Internships and Job Shadowing
Many degrees require a student to get some kind of internship, practicum or job shadowing experience. Even if it is not required, it is extremely beneficial for all students. Job shadowing allows a student to get a real feel for how their professional field works and to make important contacts with professionals. This can be more difficult with computer-based degree programs like an healthcare administration degree, but students can often still work with the school to find a hands-on opportunity. Even colleges that are completely online often partner with a variety of institutions to offer these opportunities to online students.
Clubs and Groups
The social experience is often a critical part of what it means to go to college. This doesn’t mean drinking and parties. Joining clubs and groups introduces students to like-minded people who share their interests and passions. They may gain valuable experience and connections to those who can help them professionally later on. Many professional communities are surprisingly small, and having a variety of friendly connections can have major impacts.
Job Coaching Seminars
Many colleges help to prepare students to get a job after graduation. Unfortunately, a degree in the modern day doesn’t set a student apart from the crowd. They will need to enter the job market with plenty of preparation and practice to actually land the job they want. This includes resume preparation, interview coaching and help finding job opportunities. It is much easier to get this done in college just before graduation than it is to do it outside of the supportive college environment.
Students shouldn’t underestimate the invaluable benefits of professional connections and experience that can only be had outside the classroom. College is so much more than just attending classes and accumulating credits. Students that take full advantage are likely to be more successful.
|Meghan Belnap | Blogger, Researcher and Freelance Writer
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.