During their college experience, students are developing a “record of achievement” that will be evaluated by employers and graduate schools as they move beyond college. There are several pieces of this record:
- · Academic achievement. The grade point average (GPA) is one factor considered by competitive employers and graduate schools.
- · Responsible work experience. In today’s competitive employment market, many employers seek students who have related internship, summer, part-time job, or volunteer experiences. These experiences are particularly critical for liberal arts students whose majors may not appear to be directly related to their areas of career interest.
- · Responsible involvement outside of the classroom. Extracurricular activities provide the opportunity for students to gain many valuable and career-related skills, such as work effectively in a team environment, leadership, planning and organizational skills, and priority-setting and time management. These are part of the package or skills employers seek in their new hires.
Most employers today put more emphasis on graduates’ skills than on their academic majors and many rate leadership activities even more highly than GPA. Encourage your son or daughter to develop strengths and skills through participation in work, extra-curricular activities, leadership positions in student clubs, volunteering, service learning opportunities, internships, etc.