Traditionally, college students are focused on their education and don’t give much thought to anything that disrupts this process. At Weber State University, this is not the case. WSU is full of employed, nontrad students. WSU caters to the nontraditional students and offers these students an abundance of opportunities to complete their education.
Many WSU students attend school to receive a degree to move up in the company they already work for. Working all day, attending class all night and gaining experience is the life of a typical student.
I started WSU as one of these nontrad students. I began by going to school early in the morning and worked until late at night. More recently, I have become a more traditional student. I work on campus now, and this allows me to spend more time doing campus activities and getting involved.
As an employee of Career Services, I have had the opportunity to get a lot of insight into the employers who attend our career fairs and what type of students they are looking for. At the Career Fair held last month, I overheard employers praising WSU students: “They (the students) are not entitled like some of the other students that we see.” “These students work really hard during their undergrad, and it takes less time for us to train them once they are hired.” I have come to learn that companies love hiring WSU students.
If you ask a company what they are looking for in hirees, a majority of them say they want someone with experience and leadership capabilities. These can be very difficult to acquire while going through school. At Weber, these opportunities are available in droves.
We have all heard the conundrum “I cannot be hired because I don’t have experience, but I don’t have experience because I cannot get hired.” WSU offers a solution to this problem. Jobs and internships are available through a variety of sources on campus, including Jobs.weber.edu.
A little-known fact about WSU is that each college (we have eight) has their own career counselor. These counselors not only help you with resumes and job interviews, but also have major connections to companies across Utah. Go to them. Use them. If you need internships or jobs, they are here to help you. They are resources that need to be worn out. Pat Wheeler, career counselor for the Business School, says that if you have an internship, you are able to negotiate $500 more to your base salary at your new position.
Many employers are looking for individuals with leadership capabilities. Leadership positions listed on resumes are like shimmering gold flecks. They excite employers and increase your chances of an interview. Luckily for all of you, these positions are available.
WSUSA, our very own student association, is always looking for student leaders. In fact, they even have a leadership committee designed to give students opportunities. Around election is the best time to apply for these positions, but opportunities are offered continuously throughout the year. Go ask!
WSU has close to 200 clubs and organizations. Within each club and org are at least two leadership positions. That equates to a minimum of 400 leadership opportunities. Get out there. Find your interest and get involved. As the VP of the Marketing Club, I can tell you that it only takes a few hours a week to be actively involved; it is fun, and you make great friends and lasting connections.
WSU, it is up to you to look good to employers. But you already have an advantage that other universities don’t offer you: Employers like you. They automatically hold you up in high regard. WSU students are qualified and capable. So don’t complain that you don’t have the experience or leadership. You just need to ask for it, and then own it.