In order to get a job you need to have job skills, but to gain job skills you need to have a job. Sounds like a vicious cycle, right? Experienced professionals have years of job experience and skills to put on their resume. So what about a full-time college student? There are several ways you can gain job experience without having a traditional job.
- Volunteer- There are countless opportunities available for students to volunteer. Some examples include: a woman’s shelter, soup kitchen, cleaning up a neighborhood, or visiting the elderly. Volunteering can really help you develop job skills that you can use when you join the workforce. Handsonphoenix.org is a website I found a few years ago while I was looking for places to volunteer. The great thing about this website is you can specify what type of volunteer opportunity you are looking for. You can browse by organizations, age groups (children & youth, adult, seniors), where you want to volunteer (Chandler, Tempe, Mesa) and dates you are available to volunteer.
- Join a student organization- There are over 1,000 registered organizations at ASU. Check out the ASU Student Clubs and Organizations Website to find a club that is right for you. The organizations are available at each of the 4 campuses and grouped into categories like, academic, leadership, fraternity/sorority and professional. A really good time to look into these organizations is during I-Week (Involvement Week) which is held during the first few weeks of the semester. W.P. Carey has some major specific organizations that include, Financial Management Association, Management Students Association and the Supply Chain Management Association. Joining these clubs will give you a chance to become an officer for the organization. These officers hold certain responsibilities within the club and are responsible for finances, marketing or event planning. If you are able to apply for one of these positions, do it. You will learn new skills and be able to add this position to your resume.
- Internships- Every semester ASU hosts career fairs that offer students a chance to meet with companies that are looking for interns. Internships are a great way to gain industry specific job skills. For example, let’s say you get a marketing internship for a company, you will be able to gain hands-on experience and have a front row seat to the marketing processes within a company. Internships are also beneficial to you if you aren’t sure about an industry or job position. Interning will help you decide whether this is something you really want to do. Check out the Sun Devil Career Link to browse internship opportunities.
All of these options are great for a student that doesn’t have the opportunity to have a full-time job. You will gain useful skills and experience that will make you a more competitive candidate when you start applying for jobs. The skills you can gain are endless. From learning interpersonal skills to learning how to manage a small group of people. These opportunities will also introduce you to new people, which I’ll explain more of in my next post.