By Bethani Burkhart
Most college students have the same goal: pass their classes, graduate, and get a career in their field. The degree itself helps secure the career you want, but there are many other activities you can participate in during college to build your résumé and market yourself as a competitive candidate.
At Hiram College, our unique semester called the Hiram Plan allows students to translate classroom knowledge to real-world experiences. The first 12 weeks consist of a full course load, and the final three weeks focus on a single, intensive course in the classroom, in the field, or abroad. Through experiential learning opportunities, all students complete an internship, guided research, or study away. Show potential employers what you can do and how you prepared yourself for your future career.
Internships: Most of our students choose to complete an internship in their field of interest. Whether the internship is with a large corporation, a small non-profit organization, or any business in between, students gain real-world experience. No more going on a coffee run for management or filing papers for eight hours straight. Conduct meaningful work in a meaningful internship and show employers you’re ready to be their next employee of the month.
Research: Think outside the box and go beyond the textbook. Complete guided research projects with faculty at Hiram or other research institutions. Show your preparedness for graduate school and laboratory careers to future employers.
Study Away: Close your eyes and imagine yourself on a three-week trip to England and Scotland. You’re with close classmates and your favorite professor, examining the relationship between human culture and landscapes. Not only that, but you spend time walking through ancient villages and eighteenth-century manor house gardens. Sign me up! When you study away, you develop skills you can’t learn anywhere else: adaptability, problem solving, global fluency, understanding of diverse cultures, and more. Make yourself a well-rounded candidate and stand out among your competition.
Employers look for candidates who will be engaged with their organization. There’s no better way to show your commitment to your community, develop your strengths, and identify areas of improvement than being involved on campus. At Hiram you can participate in student organizations, act in or direct a theater production, and become a collegiate athlete. Have a leadership role in one of these areas? Even better.
Don’t believe being involved on campus can be beneficial for your future? Let’s talk about student organizations. Being involved shows future employers what you’re interested in. It also showcases skills – the ability to work on a team, time management, conflict resolution, and more. If you hold a leadership position like President, Vice President, or Secretary, it communicates you have leadership skills. Join a student organization at Hiram! We have over 30 organizations you can be a part of, from the Video Game Club to PRYSM (Presence and Respect for Youth Sexual Minorities).
Volunteering is another great way to build your résumé while in college. Show future employers you care about your community, and gain experience. For example, are you majoring in psychology? Want to enroll in graduate school and earn a master’s in counseling? Use some extra time on the weekends to volunteer as a responder for a crisis hotline. For any major, there are great volunteer opportunities that relate directly to your future career.
If you work on-campus or hold a part-time job, add it to your résumé! Every job helps you develop transferable skills, or skills that are relevant to any job or career. These skills include communication (both oral and written), time management, organization, conflict management, teamwork, and more. When you add it to your résumé, highlight the skills that are the most transferable to the job or career you’re applying to.
So, what’s next? If you’re looking to learn more about all that Hiram has to offer or how our academics translate into real careers and real opportunities, visit us! We offer both personal, customized virtual and on-campus visits, as well as group virtual visits, and open houses. Go to hiram.edu/visit to schedule a time.
Bethani Burkhart is Director of Career and Academic Development at Hiram College