Work your way through college

Kendra Schafer is a recent graduate from Illinois State University with her bachelor’s degree in public relations. She is currently working as a supervisor for an organization and recently finished a public relations internship with a live music venue. She has a strong desire to write and share her thoughts with others about encouragement and advice. She dreams to one day write a book and become a successful public relations professional.

College is filled with a variety of students. From the more fortunate (living off your parents) student to the eating ramen noodles every night kind of student. I myself was right in the middle. I really did not enjoy asking my parents for money and decided to take initiative to be able to pay for my rent and car on my own. It was rough for a few months, but I finally started to get the hang of things and ended up really taking in the full experience of being on my own. I’m not saying it was easy and relaxing. That it was not, but it really did give me a sense of independence.

Many students see working as a complete inconvenience during college. When having a job you miss out on many experiences including; clubs, athletic events, internships, and hanging out with friends. However, I myself found working as an advantage during college and took in everything I could to learn more about the workplace.

Yes, it’s draining and difficult to work your way through college. I probably had some panic attacks every now and then. There was so much to do; for example, you have to make time for group projects around your work schedule and the four others schedules in the group and find time for your friends and hobbies. However, working a steady job through college and grabbing those promotions throughout the years really can look good on a resume. You also can develop friendships in the workplace to keep the environment enjoyable and entertaining. These friends at work can help you cope with missing out on that party that is the same night you are scheduled to close at work.

When you find that job in college use it to help your resume shine. I started my job within two months after starting college and was there through graduation. Within the years that I had worked there I had been promoted twice. When an organization looks at your resume and sees the growth you had through the years of working in the actual workforce, it really can outweigh that club you wanted to put on your resume.

When working through college I also used what I was learning in the workforce and brought it into the classroom to understand better and vice versa. My understanding truly grew to beyond what I ever thought I could understand.  I was taking theories and concepts from class and seeing them in real life at work. I believe what I brought from the classroom to the workplace is really how I landed the promotions.

This can happen for anyone. Find a job where you have the opportunity to grow and get the promotions. Bring what you learn in the classroom to the workplace because it really will increase your horizon of learning and understanding. I encourage college students to take advantage of working and embrace it because it really can show wonders in the long run.

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