By Zyra De Los Reyes, Staff Writer
Ashley Storman, University of Missouri—St. Louis (UMSL) academic coach, hosted the Being a Student is Not Enough: Your Guide to Community Involvement workshop, accompanied by Dr. Bridgette Jenkins, academic coach, on April 6 at 10 a.m. in Lucas Hall 107. This workshop illuminates the importance of community involvement, which gives the best impression to others when applying for jobs, internships, or scholarships.
“Are you well rounded?” she asked a group of about 30 students.
The majority of students were given the time to think about this question.
“I’m in the mentoring program and over the last four years I’ve worked with some students who have taken 15-18 hours of class, involved in four to five organizations,” said Storman. “At first I thought that they are the perfect student leader that I need. But sometimes, the amount of load that they have is too much. What I have found is that those students who have taken good amount of classes and they are in few different things that they are really involved in are the ones to have the leadership positions.”
She explained that being a student, working at a part time job, actively volunteering in the community, participating in extracurricular activities, and being able to know the difference between the quality of what you do versus its quantity are all the characteristics of being a well-rounded person.
Storman gave tips to having a well-rounded college experience and stated that it is important to choose a major so that a student can receive the proper guidance they need in order to get where they need to be. It is also important to participate in campus life in order to feel connected with people. This is a great way to help students gain personal and communication skills. She added that going to class is a must; students must participate and study well.
“Networking is also important … collaborate with people and work towards a career,” Storman said. “Jobs are moving away from hiring people based on their degree alone. Based on a study, employer[s] evaluates graduate students for hire mostly based on internships, then employment during college, college major, volunteer experience, extracurricular activities, relevance of coursework, college GPA, and lastly, college reputation.”
As the presentation went on, the students were asked to form three groups for an activity. Each group was assigned to evaluate three resumes and identify which one fits the job description the most. At the end of the activity, each group shared their decision and explained why they chose that candidate.
“It’s beneficial to review your resume and make sure that everything is up to date. Even if you’re the most qualified candidate for the position that you are applying for, employers are not going to call you and clarify some things in your resume. Don’t underrepresent yourself,” advised Jenkins.
Throughout the presentation, the students who attended the workshop learned tips for having a well-rounded college experience, the benefits associated with completing an internship or engaging in community service, and what employers are looking for when considering potential applicants for positions. They were also given the resources for ways to get involved on the UMSL campus. At the end, students were given a survey to complete and share their opinion about the workshop.
Crystal Guthrie, junior, political science, said, “This workshop was very insightful for me. The presenter … emphasized the importance of being a well-rounded student in order to be able to compete with a growing and competitive job market. I’ve learned that it consists of participating in various activities including a part-time job or internship, actively volunteering, and student organizations. Ashley also stressed the importance of internships. They can help you remember and apply what you learn at the university as well as learn new things! ”