Get active, get hired

By Kayleigh Omang

omangka@mnstate.edu

When I was a sophomore in high school, I became best friends with “the girl who was in everything.”

And by everything, I mean everything. If there was a club, my friend was in it. If there was a job to be done, she was doing it. This girl makes the Energizer Bunny look slow, and I love her for it.

When I met her, I was only a varsity cheerleader. After I met her, I got a job and joined her on the yearbook staff. I started to become more involved as she inspired me to become my best self.
By my senior year, I was captain of the varsity cheer squad, editor of the yearbook, a state debate club member, a freelance newspaper writer and a supervisor at my job.

Although it’s important to be involved in high school, it’s even more important when you get to college.

According to the National Associate of Colleges and Employers, the top two attributes employers seek on a candidate’s resume are leadership and the ability to work in a team, and these are valued 10 percent more often than the third characteristic, communication skills.

In college, the best way to acquire these skills is through involvement in student organizations, and more importantly, through becoming an officer in these organizations.

At MSUM, there are 115 student organizations and four more pending. Student organizations geared toward your interests are not hard to find on this campus, and the need for officers is increasing as larger student classes are graduating, leaving fewer students on campus to fill the positions.

According to DragonCentral data, there are 530 leadership positions in student organizations. Of these positions, 458 are led by unique students, meaning a maximum of 72 students hold multiple leadership spots.

Combining all this data, it’s clear to see that if you want a leadership position on campus, you can get one. The question is whether or not students want one.

I find that the average student doesn’t, and sometimes I don’t blame them. Going to school full-time, working enough to afford your bills and committing your time to a student organizations, especially in a position of leadership, is difficult. I can certainly attest to this.

I find the will to do it because I realize the importance of it all. When I graduate next December, I can say I survived college and acquired a degree, but I learned more outside the classroom than I did in it.

I will graduate knowing how to keep track of a large budget, how to manage a staff, how to problem-solve when things go awry, how to maintain confidence, how to be patient, how to carry weight and stress on my shoulders, how to manage time and juggle a lot of tasks, how to work with and talk to different people (from students to the university president), how to inspire, how to be my own boss and how to get a group of people to work toward the same goal. All of these things will make me more valuable in the job market.

The friends I meet through student organizations will be lifelong friends and connections. I still think meeting my friend in high school is one of the single most important moments of my life, as she helped me become the motivated and involved person I am today.

As you finish your college careers, I urge you to consider joining a student organization if you haven’t already. Even more so, commit yourself to a leadership position. I bet it will be the single best thing you do for your future.

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