Do you want a job out of college? I sure do. If, like me, you want a job, here is my recommendation: DO MORE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT WORK!!
So you think I’m crazy? I get it. You should really be studying marketing or finance in some dark, dreary corner of the library in your free time so you can nail all those technical questions in an interview then go make bank over the summer. Not quite…
Step into the shoes of a recruiter for a second. You get a ton of applicants every day and your job is to find diverse thinkers who can add value to your company. 95% of the applications you receive probably have the same story: I am a *something career-oriented* major who spends my free time doing *something career-oriented*. How boring.
Then you come across someone who actually does something different. Instead of spending their time pursuing personal gain, they spend time in the community pursuing social change. So what are the takeaways?
- This person is a team player. This candidate obviously cares more about the greater good and isn’t afraid to take the path less traveled by.
- I have a problem-solver here. Our candidate sees a social problem and actively pursues its resolution. Companies can always use problem solvers.
- The candidate applies their education outside of the classroom. The difficulties of community engagement cause people to ADAPT, APPLY THEIR CLASSROOM LESSONS, AND OVERCOME CHALLENGES. If we get one thing out of college, we should learn HOW TO THINK. Anybody can learn how to memorize. I would rather hire a thinker.
While personal gain is NOT the reason to pursue community engagement, I am quite tired of hearing people say that they do not have time for service because of the competitive job market. I am not saying you shouldn’t study for technical interview questions and maintain a job focus, but never let the fear of the future get in the way of giving back.
Whether they know it or not, all college students have been given the incredible gift of education and most people around the world would give anything to be in their position. So pay it back and, BONUS, you might just get a sweet job out of college because of it.
–Jacob Medina, ’16