Letter from the Editor

The Career Club

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Jessica Sykes works for The Dickinsonian.

A sophomore, she joined the staff as a writer her freshman year before becoming an Associate and, subsequently, Managing Editor.

Just this semester she also began working for The Sentinel, Carlisle’s local newspaper, as a freelancer. She is now paid for each story she submits.

And, in Syke’s own words, her time on The Dickinsonian helped her get a foot in the door at her first paying journalism job.

Now, this may sound like a not-so-little bit of self-aggrandizement, but there is a point to this anecdote. I have spoken in the past about the importance of involvement with campus clubs, how it can help build a student’s social network while providing a much-needed break from the gauntlet of classes. Yet a few clubs on campus can provide a third, and more important, service to its members.

Some clubs, Career Clubs, can help students get a job.

It’s a sad truth, but – alongside the stresses of school and friendships – college students have the added burden of searching for careers. Seniors especially feel this strain. What free time I have that isn’t swallowed up by thesis essay or working on the newspaper is filled with resumes and interviews, and the looming beacon of graduation is darkened somewhat by the specter of unemployment if I fail to do my due diligence.

Most of the low-level jobs that students are destined to fill on their march to a career have the initial hurdle of experience. In this volatile economy, companies want to hedge their bets by hiring people who have at least a basic knowledge in the field. Newspapers want people with writing experience. PR firms want employees who have a track record of working well with people. Accounting firms want pencil pushers who know their way around a calculator. Without a clear, quantifiable way to prove your ability, your resume is only just a list of classes you took.

This is where clubs come in.

There are a lot of Career Clubs on campus that can provide students with quantifiable work experience to tack on to their resume. The Dickinsonian, WDCV, the square, Red Devil TV, CommServ, Student Senate and many others provide –beyond their normal stated purposes- its membership with skills that they can use in the work place.

Much like an internship, these groups provide a low-risk place for students to practice their craft. You can make mistakes here. You can ask questions and take time to learn. There is a low chance of being turned away and no penalty for leaving.

And you can have a bit of fun while you work as well.

My advice, to students of all grades, is to participate in at least one Career Club. Pick one that deals with something you love and just see how it goes. While it is an added bit of work on your already over-taxed schedule, the benefits will be worth the back-break.

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