“Everybody has a college degree these days.” “It’s not just about your degree, what did you do outside of the classroom?” – Common phrases that adults will say to us college students to provide us with motivation to look elsewhere for success. For the most part, they are right. We do need to go outside the walls of our majors and start getting experience in the real world.
But how to start? Great question, Josh! Well, let’s take a look at some things you can do to maximize the bang for your buck here at UW-Whitewater:
Handshake is UW-Whitewater’s tool for students to find jobs and internships. Handshake has opportunities available on and off campus, throughout Wisconsin and across the United States. Current UW-Whitewater students can log in at https://uww.joinhandshake.com/login to create a profile and begin exploring opportunities!
- On-Campus Employment
This goes hand-in-hand with Handshake (pun intended). On-campus employment is a huge benefit to your college experience. First, the employers understand your schedule. They understand that some weeks are pretty easy and you can work more hours, and they also understand that some weeks you have more on your plate than those professional hot dog eaters. On-campus jobs help you succeed because they aren’t trying to keep you forever. They are trying to help you learn and gain skills for life after college and set you up for success. Depending on where you work on campus, you’ll also be given the opportunity to go to conferences and participate in training sessions specifically for student employees (hint…UC employment is awesome).
- Clubs and Organizations
There are over 170 recognized student organizations on campus, and they apply to everyone:
- Club Sports
- Fraternities & Sororities
- Mass Media
- Special Interest
- Theatre & Performing Arts
Join one! Or two! Go wild, and join 3 clubs! Imagine the look on your mom’s face when you tell her you got a 3.5 GPA this semester and you joined 3 clubs. You’ll be the new favorite kid, no doubt.
Joining clubs and orgs that interest you is really important in growing your knowledge and “real world” experience. But how you take that to the next level is being a leader, and lucky for you, there are opportunities on campus for that too! Hawk Squad, being a Peer Mentor, being a Resident Assistant, or a Campus Assistant are all different ways you can gain leadership experience.
By being a student, you automatically have a subscription to Lynda.com and that can be a huge deal when you don’t remember how to do that project you were supposed to do last week. Lynda.com has something for everyone and it’s super easy to sign in. If you go to the website and click “sign in” at the top, it will automatically take you to a UW-W portal. No separate login, so one less password to forget. Another free opportunity you have access to is in Career and Leadership Development. You can have your resume looked at by a professional and you can even stop in for a practice interview! C&LD also hosts a ton of events throughout the year to help you with your job search after college. Take advantage! Go to job fairs and talk to companies, because you never know which company will fall in love with your winning personality and which one you’ll end up liking the best. Speakers come to campus to talk about career development all of the time and it is free to go. So go!
There are so many things to help you succeed while you’re on campus and once you leave UW-Whitewater, all you have to do is know where to look. If you don’t believe me, just go to http://www.uww.edu/students.