COLUMN: Student organizations are the secret to post-college success


The IU Longboarding Club checks out new gear and snags a new member at the annual Student Involvement Fair in 2016. Andrew Williams Buy Photos

You’ve finally made it. You’ve graduated college, and now your potential future employer sits across from you. You’re being barraged with questions that you answer easily, as you’ve learned to do.

Finally, you’re asked what samples of your work you have. All you have to show is a project you worked on with four strangers in a class.

Meanwhile, other graduates are able to whip out entire portfolios displaying their numerous creations that they've accumulated over their college years. Given this information, any employer would know who the better hire is.

So, what allowed these other graduates to develop such an impressive portfolio? Simple. They got involved.

There are plenty of student organizations that can help you stand out from the herd in order to enhance your chances of securing your dream job.

I believe I’ve learned more applicable knowledge and gained more experience through these student organizations than in class. As a media major, a lot of the courses I took my freshman year seemed more like brochures of what’s to come at the Media School.

Don’t get me wrong, I learned plenty of interesting information from my non-media classes, but they didn’t seem to be very applicable to my major or my plans to one day anchor news.

These classes, however, offer plenty of experience and information in their respective fields. For example, I was in a class that focused on King Arthur for the entirety of the semester.

It was an interesting class and the professor was fantastic, but I doubt the information will be of much use to me in my career. Unless, of course, I decide to make King Arthur documentaries for a living.

Thankfully, we have these student organizations to help us bide our time until we get to the more hands-on experiences IU’s curriculum has to offer.

Working for the IDS has given me more hands-on experience with media than any class here at IU has been able to. I don’t want to make it sound like an advertisement, but it’s true.

Within the first couple of days of joining, I had a high-tech camera in my hands and a group of colleagues ready to teach me everything I needed to know.

Before I knew it, I had amassed an entire page of columns and videos that I can now show potential future employers when the time comes. I really think it’s the secret to success in college.

Truly, you can’t expect to walk into a job interview with only a college degree in your arsenal. The world works differently than it did 20 years ago.

If you think about it, every graduate is a graduate. What separates them and makes them different is their experience.

Employers want to know if you expanded your computer skills by joining Code at IU. They want to know if you mastered public speaking through Toastmasters. They want to know if Not Too Late, IU’s late-night show, gave you TV studio experience.

It’s up to you to decide what potential employers will remember you by. The student organizations are out there, you just have to take the initiative to seek them out.

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